UC ANR Seeks Regional Director

Posted on February 1, 2023
UC ANR Seeks Regional Director
Position Title:
Regional Director 
Position Summary
The University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), is seeking a Regional Director for the Local Farm and Food Innovation (LFFI) Initiative. UC ANR operates a statewide network of researchers, educators and support staff dedicated to the development and application of knowledge to address local agricultural, environmental and community health issues.
The LFFI Project focuses on technological innovation, small-scale food and farming business development, and local marketing as drivers of regional economic growth in the San Joaquin Valley, with a focus on equity and inclusion for underserved communities. By providing capacity-building, access to markets, and technological and product innovations, as well as access to capital, LFFI seeks to (1) stimulate small business job growth and economic mobility, (2) include small-to-large scale producers in technology development that improves their profitability and sustainability, (3) accelerate net-new exports of crops, food, and technology, and (4) create a vibrant local food economy that creates profitable new local markets for small-scale producers, with increased community vitality and public health outcomes.
Location Headquarters: Fresno, Fresno County, CA
The Regional Director is the executive leader of the $20 million Fresno-Merced Future of Food (F3) Local Farm and Food Innovation (LFFI) initiative. The Regional Director will oversee strategic planning and coordination of operations of LFFI, which includes a range of food and agriculture innovation and economic development activities performed by both UC ANR employees and non-profit partners across a five-county region. The Regional Director will oversee the performance of the initiative to help ensure its success, in partnership with the initiative leadership team, steering committee, external stakeholders, and funding agencies. The Regional Director’s role is critical to this initiative and will create a meaningful impact on the region’s food system and economic growth.
Collaboration Management:
● Coordinate the development and operation of the LFFI strategic plan with the leadership team, steering committee, and relevant external stakeholders, in accordance with the agreed-upon scope of work with initiative sponsor the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
● Provide leadership, oversight and support for all LFFI implementation activities to ensure the program objectives are achieved by the LFFI team of UC ANR employees and delivery partners.
● Directly supervise staff associated with the initiative and collaborate with partner staff to implement all initiative activities.
● Coordinate recruitment of new positions funded under the LFFI Project
● Communicate frequently with partner organizations to ensure initiative coordination and completion of deliverables
● Perform reporting of initiative progress, impacts and outcomes per funding agency requirements.
● Represent the LFFI Project in planning discussions with F3 partners and initiatives
● Coordinate with the F3 evaluation team for broader coalition-level evaluation.
● Provide vision to inspire and motivate the LFFI team to deliver a successful program, and grow the LFFI initiative to lead it toward operational and financial sustainability. Leverage the wider body of UC ANR’s food and agricultural work across the State (e.g., small farms, organic agriculture, technology development and commercialization etc.) to support regional economic development efforts and to address economic, environmental, and social issues.
● Create and reinforce networks and connections with a wide range of external stakeholders, UC ANR, and other UC colleagues for long-term support and impact.
● Represent the LFFI on behalf of UC ANR to develop and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders, clientele, and supporters (farmers and ranchers of all scales, economic developers, entrepreneurs, innovators, industry partners, donors, policy makers, elected officials, agencies, other representatives of higher educational institutions, NGOs, etc).
● Support and build an effective team. Build and lead an effective team. Oversee human resources and support professional development for all staff. Work with ANR staff and the LFFI steering committee to establish the contracts and oversee the work of all sub-awardees and contractors. Build and maintain working relationships with external stakeholders.
● Budget and funding. The Director will effectively oversee management of resources of the LFFI initiative and will develop and build a sustainability plan to support program continuity.
● Reporting. Draft and finalize record keeping procedures and reporting tools for sub awardees. Establish reporting timeline. Collate information needed in required reports. Share draft reports with the initiative leadership team, steering committee, and others as defined by the initiative leadership team. Incorporate comments to synthesize the final report.
● Human resources. Oversee recruitment and hiring of new employees, including development of position descriptions, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. Supervise the Program Manager. Assist in conflict resolution, morale building, and coordination to support initiative activities.
● Policy compliance. Understand and uniformly apply UC, governmental and other external policies
provide useful and timely feedback to staff, sub-awardees, contractors and funding agencies
take timely disciplinary action within UC, state and federal procedures if necessary
and work with the LFFI team in advance of deadlines for required records and reports.
Counties of Responsibility: This position is focused on a five-county region including Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced, and Tulare counties. The position will be headquartered in Fresno County at the UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Fresno, California, with frequent travel to the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE) in Parlier, California. The position will frequently travel to other project locations across the region.
Reporting Relationship: The Regional Director will report to the LFFI Steering Committee, the governance body that oversees the entire LFFI initiative. The Regional Director will be administratively supervised by the UCCE Fresno County Director.
Required Qualifications
Education: A minimum of a Master's degree is required at the time of appointment. A wide range of relevant disciplines will be considered
degrees in food or agricultural science, business or nonprofit administration, public health, community development, economics, marketing, or technology are preferred.
Additional Requirements
● Success in building and supporting diverse teams with internal and external stakeholders in an inclusive environment.
● Experience in successful economic development, community development, Extension programming or innovation and entrepreneurship, with a preference for food and agricultural systems programs or initiatives.
