Employment Opportunity: Executive Director of the Biodynamic Demeter Alliance
The Biodynamic Demeter Alliance is excited to open its search for a first-ever Executive Director. This new organization is focused on shaping agriculture and food systems of the future through the biodynamic impulse.
Our Alliance is composed of the Biodynamic Association, formed in 1938 to foster the principles and practices of Biodynamic agriculture in the US, and Demeter USA, initiated in 1985 as the certifying body for biodynamics, as well as a community of those interested in making biodynamics central to the agriculture systems of the future. These initiatives have come together on the premise that all three aspects of biodynamics: Rights, Economy, and Culture, can do more if housed in a single unified organization dedicated to growing the field. Furthermore, forming an alliance between the two strongest and most visible organizations within the movement — the Biodynamic Association and Demeter USA — stands to offer a cohesive, networked association that can facilitate the practical growth and maturation needed to implement systemic change in the US food system and marketplace at large.
Through collaboration with mission-aligned organizations and individuals, the Biodynamic Demeter Alliance advances the knowledge and growth of biodynamic practices, principles, research, markets, and certification in support of healthier landscapes, farms, and people, and improved economic, spiritual, and social wellbeing. By incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion practices as keystones, the Alliance works alongside all farmers, food entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts that share the goal of growing resilient, equitable, inclusive, and just food economies and systems.
The three spheres that focus the work of the Biodynamic Demeter Alliance are outlined below and supported by a consolidated Operations team:
CERTIFICATION (Rights sphere): Focused on certification support and growth of US-grown certified products, reviewing and revising standards as needed, training inspectors and developing a comprehensive curriculum for certification.
MARKET DEVELOPMENT (Economy sphere): Focused on trade association development, shifting trade relations from competitive to cooperative, developing a diverse and fair biodynamic marketplace, creating shared information systems and coordinating logistics to bolster regional food systems as well as import/export distribution success.
MEMBER/FARMER/CONSUMER DEVELOPMENT (Cultural sphere): Focused on education through a matrix of regional hubs to promote the principles of biodynamics, land-based practices, certification schemes, research development, conferences, peer-reviewed administration, and advocacy.
The two organizations have been in a unification and expansion process since the fall of 2019. As this process nears its conclusion, we seek an Executive Director who can steward the biodynamic movement, in part by helping to bring together the existing spheres of work and helping to co-create the forthcoming marketplace/economy sphere, together with the staff.
We are seeking someone versed in organic, biodynamic, and regenerative agriculture structures; familiar with food systems development, social movement work, and certification schemes; and adept with collaborative working models to join our geographically-distributed staff team in a full-time, exempt position. Most importantly, this individual is personally dedicated to continued learning, self reflection, and active leadership on the issues of systemic racism, bias, and equity; is forward-thinking; has led new initiatives; has worked with diverse stakeholders; recognizes financial strength in multiple revenue streams; and can lead into the future.
Employed by the Board of Directors, the purpose of the Executive Director is to embody and carry out the organization's mission.
Accountabilities for a strong, collaborative and inclusive leader:
- Serving and driving the new entity through collaboration, and unifying operational practices
- Serving as the public face for the organization to promote the organization and the biodynamic movement, nationally and in coordination with the international movement and representative bodies
- Establishing and implementing the overall organizational management approach and structure in partnership with the Board and staff
- Embodying social justice through engagement and actions both inside and outside the organization
- Inspiring, mobilizing, and aligning Board, staff, and external stakeholders toward future vision, mission, and values for the new entity
- Driving the continued development and implementation of the unification plan
- Collaborating with Fundraising staff to generate abundant financial resources for the organization, including a capital raise and beginnings of an endowment fund
- Working with legal resource(s) and the current Board to ensure sound legal and governance structure is in place
- Establishing and implementing organizational strategy, and guiding program development in concert with Board and staff
- Collaborating with Board and the staff People Circle to establish and maintain healthy and legally sound people policies, and to identify and recruit people into the organization for capacities needed to grow and manage the organization
- Collaborating with financial management staff and Board to establish and maintain healthy and legally sound financial policies and procedures
- Strategically collaborating with external partners as needed to build and nurture relationships and further the movement
- Participating in the development of both an internal and an external brand strategy
- Serving on the Executive and Finance Committees of the Board
- Personal dedication to continued learning, self reflection, and active leadership on the issues of systemic racism, bias, and equity
- Strong experience related to strategic design and implementation
- High level experience with financial management and oversight, policy and procedure, and procurement of funds
- Demonstrable experience and excitement with facilitating the blending of systems, teams, tools, and workflows
- Experience working with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the food system, and enthusiasm for food system development
- Commitment to biodynamic, Indigenous, organic and regenerative agricultures and land practices
- Collaborative management experience and passion, and/or ability to direct in a relational way
- Understanding of Certification Schemes
- Openness to discussing and exploring the spiritual dimensions of biodynamic agriculture
- Understanding of anthroposophy and/or the works of Rudolf Steiner
- Ability to communicate large picture thinking in a public arena
- A high degree of organization and attention to detail
- Tech savvy and proficiency with MS Office suite, Google Suite, and CRM systems, as well as ability to learn multiple online platforms
- Motivation and responsibility for completing projects independently
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills
- Ability to proactively communicate and ask questions
- Good time management and capacity to prioritize competing tasks
- Willingness to give, receive, and act on honest feedback
- Warmth, kindness, and a sense of humor and fun
- Flexibility and nimbleness in transparent shifting structures
Location and Time Commitment
The Biodynamic Demeter Alliance is a geographically-distributed organization serving constituents across the United States and the world. We strive to create a dynamic, supportive, and flexible organization that allows each employee to realize their creative and fullest potential in their work.
All of our staff currently work primarily from home. We have an administrative office in East Troy, Wisconsin. Staff are in daily communication through online project management software, email, phone, and video meetings.
Currently, employees are responsible for setting their own work schedules in coordination with other roles they collaborate with, and communicating their schedules clearly and proactively to the rest of the team. Availability during standard business hours is essential for connecting with colleagues in this role. Due to our spread across time zones, most staff meetings take place between 9am-2pm PT/12pm-5pm ET.
Pay and Benefits
We offer a fair package of pay and benefits that is integrated into a pay equity and living wage framework.
Application Process and Timeline
The Biodynamic Demeter Alliance is an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. People of color, people of all ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations, people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
To apply, please send an email to email@example.com with the following format (applications not sent in this format will not be considered):
Email subject line: Executive Director: [Your full name], [City, State]
Within the body of your email, include a brief personal statement addressing:
- Why you are interested in working with the Biodynamic Demeter Alliance
- How your skills, interests, work history, and lived experience intersect with the responsibilities and qualifications of this role
- Your time availability including any fixed constraints on your work schedule, and when you would be available to begin work
- Your desired work location
- Anything else you want us to know about you
Attach your current resume as a PDF with the file name: [Your Full Name] Resume
Applications will be reviewed and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis beginning approximately Monday, October 18. The start date is flexible based on the needs of both the candidate and the Biodynamic Demeter Alliance.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. No phone calls, please.