The Rhode Island Food Policy Council (RIFPC), a fiscally sponsored project of TSNE MissionWorks, was founded in 2011 as a collaboration of statewide stakeholders to build a stronger food system. The RIFPC has played the role of convener, bringing individuals and organizations together to identify gaps and barriers, to inform changes to policies and regulations, and to focus attention on the interconnections of Rhode Island’s food system. The RIFPC has earned a reputation as a strong coordinating body comprised of members from across the food sector that are committed to community engagement, education, and advocacy. The Council brings capacity where needed, while working in close partnership with partners in state and local government, but is financially and structurally independent. The RIFPC has focused on network development through aligning goals and projects, embedding values of equity, access, and community food security into the work, with a commitment to staying nimble and flexible as external conditions change and evolve.
In May 2017, the Governor of Rhode Island released the state’s first Food Policy Strategy. The Strategy was the result of a year-long process of collaboration with Rhode Island’s Director of Food Strategy, the RIFPC, and other partners, to host listening sessions, strategy sessions, and to solicit input and feedback from stakeholders across the state. With the launch of the RI Food Strategy, the overarching task for the RIFPC is to help drive execution and implementation of the Strategy, while also taking the opportunity for internal evaluation and adjustment.
The RIFPC is intentionally entering a period of staffing and organizational transition to better support the implementation of the Food Strategy. The new Network Director will be the sole staff member for the RIFPC, with support from the 20+ Council members and the RIFPC’s Steering Committee.
The Rhode Island Food Policy Council seeks to hire a dynamic full-time Network Director to build on the progress of the last six years, and to guide the RIFPC into the next phase of its development: facilitating the RIFPC’s role in implementation of Rhode Island’s Relish Rhody Food Strategy, while continuing to increase connectivity and capacity across Rhode Island’s food system. The RIFPC, in partnership with the Chief of Food Strategy for the State of Rhode Island, will be planning and facilitating a series of network meetings and convenings in early 2018. Based on needs, opportunities, and leverage points identified, the Network Director will be responsible for shaping the RIFPC’s implementation role, and for securing resources and capacity to support these efforts.
The Network Director will work closely with the RIFPC’s Steering Committee and existing Committees (Policy, Data, Governance, Communications) to ensure the smooth functioning of the Council, and will generally serve as the public "face" of the Council, representing the RIFPC at meetings, events, and legislative hearings. The RIFPC is physically based out of Social Enterprise Greenhouse in Providence, but the Network Director position is home-based, with flexible travel requirements throughout Rhode Island and regionally in New England. Flexibility for evening and weekend work, meetings, or events is essential.
Essential Job Functions
As the sole employee of the organization, The Network Director will manage the administrative, strategic, programmatic, and operational activities of the Council. This includes ensuring coordination and collaboration of RIFPC activities and efforts with key State partners, including the Director of Food Strategy (Governor’s Office), Department of Environmental Management, Department of Health, and CommerceRI, as well as community-based organizations, academic institutions, and food system stakeholders.
Specific responsibilities include:
Providing facilitative, strategic leadership and planning
- Facilitate meetings and activities addressing key Council issues and objectives, as defined in partnership with the Steering Committee and Council members;
- Lead strategic planning and communications planning efforts to increase the visibility and impact of the RIFPC, including RIFPC Committee and Work Group development;
- Identify key needs and opportunities to shape the work and high-level functioning of RIFPC Committees and work groups, towards implementation of the State’s Food Strategy.
Building and growing a stronger food system network in Rhode Island and New England
- Increase public understanding of the nature and importance of food systems and of the issues that affect food systems through events, relationship building, public-facing projects, social media, communications, and collaborations;
- Continue to diversify the stakeholder and membership base of the Council, to better reflect all actors in the food system;
- Foster positive, inclusive relationships with current partners and identify opportunities for additional collaboration and outreach/engagement;
- Engage appropriate public officials (State and local), community based organizations, and other food system partners with the RIFPC’s work as well as overall implementation of the Food Strategy;
- Participate in regional food system planning and network development through a regional Community of Practice group, Food Solutions New England (FSNE), Farm-to-Institution New England, etc.
