Executive Director of the Urban School Food Alliance
Who We Are:
The Urban School Food Alliance (The Alliance) is a nonprofit collaboration that brings together the school food departments of eleven of the largest school districts in the country. Working in concert, these districts use their combined purchasing power to improve the health and quality of school food while driving down the costs. The goals are to advance U.S. school food in a “win-win-win” manner that serves students, school districts, and the environment.
The Urban School Food Alliance (the Alliance) and FoodCorps are strategic partners, working jointly to improve the quality of school food by leveraging the unique purchasing power of school food service. As one component of this strategic partnership, FoodCorps is providing organizational administrative support and adding staff capacity, sharing established strengths that enable the Alliance leadership and member districts to focus on building resources and strategic relationships for the Alliance as well as driving the development and execution of an overarching procurement strategy that drives health and sustainability in school food.
What We’re Looking For:
The Alliance is seeking a business-minded Executive Director who will work full-time to build on the early successes of the Alliance by leading the development and implementation of a strategic and cohesive procurement initiative that improves school food items, while containing costs for the participating districts. Additionally, the Executive Director will deliver on an ambitious set of goals for the Alliance, including organization and partnership development; expanding the Alliance’s membership to include more districts; and serving as a respected public voice for the Alliance, along with the Board of Directors, building the Alliance’s reputation and visibility with key audiences including the philanthropic sector, press, and policy leaders. This position will play a critical role in advancing the health and sustainability of school meals in many of the nation’s largest school districts, thus influencing the entire school food program.
The Executive Director will report to the Alliance’s Board of Directors, and will coordinate with FoodCorps VP of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships on overlapping priorities. This full-time position and travel is required (~40%).
Who You Are:
You are passionate about the mission of the Alliance and familiar with both the supply and demand side of school food. You have the drive of an entrepreneur and you enjoy strategic development and hands on engagement equally. You are a highly motivated self-starter who thinks big. You are comfortable juggling multiple projects and tight deadlines and are at home both in the details of procurement and the nuances of partnership building. You are interested in the overlapping areas of business, policy, and management that make-up the world of school food procurement and policy, and you bring a pragmatic approach to making change within a complex, budget-constrained system. Your communication skills are impeccable and you seamlessly translate information across multiple audiences, including senior school food leaders, the press, industry vendors, and nonprofit partners. You leave no stone unturned in your work, always seeking new and creative solutions to complex problems. You are committed to diversity and inclusion, have a passion for social justice, and an enthusiasm for operating in an intercultural work environment. You have a passion for supporting public service.
Under the direction of the Urban School Food Alliance Board of Directors, the Executive Director will:
- Assume the role of a founding ED with the ability to build systems and infrastructure while leading the organization forward
- Lead Development efforts serving as the chief fundraiser for the organization
- Lead the development and implementation of a cohesive procurement strategy with the Alliance districts
- Identify and implement innovative solutions to common procurement barriers, increasing efficiency and revenue for Alliance districts
- Develop and lead strategic partnerships with non-profit organizations and government to enhance impact and policy
- Prospect and secure new Alliance member districts
- Leverage the Alliance’s strategic partnerships toward shared goals through robust management of the Advisory Board
- Collaborate and share best practices among Alliance members.
- Manage impact tracking and develop measures of success for new initiatives
- Act as primary point of contact for the Alliance with district stakeholders, funders, vendors, industry professionals, and members of partnering organizations
- Co-supervise the School Food Procurement Manager with FoodCorps
- Assist in the creation of Alliance policy positions and coordinate with partners on implementation
Skills of the Ideal Candidate:
- Demonstrated experience developing and executing organizational strategy
- Demonstrated partnership management experience
- Experience with school food procurement and familiarity with food service operations and policies a plus
- Experience with government sourcing or contracting a plus
- Experience in start-up environments or experience building new organizational initiatives
- Business-minded, approaching organizational development with an entrepreneurial eye
- High emotional intelligence with the ability to anticipate needs
- Process-oriented with a strong ability to build efficient systems for information management
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Intellectual curiosity and ability to think outside of the box to efficiently solve complex problem
- Comfortable with an organizational environment that is fast-paced with an emphasis on technology and collaboration amongst geographically distributed staff and partners
- Self-directed and flexible, and excels in a deadline-driven environment
- Bachelor’s degree is required
- Minimum seven years professional work experience, with increasing levels of management and responsibility
How to Apply:
FoodCorps, a key partner of the Alliance is working as the executive search agent. Expect to initially hear from a member of the FoodCorps Recruitment team to begin the process. Applications will be accepted until the ideal candidate is identified. To be considered, submit your résumé, cover letter and salary requirements through our hiring site. Employment will be with the Urban School Food Alliance.
The Alliance pays salaries that are competitive with nonprofits of our budget size and geographic location, and offers benefits. This position has a salary range starting at $150,000.
People of color, people with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. The Alliance is committed to a diverse workplace. The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. The Alliance provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees as required by law.
Applicants with disabilities may request a reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process.