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Posted: 08/16/2017
Executive Director Cooperative Extension System
Salary: 175,000 - 200,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, August 31, 2017

The Cooperative Extension Service is a non-formal educational program implemented in the United States which is designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. The service is provided by the state's designated land-grant universities and colleges. Cooperative Extension at the national level is coordinated by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), a representative leadership and governing body. Designed to benefit state and local Extension education, ECOP’s strategic national leadership addresses four core themes: 1) building partnerships and acquiring resources 2) increasing strategic marketing and communications 3) enhancing leadership and professional development 4) strengthening organizational functioning.

Position Location:
Washington, D.C., with flexibility for telecommuting several days a month from within the DC metro area. ECOP’s office is currently housed by our partner, the Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU).

The roles of the Executive Director include excellence in:
Serving as a national leader and spokesperson for the Cooperative Extension System and ECOP.
Assisting ECOP in the identification, development and implementation of collaborative goals, objectives and plans that advance the mission of Extension.
Expanding relationships with external and internal constituencies to strengthen partnerships and grow opportunities for collaborations.
Coordinating activities with other system members and leadership to achieve goals within the broad mission of Extension, including federal legislative agendas.
Representing ECOP and the Cooperative Extension System on matters that advance and mutually support national relationships and activities of state, national and global partners.

Skills and Know-how:

  • Extension seeks a professional candidate who has the strongest mix of these skills and talents:
  • A national Executive Director who can serve as a credible voice and face of ECOP and the entire Cooperative Extension system.
  • Communicate and implement a long-term vision and strategy for the organization and its members.
  • Ability to build and sustain partnerships both within and outside of Extension to ensure ECOP’s vision and strategy are part of the national dialogue.
  • Strong executive leadership and organizational management experience with the ability to lead the Executive Directors and Administrator (EDA) Team and effectively execute ECOP’s strategic plan.
  • Strategic marketing and communications experience so that its members and other organizations within and outside of Extension know what results ECOP is delivering, who it represents and what its long-term vision is.
  • Ability to develop funding opportunities for Extension from both traditional and non-traditional sources.
  • Knowledge of the Cooperative Extension system and related Congressional authorizations and an understanding of contemporary Cooperative Extension philosophy, preferred but not required.
  • A detailed description of these skills and know-how are provided in Appendix A.

Reporting Relationships:
The Executive Director for Extension reports to the ECOP Chair and serves as a member of the EDA Team that includes the Executives of the five Cooperative Extension regions. The Executive Director position focuses fulltime on national issues. The five regional EDAs each contribute 0.25 FTE to working with the Executive Director on national issues. Performance is evaluated by the ECOP Executive Committee under the leadership of the ECOP Chair. This position is expected to routinely coordinate and at times seek advice/consultation from the APLU, Vice President, Food, Environment and Renewable Resources regarding the integration of Cooperative Extension programs within APLU efforts.

Salary Range and Compensation:
We are seeking a rising mid-level or higher professional with some administrative, executive (or associate level) experience with or without an Extension background.
Depending on qualifications and experience, salary range is $175,000 to $200,000 plus access to medical, retirement, etc. Some funding available for re-location.

E-mail your application cover letter outlining your qualifications for the position, along with a one-to-two page narrative summary of your background. Be sure to connect the required skills and know-how with your experience and talents.
Include resume, names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of three (3) references and their relationship to you as the applicant to Dr. Fred Schlutt, Chair, Search Committee, at referencing Extension Executive Director in the subject line of your email.
If you have any questions about the position call Dr. Schlutt at 907-474-7246. The Search Advisory Committee will review applications immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is identified.
Finalists for this position must successfully complete appropriate background checks.
Start date is negotiable.

Appendix A: Detailed Skills and Know-how
Communicate and implement a long-term vision and strategy
Comfortable representing and presenting the long term vision and results to diverse national audiences of Cooperative Extension and the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP).
Communicate to increase the visibility, image and brand of Cooperative Extension and support other section sanctioned activities that enhance this effort.
Execute and communicate nationwide program and organizational leadership, and policy decisions on behalf of the state Cooperative Extension directors and 1890 Extension administrators, as expressed through ECOP and its members.

Build and sustain partnerships
Provide support to existing partnerships and where possible foster new and/or expand relationships with key internal and external partners, recognizing that expanding partnerships must go hand-in-hand with program and resource development.
Enhance effective communication among and between ECOP members, its standing Committees, Task Forces and other closely related partners.
Facilitate mission integration by actively communicating and collaborating with the various units within the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) and other boards within the Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources.
Support strong communication, collegial interactions, and the integration of programs with the Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP).
Work collaboratively with Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) on issues of joint concern.

Executive leadership and organizational management

  • Provide leadership in collaboration with the Regional Executives of the EDA Team to collectively develop a national plan of work to advance Cooperative Extension through ECOP, supporting it’s committees and initiatives.
  • Coordinate the work of the EDA Team to serve the national Extension system.
  • Supervise support staff.
  • Perform duties designated by the ECOP Chair and assist the chair in facilitating ECOP functioning as a board of directors for the Cooperative Extension Section. This includes providing administrative support to the ECOP Chair and ECOP Executive Committee.
  • Provide national logistical support for essential internal committees, initiatives, task forces, officers and selected national meetings, workshops, and webinars.
  • Support the work of the Chair of the ECOP Budget and Legislative Committee (BLC).
  • Responsible for the day to day operations and fiscal accountability for the operating budget of ECOP including the Executive Director’s office.

Strategic Marketing and Communications

  • Provide leadership, make recommendations and establish priorities on strategic marketing and communication opportunities;
  • Enhance visibility of Cooperative Extension through effective communication with major partners, stakeholders and identified constituents; and
  • Facilitate efforts on the assimilation and distribution of Extension system impacts and outcome briefs.

Develop funding opportunities

  • Implement appropriate and timely actions in support of the ECOP BLC's priorities, and assist in the development of ECOP's annual federal budget recommendations.
  • Based on the priorities of ECOP and its members, identify, initiate and cultivate opportunities for Cooperative Extension program and resource development by monitoring and initiating contacts in Washington, D.C., including, but not limited to: federal agencies organizations, Land-grant University stakeholder groups and other partners identified by ECOP. Coordination will be required with Cornerstone Government Affairs regarding congressional and executive branch issues.
  • Explore and support funding for Extension to meet the challenges of the 21st century by developing and maintaining close working relationships with the leadership of the APLU, the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA), its committees, and other resource development entities and the executive branch.

Detailed Description of Qualifications

  • Ability to cultivate and monitor contacts in Washington, D.C., including federal agencies and organizations, Land-grant university stakeholder groups, and other partner-relations deemed important by ECOP.
  • Executive or associate level experience leading similar sized organization.
  • Demonstrated communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Demonstrated information technology skills.
  • Ph.D. or terminal degree preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize, maintain and stimulate task group and committee productivity.
  • Ability to relate and work positively with people and to effectively articulate the Cooperative Extension System’s priorities, accomplishments, and concerns to appropriate target audiences.
  • Ability to manage ECOP’s central office and provide leadership, supervision, and evaluation for staff members or consultants involved in carrying out the responsibilities described in this document.
  • Evidence of successful fiscal accountability and budget management.
  • An understanding of contemporary Cooperative Extension philosophy, mission, and organizational structure; knowledge of the 1862, 1890, 1994 and territorial components of the Cooperative Extension System, program reporting and evaluation processes; and, a knowledge of Congressional authorizations (e.g., Farm Bill programs) that are important to Cooperative Extension is preferred but not required.