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Director, New Roots International Initiative

The Land Institute is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from women and people of all ethnic and national origins and sexual orientations. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.


The Land Institute (TLI) is excited to invite applications for the position of Director for our new initiative - New Roots International (NRI). NRI will build upon TLI’s earlier work and ignite a global research movement in the development of perennial grains. The Land Institute’s goal is to develop dozens of new perennial grain crops to be grown on a majority of global grain-producing lands in diverse agroecosystems that nourish just and equitable human communities. To achieve this will require a significant scaling of activity, and NRI is a key strategy for deepening and accelerating this global work. 

NRI is expected to formalize and expand the global research community working to develop new perennial grain crops and ecological cropping systems that are culturally valued and economically viable at local and regional scales. Currently TLI is engaged with collaborators in over a dozen countries who are strongly interested in contributing to the formation of a global consortium. NRI will provide a more formal structure for improved collaboration, an expanded scope to address priority issues, and the development of hubs or clusters of research on every ice-free continent to understand and address political, social, and geographic challenges and opportunities for achieving perennial grain agriculture. 

NRI is built upon, supported, and advised by the foundational programs at TLI. Ultimately, the success of NRI is determined by its ability to engage, support, and enhance the effectiveness of international partners in creating perennial grain agriculture. 

Overview of the position: Director of NRI

The Director will be the organizing and operational leader for NRI.  The ideal candidate will bring demonstrated experience in creating a highly collaborative environment, engaging scientists and researchers across multiple disciplines, developing decision-making norms and processes that support transparency and accountability, and working across traditional institutional, sectoral, cultural and geographic boundaries to produce results.

The Director will work closely with TLI President, its Leadership Team, and current and future global partners to create and lead the development and implementation of systems, processes, and infrastructure that empower NRI members to conduct research and contribute to creating diverse, just, and perennial agriculture on six continents. 


Network Strategy

  • Lead the development of a strategy for NRI, including extensive collaboration with the internal TLI team and with the existing network of international partners.
  • Facilitate a participatory strategy development process that engages people with different cultural, ecological, and political contexts.  
  • Co-develop with NRI members the priorities for the global network (including regional hubs) including research advancements that address critical-path items.
  • Work closely with consultants to support the formation of a global network. 

Network Development

  • Develop relationships with international governments, networks, organizations, agricultural leaders, and researchers to aggressively expand work to develop perennial grain crops and diverse agroecological cropping systems.
  • Formulate and direct the launch of regional research hubs on all ice-free continents.
  • Lead the development of training tools to support new researchers and research hubs. 
  • Lead the development and launch an outreach campaign to increase the number of researchers participating in the global network.
  • Create a resource plan that can accelerate research over the next decade by mapping funding needs of the network, developing activities to fulfill the needs, and supporting the effort to engage potential funders.

Implementation & Administration

  • Develop and implement short and long-term plans and budgets.
  • Collaborate with TLI leadership to create an international communications campaign to advocate for perennial grain research.
  • Coordinate the creation of educational materials and events including guides, conferences, and webinars on a wide scope of perennial grain topics.
  • Facilitate effective communication flows with and across NRI members, provide regular updates to and manage direct communication with members.
  • Coordinate the creation and implementation of collaboration tools and protocols for global research partners including but not limited to data-sharing platforms, genomic libraries, germplasm
  • collections, and communications assets.

Coordinate TLI’s researchers to provide mentorship and advisory services to the global network. 

The successful candidate will have as many of the following qualifications as possible: 

Required Qualifications

  • Masters or Ph.D. level training in relevant fields related to agriculture and/or 5-10 years of professional experience in network, international, or program development in sustainable agriculture.
  • Experience working across diverse cultures in international settings.
  • Proven record of creating consensus among diverse cultures, viewpoints and interests; including holding space for creative tension and disagreement. 
  • A well-developed understanding of and commitment to The Land Institute’s goals of transforming grain agriculture to feature diverse perennial crops and respect the need for ecological integrity, planetary health and human well-being.
  • Experience and success in highly collaborative, remote work situations. 
  • Experience facilitating and project managing highly diverse, highly collaborative projects with international breadth.
  • Leadership experience with non-profits, foundations and/or research organizations or institutions.
  • Proven record of planning and accomplishing professional goals.
  • High level of comfort in a fast paced and rapidly changing environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills.
  • Ability to manage staff, develop and adhere to budgets.
  • Ability to think creatively about intractable issues.
  • Ability to travel extensively, internationally.     
  • Ability to communicate in English. 
  • Preferred Qualifications
  • Multilingual: In addition to English, French, Spanish, and/or Mandarin preferred. 
  • Experience of managing and/or forming collective impact programs, initiatives or organizations.


Preference will be given to candidates from the United States. If living outside the U.S., preference is for the individual to be near a collaborating institution in France, Sweden, Italy, China (Yunnan Province), Uganda, or Mexico.


The Land Institute offers an excellent benefits package and a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience.

 To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to

Applications will be reviewed beginning on July 15, 2021.

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