American Farmland Trust seeks an energetic self-starter to lead Connecticuts Working Lands Alliance (WLA). The WLA Project Director is responsible for directing all WLA activities, which include research and education, policy development, grassroots and direct advocacy, outreach and communications, member and public events, budgeting and administration, and fundraising. The Project Director works with a 19-person Steering Committee to develop an annual WLA policy agenda, work plan and budget that will guide WLA activities for the year in furtherance of the vision that has been adopted by the Committee. In addition to WLA duties, the WLA Director participates in additional projects within the scope of American Farmland Trust national and regional initiatives.
The ideal candidate will have a background in agriculture and public policy, familiarity with Connecticut, and experience in managing collaborative projects involving multiple partners. Excellent communication skills, a willingness to manage all aspects of coalition activities, and the vision to lead are essential. Experience in fundraising is desirable.
The WLA Project Director reports to the New England Director of American Farmland Trust, and coordinates his/her activities closely with those of the WLA Chair and the contracted WLA lobbyist. The Project Director is a full time (37.5 hours/week) position. This is a telework position and requires extensive travel throughout Connecticut and occasional travel elsewhere in the region.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Maintain and develop working relationships with the WLA Steering Committee
Schedule, develop agendas and record minutes for WLA Steering Committee monthly meetings
Working with the Administrative Subcommittee and the AFT New England Director, develop annual work plans and budgets to be approved by the Steering Committee
Working with the Development Subcommittee and the AFT New England Director, raise the funds needed to meet WLA revenue targets
Cultivate and maintain relationships with federal, state and local policy makers and thought leaders whose work may impact AFT, WLA and their shared vision
Direct advocacy and legislative activities for WLA based on annual strategic agenda
Maintain WLA website, member database and communications activities, including overseeing WLAs social media presence, press relations, and direct communications with WLA membership via e-newsletter, etc.
Help develop, raise funds for and participate in projects supporting American Farmland Trust regional and national initiatives.
The WLA Project Director must have direct professional experience working with a wide variety of people, organizations and interests on programing and public policy in land conservation and agriculture. These include agriculture and conservation organizations and trade associations, land trusts, state and local elected officials, public agencies, individual donors and foundations, planners and planning commissions, and academic institutions. S/he must have knowledge of Connecticuts agriculture and farmland protection. Excellent communication skills and creativity are essential. Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite is required; additional computer skills preferred.
A BA or BS degree and a minimum of 4 years of work experience in related fields, such as farmland conservation, agriculture, public policy, land use or natural resource planning.
Demonstrated experience with legislative and/or policy development and advocacy.
Demonstrated project and budget management experience.
Experience managing complex projects and multiple partners.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Fundraising experience strongly preferred.
American Farmland Trust provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the organization has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.