Program Officer (Wallace Center)

Arlington, VA, US

Program Officer – Arlington, VA

Effective with the release of this position announcement, Winrock International will be recruiting applicants for the position of Program Officer for the Wallace Center. The responsibilities, duties and qualifications for this position are described in the attached position description.

GENERAL: Winrock is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social and environmental issues. As a mission driven, field-based organization, we believe that sustainable development is inclusive and that complex challenges require integrated solutions. Winrock embraces continuous quality improvement and a culture of impact, accountability and entrepreneurship.

SALARY AND BENEFITS: The annual salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Excellent benefits include life, disability and medical insurance; retirement; and other normal Winrock benefits.

APPLICATIONS: Applicants should go to Winrock’s Job Openings page at to submit their application, cover letter and current resume. This position will remain open until filled. EOE/AA.


POSITION TITLE: Program Officer, Wallace Center

LOCATION: Arlington, VA

GROUP: Agriculture & Enterprise

UNIT: Wallace Center

REPORTS TO: Programs Director, Wallace Center

DESIRED START DATE: April 2017 (exact dates flexible)


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. The Wallace Center is a unit within the Enterprise and Agriculture Group of Winrock International and works across the United States on national level initiatives as well as regionally in partnership with other organizations.

Through the Pasture Project, the Wallace Center at Winrock International is addressing barriers to and developing solutions for water and soil quality issues in the upper Mississippi River Watershed with particular emphasis on adaptive rotational grazing and multi-species cover cropping. Grass-based production strategies can offer farmer’s economic benefits while simultaneously reducing the impact of agriculture on water and soil quality.

The Wallace Center helps farmers use effective and profitable approaches to improve conservation on working lands by integrating pasture and intensive rotational grazing into farm operations. Engaged throughout the Upper Mississippi River Basin, we focus direct technical assistance in watersheds that are conservation priorities. Geographically our activity is focused in WI, MN, IA, IL and IN working with regional organizations and farmers developing a comprehensive path to conservation-minded farming. Our path to change integrates tried and true approaches to technical assistance with designed to address pressing needs.

Together, these approaches form a comprehensive client-centered approach that starts by building awareness of the combined economic and environmental impact of integrating livestock and follows through with peer to peer support and direct technical assistance. While we build a path for farmers, we also build the capacity of supporters at each step, helping ensure sustainability and scalability of these efforts. Wallace Center works regionally and nationally to reduce the barriers to raising grass-fed beef and increase the number of stakeholders supporting sustainable farm management.

Main strategies and objectives of the Pasture Project include:

  • Partner with regional organizations in the Upper Midwest to expand strategies with farmers and ranchers designed to help transition them to grass-based beef production in an economically viable manner while supporting positive environmental outcomes.
  • Strengthen existing alliances and networks among farmers/ranchers.
  • Demonstrate and document the impacts of adaptive grazing on soil health, water quality and farm income.
  • Expand the initiative’s links to farmer organizations, supply chain partners, and academic and civic stakeholders.
  • Further expand into Iowa, Illinois and Indiana working with various organizations and NRCS to demonstrate adaptive management and integrating the grazing of cover crops into cash cropping systems.
  • Implement a communications strategy to inform various target audiences with key messages in support of this initiative’s focus.
  • Improve understanding of current policy barriers and potential new policy-based opportunities, and develop and implement partnerships and means to inform the policy process.


The Program Officer will provide overall management for the Pasture Project including implementation, administration, monitoring and evaluating results and impact, budget management, and reporting. This position will focus on the Pasture Project initiative, while contributing to other projects and fund development efforts as appropriate. In addition, the successful candidate will, working with the Center’s Director and its Programs Director, lead the project team in regularly revisiting and renewing the project strategy for change and impact and lead efforts for continued and expanded project funding.


  • Oversee all core aspects of project management of the Pasture Project portfolio and its operations, including administrative activities, ensuring they are consistent with and meet Winrock standards
  • Be the core relationship liaison for the Pasture Project portfolio, regularly interfacing with policy, field, and other partners and collaborators
  • Manage project budgets
  • Manage project staff and work to build their capacity and professional development
  • Manage project sub-contracts
  • Monitor and gather data for ongoing monitoring and evaluation needs
  • Working with the Center’s Director and Programs Director, lead the development of plans for continuing and expanding the initiative
  • Lead the completion of reporting requirements
  • Develop targeted communications and presentations for various stakeholders & forums
  • Support Wallace Center new business development overall
  • Lead the implementation and further development of the Pasture Project’s strategies
  • Assume a role in developing new partnerships, and seeking, identifying and securing new funding


  • Provide short-term support to other Wallace projects as appropriate
  • Represent Winrock at conferences, seminars, regionally and nationally
  • Other duties as assigned



  • Minimum BA and MS/MBA/MA preferred, in environmental science or studies or policy, rural development, agriculture, agricultural economics, political science, business, communications, or related fields required.


At least five years of related experience. Desirable experience includes:

  • Significant experience in project management including project design and budgeting, set up, implementation, program evaluation and close out
  • Budget development and management
  • Developing and writing funding requests
  • Managing-creating relationships with individuals, organizations, and institutions
  • Managing small to medium sized teams
  • Understanding of key issues in food systems or sustainable agriculture and facilitating food supply chains and value chains
  • Experience with and knowledge of livestock agriculture and in particular intensive grazing systems desirable
  • Implementation of strategic communications
  • Experience with informing the policy process and partnering with government programs
  • Working in teams to foster positive social, environmental or economic outcomes


  • Strong writing and verbal communications skills
  • Strong leadership qualities: ability to navigate and defuse conflict, coach junior team members, display emotional intelligence, take initiative, and come up with creative solutions to challenges
  • High degree of professionalism
  • Excellent research and assessment abilities
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and ability to maintain strong relationships with internal and external clients and a wide range of stakeholders and demographics
  • Excellent organizational and information management, with attention to detail and accuracy
  • Self-directed ability to lead the team
  • Ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple concurrent tasks
  • Knowledge of and comfort with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Ability to travel out of state (US domestic)