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31 Oct 2023

Full-Time Director of Metro Chicago Good Food Purchasing Initiative

Chicago Food Policy Action Council – Posted by CFPAC Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Who Are We?

Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) was founded in 2002 as a coalition became a 501c3 nonprofit in 2011, and added full-time staff in 2017. CFPAC supports, facilitates, and participates in several active networks by providing coordination, communication, funding, policy development, and advocacy support.

Our Mission & Vision

CFPAC co-develops, facilitates, advocates for, and helps implement policies that advance food justice & sovereignty for Chicago and across the region. We envision a food system where residents of all races, genders, and social identities have the right to produce and access food through community-driven, ecologically regenerative, and economically resilient processes. To that end, we specifically focus on dismantling structural racism in the food system and lifting food policies that support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Please visit to learn more.

Position Overview

The Good Food Purchasing Initiative Director shepherds the Metro Chicago Good Food Purchasing Initiative (GFPI) forward toward achieving its goal of creating an institutional food procurement system that is more equitable, healthy, and sustainable– and where access to good food is a right, not a privilege. The Director is a strategic and adaptive leader bringing the ability to develop a vision for the Program and activate multiple stakeholders toward achieving that vision. This person is an experienced and highly emotionally intelligent people leader who can develop and execute complex concurrent plans, projects, and initiatives. The Director is a strong relationship manager, nurturing external and internal partners toward achieving the mission and vision of Good Food Purchasing reflective of CFPAC’s culture and values.

Background on GFPP in Chicago

The City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and Chicago Park District adopted the Good Food Purchasing Program by policy resolution in 2017, and have since been working toward shifting public food procurement to be more racially equitable, transparent, and accountable through five Good Food Standards: Local Economies, Environmental Sustainability, Valued Workforce, Animal Welfare, and Nutrition. Cities, counties, and other institutions all across the country are working on GFPP with leadership from the Center for Good Food Purchasing and advocacy partners at the Food Chain Workers Alliance and HEAL Food Alliance.

The Center for Good Food Purchasing supports institutions with making shifts towards the Good Food Standards by analyzing their food purchasing data and helping the institution understand their current buying practices. The institution then collaborates with the Center and local partners to develop a Good Food Action Plan to guide their purchasing shifts forward. This includes activities such as revising menu items, changing language in solicitations for food service and supplies, and identifying more GFPP-aligned products on the market that an institution can purchase.

The Chicago Food Policy Action Council coordinates the Metro Chicago Good Food Purchasing Initiative (GFPI) to leverage local GFPP adoption for racially equitable supply chain development and normalizing values-based food procurement with institutions across the region. Learn more about GFPI here.

Objectives You’re Here to Meet!

The Director ensures GFPI progresses on three major objectives:

  1. GFPP Implementation:
    • Fully implementing the Good Food Purchasing Policy with the City of Chicago, its Sister Agencies, and the Cook County Government
  2. Supply Chain Development:
    • Developing a racially & socially equitable regional food supply chain that can meet increasing institutional demand for good food;
    • Supporting pathways for BIPOC food producers and food businesses to scale operations for sales to public and community-based meal programs, cafeterias, and concessions
  3. Normalizing Values-Based Procurement:
    • Normalizing values-based procurement across all community-based “anchor” institutions in the Chicago region, including hospitals, higher ed institutions, cultural institutions, senior living facilities, and others
    • Engaging both institutional food service staff and meal program recipients in building food literacy and directing Good Food Purchasing Initiative activities

Position is Accountable for…

GFPI Program Leadership

  • Plan & convene monthly coordination meetings on GFPP progress updates, new and burgeoning initiatives, and area report-outs with full GFPI Coordination Team
  • GFPI Coordination Team includes GFPI-focused CFPAC Staff [Equitable Supply Chain Development Manager, Community Fund Manager, Chicago GFPP Coordinator, Cook County GFPP Coordinator, and GFPI Expansion Coordinator. Evaluation Coordinator [+optional for research partners], GFPP Food Workers Rights & Livelihood Project Manager, and partners at organizations who are specifically dedicating staff time to GFPI [Chicago DPH, FEC, Cook DPH, IPHI, The Common Market, Project Lupine LLC, groundswell alliance]
  • Work with the Executive Director to create and manage the organization’s strategic plan related to GFPP programs and activities.
  • Oversee GFPP programming and program area managers and work collaboratively with the team to support high performance.
  • Lead employees to develop and implement continuous improvement framework to assess strengths of programs and areas for improvement and identify new program needs.
  • Provide support and guidance to program managers with specific programmatic, logistical, and leadership issues and opportunities.
  • Plan and lead regular internal GFPI program staff meetings.
  • Manage and support the program staff work activities from work plans to completion with defined outcomes.
  • Coordinate functioning of governance structure (GFPI Coalition, Leadership team, Advisory).
  • Support ongoing collective goal-setting and work planning across GFPI initiative partners, building project management structure using tools like Miro and Asana.
  • Support initiative’s evaluation efforts in collaboration with the Research Coordinator, CFPAC/GFPI Grant Manager (frequent GFPI Evaluation Coordinator check-ins, Evaluation Team meetings, Theory of Change and Evaluation Framework evolution).
  • Support internal GFPI staff in the development of City/County/sector-specific task force or cohort meetings.
  • Support the team planning and executing Buyer/Supplier Mixers, Good Food Vendor Fairs, and lead GFPI programming connected to the Chicago Food Justice Summit .

