Agriculture Program Director

The mission of the Izaak Walton League of America (the League), founded in 1922, is to conserve, restore and promote the sustain use and enjoyment of our natural resources, including soil, air, woods, waters and wildlife. Our members and staff combine hands-on conservation action, policy work with legislatures and resource agencies, and public education to pursue our conservation goals at the local, state and national levels. As a strong responsible voice representing outdoor recreationists, we occupy a special niche in the conservation community.

The Program Director is responsible for strategic leadership and day-to-day management of the Agriculture Program. This includes direction and oversight of the League’s agriculture policy and grassroots advocacy initiatives at the state, regional, and national levels; supervision of program staff; and fundraising. As the League’s leader on agriculture issues, the Director advocates for policies that conserve wetlands and other natural resources and promote sustainable agriculture. This position is also focused on broadening and diversifying the community of grassroots advocates that will support the League’s policy priorities. This position is based in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


  • In collaboration with the Conservation Director, develop and implement the strategic agenda for the Agriculture Program to advance public policies at the federal and state levels supporting natural resource conservation, sustainable agriculture, and other League agriculture priorities.
  • In collaboration with field staff, lead the development of state-based and regional grassroots campaigns designed to broaden and diversify audiences that will advocate for the League’s agriculture policy priorities, and supervise field staff in execution of those campaigns.
  • Serve as the lead staff person on federal agriculture policy with a specific focus on policies and programs governed by the Farm Bill.
  • Develop and implement advocacy campaigns to advance League policy priorities.
  • Conduct fundraising with foundations, corporations and major donors to secure ongoing financial support for the Agriculture Program; work with Director of Development to identify new funders; cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with foundations and other funders; and prepare grant proposals and reports.
  • Represent the League on agriculture issues before the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, state and federal agencies, and the media.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with representatives from all branches of the federal government as relevant to agriculture policy.
  • Represent the League on agriculture policy coalitions and alliances.
  • Develop agriculture-related content for League publications, social media, and Web site.
  • Prepare comments, statements, testimony, and reports on agriculture policies, legislation, and agency proposals.
  • Supervise staff, including field staff, and consultants.
  • Develop and administer annual program budget.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably related to conservation, agriculture, environmental science, or public policy.
  • Five to eight years of experience advocating for agriculture policies before Congress and state and federal agencies.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of agriculture issues and policies, especially relating to the federal Farm Bill, and federal agencies with responsibility for implementing agriculture policies and programs.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing grassroots outreach, education, and mobilization strategies.
  • Experience managing staff and preparing and implementing annual budgets.
  • Successful track record in nonprofit fundraising.
  • Ability to establish priorities, think strategically, and independently manage multiple tasks.
  • Ability to work as a team leader with a diverse array of colleagues and League staff, volunteer leaders, and members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate about complex issues in language that is understandable to and compelling for a general audience.
  • Ability and willingness to travel, including for multiple days and overnight.

Compensation for the Agriculture Program Director is on a competitive non-profit scale and will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. The position also includes a package of employee and health benefits.

Email cover letter, resume, writing sample, and salary history to the attention of the Executive Director: Please submit all materials no later than January 25, 2017. No phone calls please.

The Izaak Walton League of America is an Equal Opportunity Employer