Executive Director

The People’s Seed is seeking our next Executive Director to guide the vision and programs necessary to create a thriving and viable seed community in the Southeast. We are looking for an individual who grasps the complexity of the organic seed industry and is willing to jump feet-first into making the connections between plant breeders, farmers and eaters a reality.


General Responsibilities

  • Operate a new, dynamic non-profit in cooperation with a highly engaged board of directors
  • Lead the People’s Seed according to the central mission and goals as defined by the board of directors
  • Represent the People’s Seed’s mission and goals at regional and national meetings and conventions
  • Identify, develop and maintain partnerships with stakeholders, including seed companies, seed breeders, co-op grocery stores, farmers, organic advocacy organizations and fundraising allies
  • Evaluate on a quarterly basis the People’s Seed’s programs and activities for reaching goals and maintaining financial integrity
  • Prepare an end-of-year report highlighting the People’s Seed’s successes, challenges, finances and future outlook
  • Monitor and update website, social media and other communication platforms on a regular basis
  • Conduct strategic planning with staff and board in order to fulfill the People’s Seed’s mission and goals

Financial Responsibilities

  • Report the People’s Seed’s financial status to the board on a regular basis
  • Develop and propose an annual budget to the board of directors
  • Oversee the financial viability of the People’s Seed by engaging in fundraising, grant writing and utilizing funds according to an approved budget
  • Maintain positive relationship with funders through consistent communication and professional financial reporting
  • Monitor and evaluate investment partnerships for meeting financial goals and ethical commitments

Central Program Responsibilities

These programs are proposed activities for the People’s Seed to fulfill. The extent to which each program is conducted is dependent on annual funding, partnerships and overall trajectory of the organization, which is subject to change. Programs listed below are a general idea of what the People’s Seed would like to do in a calendar year.

Organic Seed Summit

  • Organize, implement and evaluate the annual organic seed summit
  • Promote the organic seed summit with stakeholders including plant breeders, farmers and seed advocates
  • Ensure financial viability of the organic seed summit through fundraising, sponsorships and strategic partnerships

Grant Implementation

  • Oversee the successful distribution of grants to seed breeders
  • Monitor grant recipients through reasonable accountability measures
  • Evaluate each grant cycle’s success in meeting the People’s Seed’s goals and mission

Co-op Grocery Store Campaigns

  • Develop, in partnership with staff and ally organizations, educational and fundraising materials appropriate for co-op grocery store customers
  • Manage on-going campaigns and relationships with co-op grocery store staff

Skills of the Ideal Candidate

  • Passion for all aspects of the local food and seed system mixed with flexibility to lead a high-energy nonprofit in its early years
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • Experience in fundraising, grant writing and cultivating donor relationships
  • Passion for public speaking as well as written word
  • Knowledge of plant breeding, the organic seed industry and other related fields
  • Experience managing social media platforms and websites
  • Experience working with non-profits
  • An understanding of food justice and how social inequities exist in the food system at large
  • Sense of humor and ability to have fun on the job
  • Willingness to try new things
  • Resiliency to fail quickly and learn from your mistakes


  • This position will begin part time (15-20 hours per week) based in Durham, NC with the opportunity to grow into full time based on performance
  • Compensation is based hourly at a competitive non-profit rate
  • Investment in your education through paying for workshops and trainings as necessary and approved by the board

Application Process:

Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will be open until filled. Potential candidates will be contacted for interviews starting in late January, with the position to be tentatively filled in February. Please submit a resume, cover letter and contact information for three references emailed to jobs@thepeoplesseed.org subject line “Executive Director Application”