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Project Director, RIPE Partnership

Agriculture / Life Science, Program/Project Management

Project Director, RIPE Partnership

  • 522722
  • Virginia, United States
  • CALS Global
  • Agriculture / Life Science
  • Program/Project Management
  • Administrative & Professional
  • Virginia Tech University

Job Description

The Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE) Partnership is a coalition of organizations, led by Virginia Tech, which will implement an $80 million, three-year project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). This project will be implemented across four states—Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Virginia—and will feature payments to farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture practices to increase resilience and climate adaptation. Farmer payments and enrollments will be managed by implementing partner organizations in each of the four states, and a number of non-implementing partners will support the program in various ways. Virginia Tech faculty will conduct a rigorous research agenda to evaluate the efficacy of implementation. Under the three-year pilot program, Virginia Tech and its partners will help producers in the four states prove the value of paying farmers and ranchers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reduction, improved soil health, water quality, water conservation, and other environmental services. We aim to create a national model for incentivizing and rewarding farmers for adopting climate-smart practices.

The Project Director is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the planning, implementation, and evaluation of all activities associated with The RIPE Partnership. These responsibilities include building on and nurturing strong partnerships, providing administrative and fiscal support, planning and implementing resource development strategies, and leading a team of employees. The primary roles of the Project Manager are to facilitate the successful implementation of the RIPE Partnership and to ensure partner investment, energy and commitment. The Project Director will supervise a team of four to five full- and part-time employees and report to the Associate Dean and Director of CALS Global, who is Principal Investigator for the RIPE Partnership.

The base location for this position is Blacksburg, VA. Travel to Blacksburg on a routine basis will be required. The position is opened to hybrid or remote; however, the remote location must be within a reasonable commuting distance (e.g., Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. area).

Primary Responsibilities:
1. Build and lead a high-functioning team of employees.
2. Coordinate and maintain a shared measurement system to evaluate activities and demonstrate progress toward goals and outcomes.
3. Support continuous communication, internally and externally, including maintenance and development of website content, updates to the member lists, social media content creation, conference management and project management platforms.
4. Promote information sharing, collaboration and effective problem solving.
5. Keep individuals, organizations and projects accountable to the RIPE Partnership.
6. Assist in the development of an annual work plan for the RIPE Partnership.
7. Liaise with and serve as primary point of contact for RIPE Partnership partners.
8. Ensure that efforts align with best practices and Virginia Tech policies.
9. Manage and oversee expenditures of RIPE Partnership budget and satisfy fiscal reporting requirements.
10. Conduct site-visits and attend meetings as directed by Principal Investigator.
11. Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

Master's degree with at least one degree in a field of agricultural science. Significant relevant experience leading project implementation. Ability to work independently. Ability to promote a teamwork environment. Ability to work harmoniously and effectively with different personalities and individuals from diverse backgrounds. Superb time management and ability to prioritize. Public relations and/or marketing experience. Excellent organizational skills. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Highly proficient with computer productivity applications and general computer skills.

Preferred Qualifications

Significant and demonstrated knowledge of crop and/or animal agriculture.

Appointment Type


Salary Information

Salary range of $135,602 - $150,000

Review Date

January 2, 2023

Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Dr. Tom Thompson at tlthomps@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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