Vice President, Programs

Position:       Vice President, Programs Team:            Programming Reports to:   Chief Executive Officer  Location:      Chicago, Illinois, USA Founded in, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international development organization that works to alleviate hunger through food banking. Its mission is to start food banks in communities where they are needed and to support those where they already exist. Its vision is a thriving network of food banks that nourish the world. Food banking began in 1967 in the United States and has flourished as a community-based model to redistribute edible food that would otherwise go to waste to those facing hunger. This model is now being carried out at a national scale in the US and throughout Europe, and with GFN’s help, increasingly in emerging markets. GFN directly serves food banks in 32 countries in Central and South America, Asia, Australia, and limitedly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, it achieves its mission through five primary offerings to the food banks it directly serves:
  • It partners with local leaders to launch food banks in communities where they are both needed and feasible;
  • It invests in food banking organizations through training, technical assistance, programming, and grants to support their effectiveness;
  • It forges partnerships with leading multinational donors to increase investment, product donations, and employee engagement in both GFN and food banks around the world;
  • It offers best practice sharing to food bank leaders; and
  • It sets and enforces global standards for food bank operations to both strengthen organizations and enable multinational investment from donors of product and funds in a trusted network.
GFN has a FY18 operating budget of $4.7 million and is led by a team of 15 employees, based primarily out of Chicago. It benefits from the oversight and support of a globally diverse Board of Directors.
Position Summary
GFN seeks a Vice President (VP) to lead the programming team of seven experts who spearhead all programming related work for the organization. The VP sets short- and long-term strategic direction, and is accountable for programmatic strategic outcomes. S/he works cross-functionally to ensure the right resources are brought to bear in the programming work. S/he plays a critical role in shaping a high-impact programming offering in a fast-growing, entrepreneurial non-profit. This is an essential role in advancing food security in communities that are a strong fit for the food banking model, and in increasing the impact of food banks on hunger in communities where they already exist. The incumbent will be pivoting his focus to field work.Traditionally, GFN has supported food bank growth through standards management and education/training. As food banking organizations scale, there is an opportunity for GFN to further advance its mission by directly contributing to food bank growth through capacity building.
Responsibilities can be summarized as follows:
Strategic direction, Program Design, and Impact Assessment – GFN is at an apex in its development, shifting programming focus from standards management to more actively partnering to launch food banks in communities where they could advance hunger relief and equipping existing organizations to become more effective in their food security efforts. The VP is responsible for setting the strategic direction for the next stage of programming development and:
  • Assessing the viability of different strategic approaches;
  • Partnering with GFN’s President & CEO to set outcome-based, cross-cutting organizational goals with a target of building a sustainable organization. Defining and articulating a meaningful role GFN can play in modernizing food banks to be responsive to current trends and issues in hunger relief and longer-term food security;
  • Envisaging how GFN can more rapidly support food bank development in Asia in the near-term (3-5 years), and Sub-Saharan Africa in the longer-term (5+ years);
The VP will be responsible for designing each programming stream, developing evaluation frameworks, calculating funding targets, and measuring impact. S/he must be a globally minded, bold thinker that can conceptualize and operationalize program goals, design, and evaluation with an eye towards sustainability. Management – The VP manages a growing team of seven established professionals. S/he is responsible for creating and effectively driving all aspects of programming implementation including developing work plans and budgets, improving internal processes, and assuring that program goals are met on fast-paced timelines. The VP is charged with recruiting, developing, and retaining a talented, global team. With a team that consistently travels, s/he maintains strong communications within the team and with others at the organization. Innovator and Change Leader – The VP facilitates the development of GFN strategy; shepherds GFN teams to develop impactful solutions; steers GFN efforts to the highest impact; shares lessons learned. S/he pioneers big ideas and garners champions – including funders – towards those goals. Outreach to Food Banking Organizations – The VP forges relationships with the food banks GFN serves and its partners in a way that strengthens GFN influence and impact. This includes fostering strong relationships between GFN and food bank leaders, creating a thriving peer network between food banks, and recruiting new and influential food banking organizations into the GFN network. Fundraising – In partnership with the CEO and development team, the VP will take a leadership role in fundraising. This includes ensuring that program design, impact, and evaluation is laid out in a way that can be evaluated by potential donors; identifying potential donors; overseeing the drafting of proposals; doing funds solicitation; and building partnerships with donors to retain and expand their support. Outreach to Relevant Communities – The VP engages the broadest community of relevant stakeholders to drive cumulative impact. S/he represents GFN at events; shares current developments and feedback from those communities with the GFN network; and builds a broad cross-section of influencers that can support GFN’s mission.
Candidate Profile
The successful candidate will be a global thinker who has established themselves as a skilled and mature leader, who has a passion for making a difference in communities around the world. The ideal candidate will be strategic and have deep experience in designing, garnering resources for, and successfully carrying out international development programs and will be a skilled executive manager.  
  • At least 10 years of experience shaping and driving multi-faceted programming work, preferably in the international sphere. Strategic leadership experience at the executive level will be important as a member of the GFN Executive Leadership team.
  • A track record of success in identifying, designing, and carrying out development programs, preferably that span multiple low- and middle-income countries. This includes experience in gathering evidence to determine programming streams, designing goals and program attributes that span multiple years and countries, identifying partners and resources needed to complete the program successfully, developing results frameworks and assessing risks and possible course corrections all in a format that garners financial support.
  • Excellent management skills with experience in recruiting, retaining, and inspiring a high-performing team of entrepreneurial and skilled professionals. Must be committed to coaching and supporting the growth of programming staff and fostering a results-based environment. Strong ability and willingness to direct GFN resources to the most impactful programming streams and change course as needed. Must create an environment of proactive and responsive communication among and outside of the programming team.
  • A passion for building an organization with a critical mission.
  • Experience in achieving impact through influence. This includes forging strong partnerships that build consensus and trust and inspire action toward shared goals.
  • Willingness to and proven experience in fundraising for programming work including securing seven figure gifts from corporate, individual, or foundation sources. A track record of success in fundraising from corporations and foundations, and familiarity with the food and agricultural industries, are pluses.
  • Preferred is expertise in global hunger, trends in international development, the global food and agriculture sector, and institution building in low- and middle-income countries – especially in Asia. The ideal candidate will understand the general challenges of working in low- and middle-income countries and have experience in building coalitions to circumvent these challenges.
  • Fluency in English is required.
Location The position will be based at GFN’s global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA. National and international travel will be expected (one quarter to one third of the year). Note The Global FoodBanking Network embraces a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity. Its goal is to attract, develop, and retain a talented, diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential. EOE
To Apply
Please email a cover letter, resume, and salary expectations to EOE The Global FoodBanking Network embraces a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity. Its goal is to attract, develop, and retain a talented, diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.