Lead development of the regenerative food systems platform for the world’s most prestigious environmental organization

The world’s most prestigious environmental organization has retained Kincannon & Reed to recruit the Global Director, Regenerative Food Systems Program for their worldwide organization. We seek a highly accomplished leader who will champion the organization’s efforts to help the food sector move beyond an eco-efficiency approach to embrace large-scale regeneration and restorations of the lands, waters, and oceans that supply our food and water needs.

The Organization
Founded in 1951, they are a global conservation organization working in 73 countries dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, they create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. This organization is tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters, and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably, and helping to make cities more sustainable.

They have a pragmatic evidence-based approach to crafting lasting solutions by collaborating at all levels: with practitioners, communities, local and national leaders, business executives, and international change agents. Over the last decade, the organization has tested numerous local approaches to regenerative practices with promising results in the US, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Kenya, and Peru. They now aim to catalyze a new movement to regenerative practices in the worlds’ most important “foodscapes”, distinct geographic areas where healthy land, freshwater, and ocean ecosystems coincide with critical food production systems – farms, grazing lands, aquaculture, and fisheries zones. Given its commitment to the development of “foodscapes”, the organization is projected to deploy in excess of $500.0M in sourcing over the next decade and is adding a Global Director, Regenerative Food Systems Program to its organization to lead this critical initiative.

The Position
The Global Director, Regenerative Food Systems Program oversees all aspects of the organization’s program to transform food and fiber production systems in a way that enhances biodiversity and the environment, stores carbon and improves livelihoods. The program includes global partnerships, strategic communications, spatial action planning, and investment models, and cross-boundary, complex food system projects in Latin America, North America, India, and Africa.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Establish the organization as a major conservation partner in the realm of food systems and environmental conservation and define conservation priorities and strategy at the global level
  • Design, implement and direct complex and diverse projects, encompassing multiple programs and coordinating the work of other professionals, inside and outside the organization
  • Serve as the official contact to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations, and the academic community on the topic of regenerative food systems and environmental food systems
  • Identify, cultivate, and steward donors: individuals, foundations, corporate and public funders and manage major public agency and elected official relationships
  • Support the organizations regional and local teams to engage local community and key influential partners for local, division, and global conservation efforts
  • Negotiate with government agencies, major institutions, farmers, and landowners to conserve and protect natural communities and develop and implement cutting edge conservation strategies in high profile geographies
  • Build the strategic case to prioritize foodscapes that can improve conservation to accelerate leadership toward regenerative practices as leading solutions to habitat loss and climate change

The Global Director, Regenerative Food Systems Program will report to the Global Managing Director – Provide Food & Water Sustainability located in the United States. The position location is preferred in Europe, but flexible locations will be considered. Travel is anticipated to be up to 30%.

Candidate Profile
The Organization seeks an accomplished senior executive who can act as a catalyst to bring together science, market innovations, the leadership of local producers, and global coalition-building to deliver regenerative food product practices to the places that matter most for protecting healthy ecosystems and tackling climate change. They will serve as a figurehead for the organization and be instrumental in testing the concept and inform the launch of subsequent “foodscapes” around the world.

Experience/Education

  • At least 12 years’ senior executive experience in sustainability or conservation roles in agriculture, agribusiness, Consumer Packaged Goods, or related supply chain
  • Experience designing, implementing, and directing complex or multiple projects of strategic importance in food systems, including managing finances, supervising multidisciplinary professionals, and coordinating the work of partners while meeting deadlines
  • Successful track record of identifying, inspiring, and motivating donors including but not limited to high net worth individuals, foundations, and corporate funders
  • A strong network of contacts across a wide range of constituencies: government agencies, conservation organizations, foundations, and the academic community
  • Bachelor’s Degree – Masters preferred

Skills/Personal Characteristics

  • Strategic entrepreneur who feels comfortable in uncharted territories committed to sustainability and conservation, who can set long term goals while focusing on short term initiatives
  • Relationship builder who demonstrates an ability to command respect, advise, listen, and respond to a wide variety of multi-lingual and multi-cultural constituencies
  • Excellent communication and program management skills with the ability to focus strategically while paying attention to detail and accuracy
  • Collaborative, flexible, and team-oriented as well as driven, methodical, rigorous, and analytical

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