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Job Detail: Executive Director


This newly merged organization unites two nonprofits that have been leaders and innovators of New Haven’s urban environmental movement. The New Haven Land Trust (NHLT), Connecticut’s first urban land trust, has served the community for nearly 40 years by acquiring and stewarding over 80 acres of nature preserves city-wide and by supporting 55 community gardens throughout New Haven’s diverse neighborhoods. NHLT has grown significantly over the last five years to include programs for young environmental entrepreneurs and a marine and coastal exploration summer camp on Long Island Sound. New Haven Farms (NHF) burst onto the scene seven years ago with its innovative Farm-Based Wellness Program that partners with medical centers to engage people with diet-related chronic disease risk factors in planting, growing and harvesting at their seven farms across New Haven.

These two organizations have been working closely together over a number of years and co-located their offices in 2018. A merger was discussed for the last several years and the two organizations decided to formally initiate the process with the legal combination scheduled for January 1, 2020. In the midst of this, New Haven Land Trust’s executive director, who had significantly grown the organization over the last six years, announced that he would step down from his post to pursue other interests. The Land Trust’s board engaged an interim executive director to lead the organization until the merger was completed and a new executive hired. The merger process has been smooth and supported by all, including staff and board members, program participants, and community stakeholders.

Position Responsibilities: 

  •  Strategic Opportunities and Challenges
    • New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms faces an exciting challenge as it establishes itself as a new integrated organization. The executive director will have a unique opportunity to leverage the combined strengths of two organizations: a dedicated and competent staff team that has already begun to collaborate; innovative programs that, with further integration, promise to increase impact and reach; and a positive reputation and standing in the community. This positions the organization to cultivate a distinctive array of urban nature programming that integrates related components of health, food access, and environmental sustainability while building a culture and operation that embodies its commitment to racial equity and community ownership. The community connections that each organization brings to the table will increase its reach and enhance fundraising efforts, and the broader, integrated mission is likely to attract larger grants as well as a diverse range of individual donors. Together these strengths create opportunities for growth, expansion, and new innovative directions.
  •  Additional top priorities for the new executive
    • Maintaining a collaborative work environment that has a strong team culture of collaboration and mutual support and respect;
    • Working with staff to develop and implement new systems, work procedures, and infrastructure that support an array of integrated programs;
    • Managing effectively and efficiently the daily operations;
    • Supporting/facilitating the development of the newly merged board of directors;
    • Maintaining a strong public presence within the city to advance the organization’s mission and positive profile. 

Position Qualifications: 

  •   Minimum Credentials
    • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, as well as at least five years of experience in a leadership role in a similar size organization in a field related to this organization’s mission. 
  •  Qualities    -
    • The ideal candidate will have demonstrated passion for urban nature, including urban agriculture, community development, public health, food access, and environmental education and stewardship, and will be able to translate that passion into a persuasive and compelling story.  She/he/they will be able to ignite passion in others.
    • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and shifting power
      • The ideal candidate will have worked and/or lived experience in communities of color and low-income communities. He/she/they will understand the role that systemic racism plays in our country and have the experience and knowledge necessary to transform a white-led organization into doing racial equity work and ensuring that every sphere of the organization reflects this commitment.
    • Demonstrated respect for and awareness of different cultures
      • As the organization works primarily in multicultural communities, the ideal candidate will either possess lived experience or have the learned knowledge and skills necessary to respectfully and genuinely engage with individuals of all experiences and backgrounds. An individual who is multi-lingual, especially in Spanish, and/or multicultural will be strongly preferred.
    • Demonstrated core values of integrity and honesty
      • The ideal candidate will be open-minded, approachable, and fair, with an intuitive understanding of when to give credit to others while exercising effective leadership.
    • Strong emotional intelligence and relational skills
      • The ideal candidate will have keen listening skills, empathy, compassion, self-awareness, and a sense of humility. He/she/they will be warm, approachable, genuine, and able to build relationships with people of different races, cultures, styles, and professional level
      •  Skills and Experience
      • Experienced nonprofit manage
      • The ideal candidate has significant professional experience in supervision and management of staff, in administering a multi-source budget, and in efficiently and strategically aligning and maximizing resources
      • Respectful, inclusive and collaborative leader
      • The ideal candidate is able to inspire and develop staff and will create a climate of trust, respect and a collaborative team culture that welcomes and values inclusion and diversity. She/he/they will foster leadership among staff and program/community members and create space and pathways for them to step into ever-greater leadership roles.
    • A strategic thinker, thoughtful visionary, and community collaborator
          The ideal candidate is skilled at working collaboratively in setting and communicating strategic direction and can hold a vision while being able to identify and respond sensitively and creatively to growth opportunities and community circumstances. She/he/they leverage opportunities and support for initiatives with an innovative and cooperative approach to solving problems and overcoming challenges.
    • Demonstrated success in diversifying and expanding revenue streams
          The ideal candidate will have demonstrated success in fund development and earned income streams/social enterprise and will have the ability to lead the board and staff in executing a comprehensive fundraising plan and strategic revenue model.     
    • Exceptional communication skills
          The ideal candidate will be able to passionately articulate the organization’s mission and deliver compelling presentations to public, private, and diverse audiences.
    • Experience working with boards of directors
          The ideal candidate will be skilled in working effectively in partnership with boards of directors to carry out the mission of the organization, set strategic direction, and build a board that reflects the community that the organization works in, as well as an organizational culture of diversity, equity, inclusiveness, and belonging.     
    • Experience working with local and grass-roots communities
          Knowledge of and experience in the New Haven community is preferred; or demonstrated ability to gain understanding and engage local communities in meaningful ways.

Salary, Benefits, and How to Apply: 

Electronic submissions are preferred.

    Please include a resume and a cover letter that includes a description of how your qualifications and experience match New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms’ needs. All submissions will be acknowledged. All inquiries and submissions are strictly confidential.  Submissions of candidacy will be accepted until the position is filled. In-person interviews are expected to begin in early December. Some interviews are expected to be held in a bi-lingual setting; a translator will be provided if needed. 

    Selected candidate will undergo thorough reference checks as well as a criminal history background check. The results of this background check will not automatically eliminate a candidate from consideration. Due to the need to work with children and other vulnerable populations, a criminal history background check will be conducted on the final candidate prior to beginning employment, and opportunity will be given during the process for candidates to address their record should they wish to.

    Salary is commensurate with experience, within the framework of the organization’s annual operating budget. Total compensation includes a competitive benefits package with health insurance and a generous paid time off program.

    New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms is an equal opportunity employer and complies with applicable state and federal fair employment practices laws.  New Haven Land Trust-New Haven Farms does not discriminate against employees or applicants because of race, ethnicity, skin color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability (including present or past mental, learning, or physical disability), sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, genetic information, medical condition or illness, marital status, veteran status, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.


About the job

Location New Haven, Connecticut
Field Administrative
Time Full-time
Date 17 November 2019

About the company

Company name New Haven Farms
Logo logo


Form Company
Employees 0-10


Phone (203) 997-6152


Street 5 James Street
City New Haven
District Connecticut
Zip (203) 997-6152
Country United States