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Extension Foundation Position Announcement: Chief Executive Officer


Extension Foundation Chief Executive Officer Position Description

Title:   Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Time:  Full-time

Overall Role:  Executive leader and manager of the Extension Foundation and Executive Officer of the Extension Foundation Board of Directors

Salary:  Commensurate with education and experience

The Extension Foundation (EXF) is a member-based, nonprofit 501(c)3, created to support Cooperative Extension and its strategic partners. The primary purpose of the EXF is to generate value for its members and partners by creating innovative and effective Extension educational solutions and supporting Cooperative Extension Service (CES) professionals to have a more significant impact in the communities in which they work. and provide more information on EXF.

The EXF is a virtual space where change is invigorating, and people are enthusiastic about opportunities to create and contribute. The EXF works with CES to support learning that fosters growth, leadership, competencies, entrepreneurship, and innovation. CES is a nationwide network available to all land-grant universities and colleges across the U.S. and its territories.

Position Overview:

The Extension Foundation Board of Directors seeks an exceptional entrepreneurial leader from educational institutions, government agencies, businesses and non-profits, and industry to serve as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO will set the pace and structure for a thriving 21st-century organization invested in ensuring CES has a broad range of engaged learners.  The CEO works closely with the Board of Directors to create a vision and align systems to accomplish its goals.

The successful candidate will understand the CES, how it functions within the land-grant system, and how it works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA). The candidate should have expertise in working with higher education institutions and nonprofit executive leadership, building partnerships for funding distribution, leading and managing staff and contractors, and developing and managing resources. As a hub for CES innovation and entrepreneurship, the EXF Board of Directors and the CEO develop and implement strategies to achieve goals set by the CES. The CEO must stay current on emerging technologies, partnerships, funding opportunities, and professional development that apply to CES educational programming, and be committed to achieving the diversity goals of the system. The CEO will communicate to, set direction for, and motivate action among Extension Foundation staff. 

The CEO and the Chief Operations Officer (COO) make up the Extension Foundation Executive Team. The CEO will have a systems approach for finances, grants management, personnel, and program development/management.

The CEO is responsible for:

  • Creating an understanding, actively participating, invoking entrepreneurship, and efficiently executing the vision of innovation among the EXF members and staff.
  • Presenting a shared vision of the EXF and CES's innovations, successes, and opportunities by bridging the traditional CES programming model to a future vision.
  • Attracting, recruiting, and retaining member institutions and strategic partnerships.
  • Providing effective leadership that rewards and reinforces behaviors that lead to innovation, partnerships, and funding for CES.
  • Leading with a proactive and high-performance orientation for cultivating an environment where people are enthusiastic about the opportunities to contribute.
  • Building interdependent (self-directed) teams and relationships across the CES and strategic partners to achieve a high level of cooperation.
  • Securing funding to ensure long-term financial stability.
  • Providing oversight for data security for all aspects of the EXF
  • Establishing an environment that successfully secures investments geared toward long-term stability, sharing the EXF’s vision, and developing additional partners and stakeholders.
  • Connecting and networking with people in higher education, nonprofits, federal agencies, and industry to create and maintain

Transparency, Accountability, and Responsibility

  • Ensuring that all legal and regulatory documents are filed and monitoring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Working closely with EXF Board of Directors to determine direction, establish priorities,monitor development and sustainability, and communicate with members, partners, and staff.
  • Holding staff accountable and responsible for achieving strategic priorities.
  • Providing general oversight of EXF activities and working closely with the EXF staff to keep pace with changing programming opportunities.
  • Guiding the EXF Board, leadership, and staff, to ensure program quality and organizational stability through standards and controls, systems and procedures, and regular reviews.
  • Communicating fiscal, programmatic, and strategic goals and seeking input from staff and contractors about challenges and opportunities.


  • Creating a board development plan to assist EXF Board of Directors in articulating and engaging in their fiduciary duties as a board member.
  • Strategizing with the EXF Board of Directors to identify, recruit, and engage partners within and outside
  • With the EXF Board of Directors, developing an evaluation and marketing strategy demonstrating EXF's value to members.
  • Developing a robust and meaningful relationship with the EXF Board Chair.


  • Providing oversight for financial systems working with the Comptroller to ensure financial efficiencies and integrity for  
  • Advocating for programs and services that are produced cost-effectively,

employing the economy while maintaining a high level of quality.

  • Overseeing fiscal activities and providing leadership in resource development.
  • Assuring effective revenue development that is aligned with existing and emerging needs.
  • Leveraging the skills and talents of staff to promote effective leadership for the fiscal management of multiple grants and proposals.

Program Development

  • Generating a high level of EXF member engagement.
  • Communicating to EXF members, partners, and prospective partners, identifying and improving services.
  • Facilitating current and emerging program development priorities with EXF Board of Directors, Executive Team, members, partners, EXF staff, and audiences.
  • Working with the Extension Committee on Policy (ECOP) to align with their program priorities to seek additional program partnerships and program funding.
  • Providing leadership for developing multiple grant proposals, program development within awarded grants, and evaluation and reporting of results and impacts of grants.


  • Minimum of terminal degree or equivalent experience (Executive Leadership, etc.).
  • Documented experience leading change and innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, generating profits and value in higher education, nonprofit, or government leadership.
  • Experience working with Cooperative Extension (within the organization or closely aligned agencies/partners).
  • Demonstrated ability to lead change management processes for the creation and sunsetting of work products, policies, and procedures.
  • Evidence of successfully implementing new business models.
  • Proven ability to lead a financially sustainable organization having multiple funding streams.
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain fiscal and organizational transparency, accountability, and responsibility.
  • Demonstrated successful experiences and commitment to the recruitment, retention, and development of a diverse staff, promotion of a positive workplace environment, and serving the needs of diverse audiences.
  • Experience leading an agile organization in a virtual environment.
  • Proven systems thinker with an abundance mindset.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in management and administration.
  • Evidence of history of integrity and behavior that develops people and
  • Ability to influence and enable others while managing continuity, change, and growth.

The closing date for the position is 5 p.m. Pacific Time, July 28th, 2023, or until a suitable candidate is found.

To apply for this position, please submit your application here:

To nominate a potentially qualified candidate, provide contact information to Fred Schlutt (, Chair of the Search Committee.

Direct any questions to Fred Schlutt (, Chair of the Search Committee.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit You can view the terms of useat

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