Policy Program Manager (SAFSF)

Grade:                                  Full-Time (40 hrs/week); Exempt

Reports to:                            Program and Operations Director

Location:                               Negotiable


The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems. SAFSF is a vibrant and growing network of more than 100 organizational members from the philanthropic and investment sectors whose work spans a broad range of issues and strategies as well as a wide geographic range—domestic and international. Our vision is that all resources invested in food and agriculture systems enhance our collective well-being. Our core values of collaboration, equity, respect, stewardship and integrity drive our organization on an everyday basis. We use these values to guide our decision-making process in all our work, from developing programs and hiring new staff to choosing caterers and hotels.

SAFSF recognizes that diversity of perspective, lived experience, professional, and personal skills among our staff, leadership, and membership is critical to our success as an organization.

Policy Program Manager Position

SAFSF seeks a full-time manager to lead SAFSF’s public policy work. While working closely with the team of SAFSF staff based in Santa Barbara, CA, this position is not required to be based in Santa Barbara.

Core responsibilities:

  • Provide coordination of, communication to, and education for funders to deepen their understanding, and build their capacity and common policy goals. This work will be related to—but not limited to—U.S. policies such as farm bill, healthy food incentives, childhood nutrition reauthorization, food safety, and many other federal, state, tribal, and local policies.
  • Foster greater learning about and appreciation for the equity and social justice implications of policy and policy changes/proposals.
  • Stay abreast of developments in relevant policies at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels.
  • Lead the development and management of effective working relationships with key policymakers and peer advocacy organizations in relationship to SAFSF’s policy work.
  • Develop policy priorities and design an annual policy agenda with effective strategies, realistic goals, and performance measures to reach SAFSF strategic goals in collaboration with SAFSF senior staff and Policy Committee.
  • Provide coordination of activities at a state, regional and national level in support of SAFSF’s partnership with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).
  • Represent SAFSF in a variety of capacities, including speaking engagements, written presentations and correspondence, and participation in conferences and meetings.

Required Skills and Experiences:

  • Network Leadership and Facilitation: ability to connect and build alliances among a wide range of players—funders, peer advocacy organizations, and policymakers/staff. Previous experience working in collaborative efforts that relied on clear communication, and strong, values-driven relationship building. Strong facilitation skills for both in-person and virtual meetings.
  • Understanding of the Food System in the U.S. context: broad understanding of current ag/food system and relevant policies.
  • Analyzing policy from a racial/social justice lens in a U.S. context: ability and comfort in discussing race, class, gender, and other forms of structural bias in food/ag policy; analyze policy proposals for impact on disadvantaged communities and suggest changes to make proposals more equitable.
  • Translating Policy: ability to translate complex ‘wonky’ policy for a lay audience in written and verbal communication without losing important nuanced information.
  • Direct policy experience: previous professional experience at any level of government, or within advocacy organizations, or policy support organizations. Relevant experience can be in food and ag or related fields e.g. health policy.
  • Program/Project management skills: manage multiple projects simultaneously, work within a team/collaborative staff environment, plan backwards and anticipate obstacles, identify and involve stakeholders appropriately, use resources wisely.
  • 7-10 years relevant experience: may be a combination of work and academic experience; ability to discuss how past experiences and skills provide a foundation for success in this position.

Additional Preferred Skills:

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, and a high level of discretion and confidentiality for both business and personal affairs.
  • Active/current connections with policymakers/staff at state or federal level or with policy-related networks is a plus. Must be willing to work across the political spectrum.
  • Prior event planning experience is a bonus; SAFSF staff has high level of expertise and is able to provide training.
  • Comfortable with public speaking to the extent required to facilitate meetings. Will be required to do some speaking at conferences and other events but need not be a ‘great orator’.
  • Appreciates the role philanthropy plays in the broader social context. Previous experience working for or directly with a philanthropic organization however is not required.
  • Basic understanding of fundraising and grant development processes desired, direct fundraising experience a plus.

Basic Work Requirements

Fluency in English. Must be willing/able to travel domestically several times per year. Possess strong computer skills, including expertise with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; email client; CRM databases (Salesforce preferred); and project management platforms. This position reports to SAFSF’s Program and Operations Director.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $70-75,000. We offer an excellent benefits package which includes automatic and matching retirement contributions, medical, vision, dental, and prescription insurance, as well as health and fitness and cell phone benefits. Paid time off includes federal holidays, vacation, personal, and volunteer hours.

How To Apply

Applications are due by Monday, July 2 at 12 noon Pacific. Please apply online at https://formstack.io/39255. You will be asked to submit a single PDF file containing 1) one-page cover letter; 2) resume or CV; and 3) short writing sample (1-2 pages)*.

Contact [email protected] with any questions.

*Writing sample should demonstrate ability to synthesize information. Examples might include a short policy briefing, meeting update, or report to a standing committee or Board of Directors.

SAFSF is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.



Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.