Managing and coordinating key RIFPC projects and events
- Coordinate annual data aggregation, printing, and distribution of Rhode Island Food System Fact Sheets for Rhode Island cities and towns in partnership with the RIFPC’s Data Committee;
- Facilitate final year of philanthropic support for the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) grants program and advocate for continued support for the program;
- Expand and build on the RIFPC’s hosting of events and convenings through strategic partnerships, thus creating increased connectivity in the food system;
- Participate on the Hunger Task Force, a new initiative from the Food Strategy, representing the Council;
- Plan new projects, workgroups and events that support implementation of the Food Strategy, in partnership with the State’s Director of Food Strategy.
Ensuring operational and fiscal accountability and stability for the RIFPC
- Coordinate all current grant-related activities, including maintaining and building relationships with current funding partners;
- Cultivate and solicit foundation, corporate, and other forms of support appropriate to the mission/vision of the RIFPC allowing it to expand capacity and impact;
- Ensure fiscal support to ensure the success of the RIFPC’s work on implementing the Food Strategy;
- Work with the Treasurer and TSNE MissionWorks (RIFPC’s fiscal sponsor) to coordinate fiscal planning, management, accountability, and transparency;
- Manage other operational and administrative tasks as needed to support the RIFPC.
- Broad knowledge and experience with food systems, food security, health, and/or food justice issues;
- Experience building and maintaining community-based coalitions in a leadership capacity, and facilitating public and private partnerships and collaborations;
- Ability to plan and enact strategic planning and organizational advancement through relationship-building;
- Self-starter and self-disciplined individual who brings flexibility, imagination, and creativity to the work;
- Strong organizational and written/verbal communication skills;
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain positive relationships with a wide diversity of people, representing a broad array of interests and backgrounds;
- Experience with facilitative leadership and consensus-based decision-making;
- Excellent presentation and public speaking skills;
- Commitment to equity, access, and justice and the ability to bring a justice perspective to their work;
- Proficiency in basic Microsoft Office applications and Google Docs.
Additional Desired Experience and Skills
- Event management and/or conference planning experience;
- Competence in using WordPress and basic website building platforms;
- Spanish language proficiency is highly desired;
- Experienced with social media and communications;
- Knowledge of the Rhode Island food, government, and nonprofit landscape.
Compensation and Benefits
The salary range for this position is $68,000-$72,000, depending on experience. As a fiscally-sponsored program of TSNE MissionWorks, employee benefits include medical and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, retirement contributions and other benefits. Funding for this position is dependent on the Network Director's ability to successfully position the RIFPC for future funding opportunities. This will require exploring new opportunities as well as maintaining positive relationships with existing funders.
We will accept applications on a rolling basis through December 15, 2017. Please attach your resume and a cover letter describing why you are interested in this position and what makes you a strong candidate. Our hiring process and timeline:
- A Search Committee from the RIFPC will review cover letters and resumes from all applicants and select candidates for 1st round phone and/or in-person interviews (geography-permitting);
- The Search Committee will begin scheduling 1st round phone and/or in-person interviews in December and/or early January;
- Following 1st round interviews, the Search Committee will select applicants for a 2nd round in-person interview. Applicants interviewed will be asked to submit a short writing sample to the Search Committee prior to the 2nd round interview;
- Finalists will be invited to a final round meet and greet with Council members and community partners;
- We would like to have the selected candidate start prior to March 1, 2018.
We strongly encourage and prefer online applications.
We also accept applications by mail or fax. Send to:
Attn: Employment Manager
89 South Street Suite 700
Boston, MA 02111
Or fax to: 617.896.9393.
As an EOE/AA employer, TSNE MissionWorks/The Rhode Island Food Policy Council will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, veteran, or disability status.