Now Hiring: Executive Director

To apply, visit and search for job ID #56009.

The First Review Date for this job is July 27, 2023. To ensure full consideration, please submit your application by the final deadline of August 10, 2023.

About Berkeley

At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.

The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.

We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.

At UC Berkeley, we believe that learning is a fundamental part of working, and our goal is for everyone on the Berkeley campus to feel supported and equipped to realize their full potential. We actively support this by providing all of our staff employees with at least 80 hours (10 days) of paid time per year to engage in professional development activities. To find out more about how you can grow your career at UC Berkeley, visit

Departmental Overview

The Berkeley Food Institute strives to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with the capacity to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.

BFI connects eight academic units: College of Natural Resources, Graduate School of Journalism, Goldman School of Public Policy, School of Public Health, College of Environmental Design, Haas School of Business, Berkeley Law, and the College of Letters and Sciences, Division of Social Sciences. These academic units on the campus have partnered to create an interdisciplinary institute serving both UC Berkeley students and the general public. We run programs in food systems education and public interest policy, and sponsor and perform rigorous scientific and community-based research. We partner with farms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, food and agriculture businesses, other universities and advocacy organizations to understand our changing food system and provide data and evidence-based storytelling in four mission areas: urban and rural agroecology, good food access, fair and healthy jobs, and racial equity in the food system.

In consultation with the Faculty Director(s) of the Berkeley Food Institute (BFI), the Executive Director (ED) is charged with the development, administration, and management of an inter-departmental research institute located on the UC Berkeley campus.

The Institute was established in 2013, with start-up funding from a small group of individual donors and foundations who are committed to the project long term. The Executive Director will continue to fundraise for and shape the direction of the Institute, in collaboration with a governing Executive Committee made up of Berkeley deans, students, and affiliated faculty, and an Advisory Council composed of outside experts and donors. BFI strives to create a culture of belonging—an environment with a welcoming and inspiring climate, with specific attention given to communities who have historically been excluded from academic research centers and food systems workplaces. The ideal candidate will be an innovative and impactful leader who can help BFI continue to evolve into a more equitable and inclusive organization for staff, students, and community members.


  • Develops and executes strategic plans, in collaboration with the Faculty Director(s) as well as staff, other faculty, and stakeholders.
  • Leads organizational advancement planning to ensure ongoing financial sustainability of the Institute.
  • Identifies and develops funding from multiple external sources.
  • Works with campus colleagues in fundraising to pursue individual, corporate, philanthropic, government, and contractual financial opportunities in alignment with the Institute’s strategic plan.
  • Leads government grants as a Principal Investigator and/or Project Director and directs reporting and intra-Berkeley and external communications around execution of successful projects.
  • Leads a team of seven professionals committed to cultivating a mission driven, equitable, and innovative work environment.
  • To those ends, plans, directs, and controls program budget for academic, policy, and outreach programs.
  • Manages financial, human resources, technical, and other supporting resources.
  • Assesses the effectiveness of BFI’s four programs: education, policy, community engagement, and research and leads changes to program’s content, policies, and strategic goals accordingly.
  • Designs and implements major research program components that BFI sponsors, including the
  • Faculty Seed Research Grant and Media Grant programs, as well as research projects with the BFI Project Scientist, contract research with PhD students, and/or original research.
  • Further, determines the scope and interpretation of our four mission areas and, in partnership with faculty co-directors, catalyzes major interdisciplinary and multisector research projects, from scoping to funding to overseeing research programs once funded.
  • The Executive Director is actively engaged in developing BFI food systems research encompassing diversified farming systems including urban agroecology and food labor research.
  • Responsible for developing research strategies and establishing an agenda to achieve objectives.
  • Advances two curricular programs started by BFI, the Food Systems Minor and the Graduate Certificate in Food Systems, including support for core courses in each program.
  • Co-teaches graduate seminars on special food systems topics (e.g. the U.S. Farm Bill) with BFI affiliate faculty, and guest lectures in undergraduate and graduate courses.
  • Develops new curricular material for career training programs for integration into courses taught by BFI affiliate faculty.
  • Communicates on behalf of BFI to a range of internal and external audiences, and represents BFI and University as required on issue- specific boards, councils, and to the news media.
  • Engages in on-going professional learning opportunities focused on increasing cross- cultural and racial literacy in an effort to support the success of employees.
  • Develops and maintains liaisons with an internal Executive Committee and an external Advisory Council.

Required Qualifications

  • Expertise in and/or can quickly learn food systems and knowledge of BFI mission areas of urban and rural agroecology, good food access, jobs in the food system, and racial equity in the food system, as well as how diversity, equity, and inclusion intersect with these mission areas.
  • Expert ability to communicate and interact effectively with a broad constituency, including faculty, researchers, scientists, program/center managers, staff, students, funding agencies, community members, NGO and government agencies, individual donors, and media in a dynamic multicultural setting.
  • Expert public and private fundraising experience, including identifying, cultivating and soliciting major gifts, producing events, and writing grants to foundations and government agencies.
  • Successful leadership experience in an academic institution, business, and/or non-profit agency with budgetary responsibility of at least $500,000 – 1.5 million annually.
  • Expert knowledge of administrative, budgetary, human resources, and financial principles and practices of academic programs, with oversight of a staff of five or more.
  • Demonstrated management skills to oversee multiple functions with vision and agility to lead amidst significant change in the field and in revenue streams; ability to manage productive collaborations between multiple agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement innovative program and research agendas and engage the public.
  • Professional demeanor, attention to detail, and the ability to act decisively.
  • Technical proficiency – solid computer skills with knowledge of software productivity programs (Google Suites, Microsoft Office, Box, Trello, etc.).
  • Ability to learn function-specific software.
  • Doctorate in a related area and/or equivalent experience training (PhD, JD, MD, etc.).

Preferred Qualifications

  • A minimum of four years of senior-level management experience.
  • Professional or lived experience in government, academia, and/or food production.
  • Experience with UC Berkeley and/or other higher educational policies, practices, and people.

Salary & Benefits

This is a 100% full-time (40 hrs a week) exempt career position, which is paid monthly and eligible for full UC Benefits.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California’s Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, analysis of internal equity, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.

The budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $130,000.00 – $146,800.00.

How to Apply

To apply, visit and search for job ID #56009.

Please submit your resume and cover letter. In the cover letter, please share how your experiences reflect the required qualifications for this position. Please be sure to include 1-2 paragraphs describing your professional experience advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental to our UC Berkeley Principles of Community, which states that “every member of the UC Berkeley community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring, and humane environment in which these values can thrive.”

Other Information

This is not a visa opportunity.

Conviction History Background

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

Mandated Reporter

This position has been identified as a Mandated Reporter required to report the observed or suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, or elders to designated law enforcement or social service agencies. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon completion of signed statements acknowledging the responsibilities of a Mandated Reporter.

Equal Employment Opportunity

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, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, please see the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, please see the University of California Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action in the Workplace policy.