Who We Are
Youth. Food. Community. Three important issues that intersect in one place: The Food Project. Here, we believe that food is a unique vehicle for creating personal and social change. Nothing else ties us so intimately to each other and the planet we share, affecting our health, the climate, culture, and poverty and privilege around the globe. If we — young and old from all walks of life — can unite to change the food system, we can change the world. From our urban and suburban farms to our community education programs, we aim to do just that by bringing together youth and adults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a just and sustainable food system.
Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with more than 120 teenagers and nearly 2,000 volunteers to farm on more than 60 acres in eastern Massachusetts in the towns and cities of Wenham, Lincoln, Boston, and Lynn. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying and transforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in unusually responsible roles, with deeply meaningful work. In addition, we help others grow their own food and provide training resources based on all we have learned.
What We Seek
The Greater Boston region encompasses The Food Project’s youth development, farming, and food systems initiatives in Boston and Lincoln. The region’s work – growing and distributing food, resourcing gardeners, and organizing around food systems change – is powered by young people from Greater Boston who work in partnership with residents to build a better food system.
The Regional Director ensures that The Food Project’s work in the region aligns with residents’ vision and priorities, The Food Project’s youth development models and best practices, and the organization’s strategic plan. This position leads a regional team that together operates a multi-tiered, year-round youth model engaging over 75 teenagers annually; a 31-acre farm in Lincoln, and 2 acres of farms and a 10,000 sq. ft. greenhouse in Boston; SNAP-accessible farmers markets, CSAs, produce wholesaling, and donations; installation of 50-75 raised bed gardens annually and regular engagement of gardeners; support for small markets and pilots that offer fresh produce; and the ongoing community organizing and engagement that undergirds the above.
Program Strategy & Impact (35%)
- Observe youth, food, community work to gather information to inform feedback and further program and staff development.
- Work with the Greater Boston regional team and other staff to align, maintain, and further develop a strong, coordinated, multi-year program in accordance with organizational strategy.
- Work with Deputy Director and Associate Director of Impact and Initiatives to determine the impact and outcomes of programs to inform next steps.
- Supervise two Youth Development Specialists, one Community Programs Manager, up to two fellows, two Farm Managers, and one Field Manager.
Organization Building & Effectiveness (35%)
- As part of the Executive Leadership Team, provide input into developing and fulfilling the strategic plan and annual goals to achieve the mission of the organization. Develop, model, and steward a culture of shared values and accountability that empowers teams, removes barriers, and continuously develops leaders.
- Partner with the Deputy Director and North Shore Regional Director, as well as the regional teams to research and design programming, while maintaining organizational alignment.
- Identify opportunities to leverage organizational strengths.
- Collaborate to refine and evaluate arcs of experience (curriculum, activities, operations, evaluation) for youth, food, and community programming.
- Work together to ensure that the organization’s strategy for the region aligns with resident vision and priorities, TFP’s youth models, farming best practices, and the organization’s strategic plan.
External Relationships (10%)
- Residents: Co-facilitate (with Community Programs Manager) the Dudley Grows initiative of residents, businesses, and partners working toward a shared vision and goal for the local food system.
- Institutions: Build strong relationships with local institutions to ensure accountability of TFP’s work to resident interests and foster community control in the food system (municipalities, local non-profits, businesses, residents, etc.).
- Coalitions: Participate in city and statewide coalitions around youth and food justice initiatives (e.g., Office of Food Access, MA Food Collaborative, DSNI/DNI, etc.).
- Funders: Cultivate relationships with funders, in collaboration with TFP’s development team, through visits, events, and written communication.
Organizational Health (5%)
- Participate in The Food Project’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.
- Prepare and participate in structured regular feedback sessions with your department and/or team.
- Participate as an active organization member (attend all staff meetings, department and/or team meetings, provide cross department support, provide support with onboarding, etc.)
- Participate in annual planning, budgeting, and performance review processes.
- Undertake special projects and perform other duties, as assigned within capacity.
Preparation, Knowledge, Previous Experience
- At least 4-6 years of relevant management experience.
- 5-7+ years experience in youth development.
Skills, Abilities and Competencies
- Demonstrated experience managing a team in complex, interconnected, emergent work.
- Deep commitment to working with young people as partners; direct youth development experience required.
- Outstanding ability to think strategically and translate that into actionable goals.
- Strong relationship-building skills.
- Excellent organizational skills, flexibility, and capacity to prioritize and manage time well.
- Knowledge of food systems and food justice issues.
- Experience working in and/or with the Dorchester, Roxbury, and/or Mattapan community strongly preferred.
- Clear, compelling verbal communicator.
- Proficiency in Spanish or Cape Verdean Creole, preferred.
- Personal commitment to and demonstrated experience leading around racial equity.
- Valid driver’s license and willingness to transport youth in large vehicles.
- Comfort using web browsers, Google suite, and Microsoft applications.
Location & Schedule
This position is based in The Food Project’s Greater Boston office in Boston, except in July and August, when the Regional Director usually works 2-3 days per week in Lincoln to be more available to the summer youth crews on the farm there. This role also requires periodic travel to The Food Project’s offices and farms in other locations for organizational meetings and shared work. This position requires periodic evening hours throughout the year for participation in community meetings, youth gatherings, and events.
From September through May, this position requires Saturday availability approximately three times per month, to support the work of the youth crews. The Regional Director attends and supports overnight youth retreats on a weekend during each season. From June through August, when youth crews work Monday through Friday, the Regional Director does as well. The summer season includes some later evenings to support youth events and an overnight with young people on the farm.
The Food Project is committed to sustainability and supports staff in taking time off to balance evening and weekend hours.
This is a full-time position with a salary commensurate with experience and skills. This position is eligible for health insurance benefits, 403B retirement plan, paid vacation and holidays, and other benefits, including a free CSA share. Salary range is $77,000 to $85,000 per year.
Please send resume and cover letter via email to: [email protected] In the subject line, write your name and the position for which you are applying, eg: “Jordan Smith – GB Regional Director”
We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates, and contact ONLY those individuals selected to continue in the search process. The position will be filled when the desired candidate is found.
The Food Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to creating an inclusive organization. We actively seek a diverse pool of candidates for this position.