Budget & Grant Management

  • Collaborate with CFPAC Operations Director and/or grant reporting/management contractors to assist and support development of proposals and reports to funders. Track and ensure that grant funded programs and projects are managed with fidelity to funders’ requirements and stipulations, and within the Center’s policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that programs/projects operate within approved budgets and timelines.
  • Support system development and implementation for capturing, tracking & reporting.
  • Co-developing grant reports and reimbursements for all GFPI relevant grants.
  • Working to ensure GFPI partners and staff are utilizing collective systems to track their progress (qualitatively and quantitatively).
  • With operations director’s support and grant manager, maintain/sustain GFPI Budget.
  • Support and collaborate on fundraising, grant writing, and other resource development for GFPI.

External Communications

  • Actively participate and engage in national calls (Good Food Communities, Peer to Peer calls, Good Food Operators, and Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative, etc.).
  • Work with CFPAC Communications Manager or contracted Communications support to develop and publish monthly newsletter with related events, workshops, grant. opportunities, & upcoming solicitations into special newsletter/ blog post that is sent to those who have opted in to the “GFPP Coalition” on our website.
  • Lead development of GFPI Annual Report with support from CFPAC Communications Manager or contracted Communications support.
  • Present at local and national events to share our work, challenges and lessons learned, and inspire more institutions to shift their spend.
  • Lead the development and launch of an annual recognition award to honor top GFPP-performing meal programs and institutions in Metro Chicago.

What You’ll Bring

  • Extensive knowledge of local, sustainable, and healthy food systems – including food procurement, urban and sustainable agriculture, community development and food related policies and issues.
  • In-depth understanding of U.S. agriculture, food production, distributions systems, including root causes of racial and social inequity in power and control over food systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and masterfully in complex, inter-organizational settings among groups with varying interests and backgrounds.
  • 5-7 years of team leadership experience. Non-profit leadership preferred.
  • Demonstrated commitment to seeking diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, and commitment to advance equitable policies and practices and ensure inclusion.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
  • High Emotional intelligence and a collaborative spirit.
  • Demonstrated ability to flourish, lead and inspire in a evolving, and ambiguous environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to assess situations to determine the importance, urgency, and risks, and make clear decisions using sound and independent judgment that are timely and in the organization and program’s best long-term interest.
  • Strong diplomatic, negotiation, and consensus building skills
  • Relational approach to your work and a mindfulness to uphold and steward our values, and add to our team culture!

Desired Competencies

  • Organization/Planning: Excellent time management ability; able to effectively balance and prioritize multiple projects and initiatives with various stakeholders
  • Self-Starter: Highly self-motivated with a knack to move projects forward independently and when working on teams
  • Relationship Management: Ability to effectively build, sustain and navigate varying relationships across multiple stakeholders and partners
  • Judgment/Decision Making: Ability to intuitively make sound decisions when all the information is not available. Knowing when to engage and when to listen, and how to combine knowledge and context
  • Oral and Written Communication: Conveys thoughts clearly and effectively orally and in writing, demonstrates fluency and clarity of organization of thought processes
  • Conflict Management: Identifies conflict and is equipped with effective conflict resolution skills and tools
  • Resourcefulness: Ability to find efficient and innovative ways to overcome challenges, optimize resources to improve or create, and present solutions to every obstacle
  • Adaptability: Ability to react positively to change and remain productive in a changing environment. The capacity to change one’s actions, approach, or decisions based on new information or a new situation

Total Rewards Package

Salary range is $70,000 – $80,000 based on experience and qualifications for the role. CFPAC is proud to offer a premium benefits package starting day 1, with 100% employer-covered health care through Blue Cross Blue Shield for employee, fully covered vision and dental insurance for employee, a generous professional development allowance (unused funds do not rollover), approximately 30 accrued PTO days in addition to over a dozen paid holidays, and 401k with employer contributions up through 4%.

Chicago Food Policy Action Council is a semi-distributed team, providing individual and team-collaboration work space in the Loop. We host mostly hybrid meetings for staff to attend in-person and virtually.  However, we do expect staff to live in relative proximity to Chicago with regular availability for in-person partner meetings, events, and staff gatherings.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume and a one-page cover letter tying your experience to specifics in the job description to [email protected] with the subject line “Director of GFPI application.” Please note, as a small, people-centered organization, our communication in response to you may be slow while we carefully and thoughtfully evaluate each candidate. Priority will be given to applicants who submit materials by November 13th.

Job Categories: Sustainable Agriculture / Food. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 28 days.

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