Position Opening for Green Lands Blue Waters Director

Don’t miss this opportunity if it is a fit for you!  It is with the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture & Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics College of Food at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

They will start considering applications on January 19..  Details follow

Position:   Director, 100% time, 12-month Academic Professional/Administrative Job opening ID:  321191



This position will direct and strengthen mission-consistent activities for the overall multi-state Green Lands, Blue Waters Initiative and Steering Committee:

  • Relationships: work directly with Consortium members and working groups to build positive working relationships that both internally and externally achieve the goals of the organization and increase cohesion across the network,
  • Leadership:  work with Steering Committee to determine strategies to move the organization forward and evaluate the progress, supervise GLBW staff,
  • Planning and Implementation:  set priorities and work schedule and monitor progress towards consortium activities and goals,
  • Donor Cultivation and Financial Management: raise funds to support the GLBW regional office and priority programs, develop and monitor organizational and program budgets, and assist in development and submission of partner/member funding proposals that promote the GLBW mission,
  • Communication: increase the organization’s visibility and establish GLBW as the regional voice for continuous living cover farming
  • Manage communications to grow and maintain positive working relationships across members in six states in the upper Midwest and the Gulf Coast,
  • Serve as a compelling spokesperson for the Initiative at meetings and events,
  • Develop presentation and communication materials.
  • Some (10-20%) travel will be required.


The Green Lands, Blue Waters initiative is a consortium of land grant universities, non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies working to support development of and transition to a new generation of agricultural systems in the Mississippi River Basin and beyond that integrate more perennial plants and other continuous living cover crops into the agricultural landscape. The initiative is currently active in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Louisiana and operates at multiple scales of watershed, state and basin levels.  A goal of the initiative is to develop and promote profitable enterprises based on the products of continuous living cover systems that contribute to farm profitability while improving water quality.  This will be done through education, outreach, research, and policy development in conjunction with the project partners and participants.  More information about the GLBW initiative, including an overall strategic plan and working group strategies, can be found at:  www.greenlandsbluewaters.org

This position is dependent upon successful year to year fundraising and has been 100% funded from 2010 to present.  We currently have funds secured for one year with a second year of funding expected; confirmation of the second year funding will be confirmed by mid-summer 2018.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Masters degree or equivalent experience in a related field of study
  • Five years of program management experience in related field/s.
  • Knowledge, familiarity and interest in conservation, agriculture and food systems and their ecological impacts and principles, practices and policies;
  • Successful experience in acquiring funding through competitive proposals, foundations or equivalent;
  • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal relationship skills
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and virtual meeting software such as Skype or Go To Meeting
  • Must be motivated and willing to work both independently and with interdisciplinary teams
  • Must be able and willing to travel.

Desired Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience leading Communities of Practice, facilitating cross sector networking, or community organizing is highly desired.
  • Administrative experience working with diverse groups of farmers, agency staff, researchers and community-based organizations.
  • Science or research experience with alternative agriculture, conservation efforts, markets for products that also result in ecosystem services, watershed or other social-environmental activities.

Reporting: This position will report to MISA’s Executive Director.

Salary:  Commensurate with background and level of experience.

Application: Submit a cover letter, resume, names and contact information of three references, and brief writing sample electronically on the U of MN web site (www.umn.edu/ohr/employment) by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday January 18, 2018. Review of applications will begin on January 19 and will continue until a suitable candidate is identified.

For further information, please contact Helene Murray, MISA Executive Director; hmurray@umn.edu, 612-625-0220.  The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.