The Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation/AgForestry Leadership Development Program Seeks an Executive Director


The Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation (“Foundation” or “AgForestry Leadership Program”) provides the premier leadership development program in Washington State. The AgForestry Leadership Program offers hands-on learning experiences for adult professionals working in agriculture, forestry, and other natural resource-based businesses to cultivate leaders who communicate, collaborate, inspire, and serve. Class participants engage and learn during a variety of seminars and in-state, national and international place-based learning opportunities with topics related to communications, social services, government, industry, crime and corrections, and transportation.

Each year, the AgForestry Leadership Program features more than 250 expert speakers and has a vast network of industry partners which has served over a thousand program participants, many of whom serve in leadership positions throughout Washington state, the United States, and the world.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director provides overall leadership for the daily operations of the Foundation including budgeting; financial management and reporting; coaching, mentoring, and developing staff; and human resources. The Executive Director also plays a critically important external leadership role with ultimate responsibility for effective governance, donor growth, Board relations and development, resource development, and advocacy on behalf of the organization.


1. Administration (Operations)

The Executive Director has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Foundation working with staff to develop, maintain, and use systems and resources that facilitate the effective operation of the Foundation to deliver the AgForestry Leadership Program consistently with the objectives of the strategic plan.

  • Leads a team of highly qualified staff, and volunteers in delivery of mission-driven program excellence and creative collaborations.
  • Guides program development and delivery.
  • Works closely with the board of directors and committees, providing context and information, and participating in agenda development and board meetings.
  • Ensures that the Foundation is adhering to federal and state laws, and non-profit best practices in systems, processes, and communications.

2. Planning

Preparing for the future is one of the most critical leadership responsibilities of the Executive Director. Working with the board, the Executive Director must develop a shared vision for the future of the Foundation, build understanding around the mission, and develop appropriate goals and strategies to advance that mission.

  • Facilitates collaboration with stakeholders.
  • Supports, guides, and advances the mission through strategic planning and program development.
  • Ensures that justice, diversity, and inclusion goals are reflected throughout the Foundation and its work.

3. Fundraising (Development)

The Executive Director, in partnership with the board and appropriate staff, is responsible for developing and implementing fundraising systems and strategies that enable the Foundation to meet its financial development goals and carry out its programs and operations.

  • Leads organizational fundraising efforts. With the board and staff, sets annual goals and creates work plans to ensure reliable financial support of the mission.
  • Builds and maintains strong donor relationships through best-practice methods of cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Continues and deepens the support of long-time grant funders and seeks out, writes, and administers public and private grants to ensure financial support of operational and strategic objectives.
  • Maintains working knowledge of significant developments and trends including funding opportunities, and relevant legislation.

4. Board Relations

The Executive Director and the board form the leadership team of the Foundation with each drawing upon its own unique strengths and abilities. The Executive Director and board have joint responsibility for developing and maintaining a strong working relationship and a system for sharing information that enables the board to effectively carry out its governance role.

  • Oversees execution of the Foundation’s policies, programs and initiatives towards meeting the goals and strategic direction.
  • Builds, sustains, and strengthens all board functions such as meetings, policy compliance and committee work. Builds alignment and role clarity.

5. Communications/Public Relations

The Executive Director serves as a primary spokesperson and public face for the Foundation by effectively promoting the Foundation, advocating for the mission and work of the Foundation and building relationships with constituent and stakeholder groups critical to success.

  • Oversees the development of timely and strategic communications that tell the story of the Foundation and the AgForestry Leadership Program and its impact throughout the state while ensuring consistency in tone, style, and message.
  • Delivers executive-level communications materials.
  • Manages the flow of communication between AgForestry and the public while building a positive image of the organization.
  • Identifies potential threats to the organization’s reputation and develops crisis management plans.
  • Expands and cultivates relationships with the media to ensure excellent promotion opportunities.
  • Ensure the Foundation maintains regular visibility utilizing relevant communication sources (electronic, social, etc.) to reach desired donors, alumni, and participant audiences.

