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Director of Sustainable Food Systems

Washington College
Chestertown, Maryland
Discussed during interview
Closing date
Jun 2, 2024

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Agroecology, Policy, Other
Job Type
PhD, Researcher
Organization Type

Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society seeks applicants for a Director of Sustainable Food Systems. This is a full-time, salaried, exempt position. This position is part of a cluster hire of research directorship at CES to build expertise and programming at the water-land-food-climate nexus.  These three positions are endowed through the Maryland E-Novation Initiative Fund and private, philanthropic matches.  They support applied research that will benefit Maryland and provide hands-on, collaborative experiences for Washington College students and faculty. 

CES fosters innovative approaches to understand human-environment interactions and sustainable solutions to environmental problems through research, education, and professional development of the next generation of citizens and leaders. Operating from the new Semans-Griswold Environmental Hall, a Living Building Challenge structure on the College’s waterfront campus, the Center provides an array of research and educational programs that combine civic engagement with experiential and place-based learning opportunities for students. These offerings include: the innovative and interdisciplinary Chesapeake Semester; a Watershed Innovation Lab, with remote sensing instruments, robotics, and water quality monitoring assets; the Chesapeake Places Initiative, which links natural and cultural resources and uses archaeology and landscape history to learn from the past; a powerful Geospatial Lab; two research vessels; and the River & Field Campus with its natural and restored habitats, venues for field research and teaching, and the Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory.  

Reporting directly to the CES Director, the Director will be responsible for creating, developing, and managing innovative programs that can create effective solutions for real-world challenges related to food sustainability, equity and access. The ideal candidate will be a transdisciplinary thinker who fosters research and innovation around the creation and implementation of food systems that deliver food security, culturally appropriate foods, and nutrition for all. Candidates with interests that connect food and racial justice are encouraged, as are those with interests in the social determinates of health. The Director will be responsible for establishing a robust research program by establishing partnerships with local food system stakeholders, including but not limited to local producers, economic development groups, food service directors, the charitable food sector, farmers market managers, government officials, food retailers, and local businesses. The county has a newly established food council working to increase food security, decrease food waste, and localize food systems. The person in this position will continue to support this group and advance their efforts. We aim to develop a model farm to institution program for Washington College dining services that can serve as a catalyst for other area institutions. We are also in the planning stages for a student farm that can provide new research and educational opportunities associated with the Director’s work. 

Essential Functions: 

  • Develop an applied, community engaged and/or participatory action research agenda inclusive of undergraduate students and external partners that results in a variety of potential research products, such as scientific, scholarly and/or popular publications, data visualizations, briefs, reports, novel institutional practices, patents, or copyrights 

  • Collaborate closely with Washington College faculty, academic programs and departments, ensuring CES enjoys strong relationships across the institution and the greater community  

  • Participate in and foster a team-oriented, transdisciplinary, and collaborative culture at CES  

  • Mentor student projects and internships, and support students’ professional development 

  • Represent CES and communicate research to multiple internal and external audiences 

  • Successfully seek external funding, individually and/or as a part of research teams 

  • Collaborate with appropriate partners to develop, commercialize or market innovations 

  • Work with CES Director to align with strategic goals of the Center and College 

  • Report annually on activities 

  • Manage the budget of their program 

  • Contribute to the larger mission of CES in service to the Center and the College 

  • Opportunity to teach through affiliation with an academic department to develop interest and capacity of students to engage in research and scholarship at CES 

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