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University of Maryland
College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural Experiment Station
National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office
USDA SARE Program
The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is funded and administered at the national level by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), headquartered in Kansas City, MO. NIFA works cooperatively with four competitively selected universities that serve as regional host institutions. These host institutions in turn fund and administer competitively selected sustainable agriculture research, education, and extension projects in their respective regions. NIFA also funds the competitively selected National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office (NRCCO) through a cooperative agreement with the NRCCO’s host institution. This office serves a core role to help administer the program, support research and educational functions, and perform program outreach. The NRCCO Associate Director Position is offered through the University of Maryland (an Equal Opportunity Employer), the current NRCCO host institution. Congress has provided annual funding for the SARE program for over 30 years. Total funding for the SARE program is $40 million for 2021. Funding for the NRCCO in 2021 is $1,184,097.
The Associate Director for the NRCCO works directly with the SARE National Director at NIFA to manage many aspects of SARE’s national-level program coordination and communication. Job responsibilities include communication with the SARE National Director and SARE’s regional offices, assisting with grant administration and project reporting, representing SARE at local and national meetings, and facilitating interaction with other programs relevant to sustainable agriculture. The Associate Director will also provide leadership and oversight for the staff of the national SARE Outreach office that currently includes a content coordinator, outreach coordinator, information technology coordinator, three content specialists, and a business manager.
Specific areas of responsibility include:
• Working with SARE’s regional offices on regional grant administration, including application review and reporting protocols; oversight of SARE’s grant reporting system; and ensuring project report data is publicly available.
• Aggregate, evaluate, and communicate project results and programmatic impact for the national SARE program.
• Leadership and oversight of SARE’s national communications efforts, including working with NRCCO communications staff to develop annual plans of work; ensure that NRCCO’s communications efforts align with SARE’s national and regional priorities; provide scientific/technical oversight of new content; and report on NRCCO activities to SARE’s regional offices.
• Administration of the NRCCO program at the University of Maryland: Manage UMD staff and contractors; manage program budgets; set up and manage procurement contracts; and generate financial reports.
• Management of other national initiatives such as support of the SARE Operations Committee activities, program evaluation, special educational initiatives, and other tasks as requested.
● Applicants should have demonstrated capacity to administer programs, experience in agricultural research and extension, and proven ability to work with and lead diverse groups to successful outcomes.
● Applicants will be engaged with a national network of producers and producer organizations, researchers and extension specialists, federal and state agencies, agribusiness, non-governmental and community-based organizations.
● Applicants should have demonstrated commitment to sustainable agriculture science through prior research, education, extension, or administrative work.
● Applicants should have demonstrated ability to convene and facilitate meetings, and manage budgets.
● Applicants should be knowledgeable of SARE’s current communications portfolio including books, bulletins, fact sheets, websites, and social media; and should be knowledgeable of the SARE projects database and the IT capacity necessary for continued upgrades and support.
● M.S or Ph.D. in agriculture or related discipline.
● Understanding of sustainable agriculture principles and commitment to interdisciplinary research and education is strongly preferred.
● Experience with writing and administering grants is desirable.
● Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential.
● Ability to travel
Salary and Benefits:
Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits package through the University of Maryland includes health, dental, and life insurance, social security, retirement, tuition remission, 25 days paid vacation and personal leave (plus university holidays), and 15 days sick leave annually.
Starting Date: September 1, 2021.
Applications will be accepted through May 14, 2021, or until a suitable candidate is found. All candidates must apply online at https://ejobs.umd.edu. A complete application packet includes a letter of application, a current (signed) resume or Curriculum Vitae, copies of transcripts, and three (3) professional references, including name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address. References will be contacted directly for letters of recommendation of finalists for the position. Writing samples may be included but are not required. The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.