6. Financial Management (Budget)

Ensures that resources are managed wisely, and that the Foundation’s strategic plan and goals serve as the basis for sound financial management, that solid budgeting and accounting systems are in place, and that appropriate financial controls and risk-management strategies protect the Foundation’s assets.

  • Performs financial management including development of the annual budget and fundraising plan for board approval and ongoing management.
  • Performs business management including oversight of day-to-day financial functions, legal agreements, insurance coverage, licensing, and the annual 990 tax return.
  • Develops, implements, and maintains best practice internal control, human resource, and board governance policies and ensures adherence to these.
  • Hires, manages, and retains enthusiastic and qualified staff. Maintains current job descriptions, competitive compensation packages, and performance evaluation processes.
  • Other duties as needed in the leadership of the organization.


  • Demonstrated ability to develop, manage, and communicate a $1+ million budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully fundraise.
  • Strong diplomatic skills, emphasizing ability to advocate and negotiate.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staff, and effectively prioritize and delegate.
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills; ability to troubleshoot.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and communicate effectively to confirm mutual understanding and alignment, when appropriate.
  • Demonstrated ability to hold self and others accountable in decisions and daily work to ensure efforts are intentional, mutually understood and fully supportive of the AgForestry mission and values.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent organizational, time management and prioritization skills; demonstrated ability to develop and maintain standard, efficient work processes.
  • Enthusiastic and inspiring attitude; dedicated to the personal growth of others.
  • Open minded and inclusive mindset; seeks to understand different perspectives, cultures, experiences, and backgrounds.
  • Highly motivated and curious; thrives in a highly collaborative environment; ability to help turn high level vision into detailed execution.
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills; ability to effectively present information.
  • Strong self-awareness; demonstrated commitment to learning and improvement.
  • Professional and positive demeanor; remains cool under pressure.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the AgForestry Leadership Program’s mission and vision.
  • Willingness and ability to travel in WA state, nationally, and internationally, as needed, in fulfillment of job responsibilities.


  • Proficiency in MS Office 365 and Adobe is required.
  • Proficiency in video conferencing using Zoom, Teams and similar platforms is required.


  • At least 5 years of experience in leadership roles within non-profit organizations.
  • Executive Director non-profit experience preferred.
  • Experience in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and/or natural resources preferred.
  • Familiarity with government affairs and the Washington legislative process preferred.
  • English/Spanish bilingualism preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree and an advanced degree such as an MPA, MBA, Master’s in Non-Profit Leadership, Public Policy, or a JD is preferred. Previous lived experience and work experience which demonstrates how a candidate will be successful in this role may be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • A reliable vehicle, valid driver’s license and proof of insurance is required.
  • Current passport is required upon employment.


This job requires the routine use of standard office equipment such as computers, phones, copy machines, AV equipment, and filing cabinets. The ability to lift up to 50 lbs., sit, stand, and walk for extended periods and work both indoors (office/classroom environment) and outdoors in inclement weather and across uneven terrain (field conditions) is required, with or without accommodation. This job requires the ability to frequently communicate and exchange accurate information. Visual, verbal and audio acuity are required with or without accommodation. This is a state-wide position requiring travel by car, plane, van or bus, and remote work including frequent on-line collaboration and meetings. It is anticipated that to be effective, the executive director will be on the road up to 50% of the time meeting with donors and alumni and representing the Foundation at various activities statewide. Some overnight travel will be required monthly. Travel expenses are reimbursed for travel related to job responsibilities.

Hours and Status:

Full-time; overtime exempt

Starting Salary: $100,000-$150,000/year DOE


  • SIMPLE IRA employer contribution of 2%
  • Nine (9) paid holidays
  • PTO (paid time off including vacation and sick leave) accrual starting at 15 days/year
  • $300/month health insurance monthly stipend
  • Remote work (when not traveling) is possible with the expectation for in-office work as needed for successful performance of duties and responsibilities.

The Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity and encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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