● Evidence of ability to facilitate strategic plans with a complex matrixed team of staff, partners, and external stakeholders. Ability to set clear goals for themselves and team members.
● Demonstrated ability to effectively plan, manage teams and administer research and outreach initiatives.
● Demonstrated track record of fundraising (through grants, contracts, initiative and/or development opportunities) and financial management of budgets consistent with this initiative.
● Demonstrated commitment to listening to, prioritizing, and serving the needs of diverse clientele and stakeholders, including socially disadvantaged and often underserved communities as well as farmers, ranchers, food producers, vendors and entrepreneurs, and food systems leaders who are working at the forefront of sustainability innovation.
Skills Required
To be successful Academic Coordinators require skills in the following:
Technical Competence and Impact
The candidate should understand and have experience with regional and economic development, business or program administration, and the food system in California’s San Joaquin Valley. These competencies will aid the candidate in the development, management, operation, evaluation, and sustainability of the LFFI initiative to transform the food system in the five-county region and beyond.
Demonstrated excellence in written, oral, interpersonal, and virtual communication skills. Public speaking to stakeholders is a routine part of this position. Communication to stakeholders of diverse backgrounds and forums from community forums to executive meetings is expected. The candidate should be well versed with technological communications and common software tools.
Collaboration, Teamwork and Flexibility
Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as a leader and team member with others in a matrixed leadership model. Ability to work under the direction of a steering committee, and to work with a broad set of external stakeholders. Ability to adapt as circumstances warrant. Embrace and promote diversity, equity and inclusion.
Lifelong Learning
Demonstrated commitment to ongoing professional improvement. Ability to shift program focus as times and organizational needs change.
Learn more about Skills and Areas of Programmatic Review (including Professional Competence, University and Public Service and Affirmative Action and DEI) at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/files/355229.pdf
Desired Experience
● Experience in regional, economic development, or large food system programs
● Strong leadership and management skills
● Deep understanding of the region’s food system and economy
● Strong communication and interpersonal skills
● Financial management skills with budgets over $5 million
● Experience working with board of directors
● Experience leading matrixed teams
● Leadership promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
About UC ANR
The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) consists of a network of scientists and educators working in partnership across California. We are committed to developing and supporting practical, science-based solutions that contribute to healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities, and healthy Californians. UC ANR administers UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), which is responsible for program development and delivery in the counties throughout the state of California. Research, outreach and education from locally based CE offices serves all 58 counties from 70+ locations throughout the state. By working and living among those we serve, UC ANR expands the University of California’s reach to engage all people and communities in California, ensuring equal access to the UC System.
Learn more about
• UC ANR at https://UCANR.edu
• UC ANR in counties: https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucanr/County_Offices/
• F3 Local Farm and Food Innovation initiative overview: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HORZJnheJiSn8a9CXPSUUliE5D5RN4lf/view?usp=sharing
• Our Strategic Initiatives http://ucanr.edu/sites/StrategicInitiatives/
• Our Public Value statements at: https://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Divisionwide_Planning/UC_ANR_Public_Values/
• DEI: Further to the above, advisors are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion https://ucanr.edu/sites/Professional_Development/Office_-_Team_Management/Diversity_Equity_Inclusion_Belonging/
• Affirmative Action: Further to the above, advisors are expected to share and exhibit UC ANR’s commitment to affirmative action. Learn more of UC ANR Affirmative Action policy: http://ucanr.edu/sites/anrstaff/Diversity/Affirmative_Action/
• The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce and will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. We encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ+ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.
Salary & Benefits
Salary: The beginning salary will be in the Academic Coordinator III series and commensurate with applicable experience and professional qualifications. For information regarding the Academic Coordinator series salary scales, please refer to: https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/2022-23/july-2022-salary-scales/t36-iii.pdf
This position is a definite term appointment. The academic coordinator position is funded for four years and initially appointed as a 1-year renewable term appointment for 1 year and then renewed for 3 years for a total of 4 years.
Performance in this position is evaluated annually with merit actions being evaluated every three years. Upon completion of a successful review, you may be reappointed for another definite term. Our intention with this definite term appointment is to reappoint based on positive performance reviews, the continuing need for the position, and funding availability.
Internal UC ANR candidates are encouraged to apply. Current CE Advisors and CE Specialists may apply and hold their current position or move to AC III with an underlying 0% CE Advisor/CE Specialist title, assuming they have indefinite status.
Benefits: The University of California offers comprehensive benefits including health insurance, retirement plans, two days per month paid vacation, one day per month paid sick leave, and paid holidays. For more information, refer to the UC Benefits website at: http://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/
How to Apply
If interested in this position, please visit: https://recruit.ucanr.edu/ and choose “applicants” (refer to position #22-69)
Closing Date: To assure full consideration, application packets must be received by March 8, 2023 (open until filled).
Questions? Contact Tatiana Avoce
email: tavoce@ucanr.edu
Applicants may wish to explore the UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars web page at https://siss.ucdavis.edu/ as a resource.
University of California Cooperative Extension
 As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.
As of January 1, 2014, ANR is a smoke- and tobacco-free environment in which smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes), is strictly prohibited.