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Program Officer - Sustainable & Equitable Foods  

About the Organization Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.
********************Winrock International Welcomes Applicants from all geographic regions of the world. If you do not have a five digit zip code in your region, please populate the zip code prompt with 11111 to proceed.  
Category U.S. Based  



POSITION TITLE:                Program Officer – Sustainable & Equitable Food Systems

LOCATION:                          Arlington, VA or Little Rock, AR

UNIT:                                     Wallace Center

GROUP:                                Enterprise & Agriculture Group

REPORTS TO:                      Director, Wallace Center



The Wallace Center at Winrock International is a national leader in sustainable and equitable food systems development that supports entrepreneurs and communities as they build a new, 21st century food system that is healthier for people, the environment, and the economy. To achieve this vision, the Center builds and strengthens linkages in the emerging chain of businesses and civic efforts focused on making good food—healthy, green, fair, and affordable food—an everyday reality in every community.  We use a variety of strategies including capacity building and technical assistance, applied research and knowledge development, identification and development of models, networking and directed outreach.

The Wallace Center is part of Winrock’s Agriculture and Enterprise group with a primarily emphasis in the United States.  As part of the Wallace team, the Program Officer will focus on implementing and expanding the Center’s work and impact in food and health, equity, and food access while contributing to other projects and fund development as appropriate.  The Wallace Center at Winrock International offers a dynamic and creative working environment and an opportunity to create significant impact in vulnerable communities across the nation.


Position Summary:


The Program Officer will provide leadership within the Wallace Center for programs, fund development, and staff development in the area of food and health, equity, and food access.  Main responsibilities include designing and managing projects and initiatives that use market based strategies when appropriate, offer technical assistance and training programs for organizations that work with vulnerable communities, small grant-making to support innovative activities, increasing linkages between farms and businesses within the local food value chain and vulnerable communities, and engaging and informing public agencies, policy makers and the food systems funding community.  Additionally, the Program Officer will manage staff and take steps to mentor and build their capacity, direct program/project planning, engage potential funders and lead teams in preparing funding proposals.   




  • Develop, manage and implement programs that serve a variety of regional food system stakeholders with an emphasis on, but not limited to those who work with underserved communities. 
  • Provide learning opportunities using a combination of training mediums and modules including, but not limited to: one-on-one technical assistance and coaching, workshops, site visits, webinars, print and electronic publications. 
  • Apply effective project management practices to projects within your focus area following Winrock standards, adapted to handle specific project needs and conditions, yet ensuring effective internal controls.

  • Work with the Center’s director and other Wallace staff to develop innovative strategies to leverage Wallace’s prior work in developing market-based solutions to impact vulnerable communities.  
  • Assume a key role in developing new partnerships, collaborations and identifying and seeking new funding support for the Center’s programs.
  • Coordinate activities of internal staff and manage external contractors and consultants.
  • Assist with communicating initiative activities to internal and external audiences.
  • Represent Wallace and Winrock at conferences and seminars across the country.




Education:         Minimum MS/MBA/MA in community development, environmental science or studies or policy, rural development, agriculture, economics, political science, business or related fields.


Experience:        At least five years of related experience including:

  • Substantial project management including project design, budgeting, planning, implementation, program evaluation and close out.
  • Working within socially and economically vulnerable communities in rural and urban contexts
  • Managing-creating relationships with a diversity of individuals, organizations, and institutions
  • Knowledge of healthy and local food systems and social enterprise especially as it applies to underserved and vulnerable communities.
  • An understanding of business and enterprise development and the range of skills and capacities one needs to be successful in food and agricultural business  
  • Understanding of key issues in facilitating local and healthy food supply/value chains
  • Identifying, developing funding opportunities and writing funding requests
  • Participation with informing the policy process and partnering with government programs
  • Working in and leading teams to foster positive social, environmental or economic outcomes



  • Strategic thinking & creative problem solving qualities
  • Sensitivity and respect for the needs of an ethnically and economically diverse partner and client base
  • Demonstrated skills in project management and budgeting
  • Grant writing and proposal coordination abilities
  • Work effectively in teams and inspire effective teamwork with project partners
  • Excellent research and assessment abilities
  • Excellent organizational and information management, with an attention to detail and accuracy
  • Self-starter and self-directed within teams or independently
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient in institutionally supported software (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint)


Other:                   Ability to travel domestically on a regular basis

EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, caste, tribe, age (40 or older), disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Winrock International recommends that you read the following notices provided by the United States Government before applying:

Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law
Equal Employment Opportunity is the Law - Supplement
Your Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act
Your Rights Under the Polygraph Protection Act
Your Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
Pay Transparency  

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