Employment Opportunity: Executive Director




Executive Director


Gardens for Health International is seeking a dynamic leader to guide the organization during a period of exciting growth. Over the past eight years, Gardens for Health has worked directly with more than 15,000 Rwandan families, and has emerged as a thought leader in integrated agriculture and nutrition programming. As we move from an organization that has a deep, but relatively small, impact to one that is driving large-scale change in the nutrition sector, we are looking for a leader who can take us to the next level. Candidates for the Executive Director position should be ready to jump into a fast-paced work environment, and lead a team that is flexible, innovative, and determined to change the landscape of nutrition programming – in Rwanda and beyond.


Who We Are

At Gardens for Health, we believe that for the majority of smallholder farmers around the world, the key to lasting food and nutrient security lies in their own backyards. Since launching our Health Center Program in 2010, we have worked directly with more than 15,000 families, empowering them with the knowledge, seeds, and support to break the cycle of hunger and poor nutrition that they face. Today, we are working in partnership with 20 health centers and our work is having a real and lasting impact on child health outcomes.

At the same time, we have forged important relationships with public sector stakeholders at the district, regional, and national levels. Our nutrition behavior change methodology has been adopted by the Ministry of Health, and distributed nation-wide as part of Rwanda’s First 1000 Days Campaign. We are also partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture to co-author a set of guidelines that will help define “kitchen garden” initiatives nation-wide, and are working with the UNHCR to improve nutrition programming in refugee camp settings. The success of our Health Center Program coupled with this deep policy engagement has led to our programming gaining recognition and traction within Rwanda, and throughout the region. We are now in a position to provide larger actors with a framework for integrated agriculture and nutrition interventions that leverages the work we are doing at the community level to spark large-scale change.

We are an impact-driven organization with a bold vision and deep commitment to ensuring that every program we design responds to the unique needs of the communities we serve. Our team is flexible, innovative, and passionate about sparking lasting change through local leadership development. We are not your typical nonprofit. Our program model was designed in collaboration with the families and communities we serve, and our entire staff is deeply engaged in discussions around program quality, evolution, and growth. We are looking for a leader who shares our passion for taking proven, community-based programs to scale and embraces our core values of hard work, transparency, commitment to quality, and long-term impact.


Our Opportunity for You

We are looking for a dynamic, creative, experienced, and passionate leader to take the helm of a highly respected, well-positioned NGO that is poised for exponential growth. As the Executive Director, you will be responsible for the strategic and financial leadership of the organization during this pivotal phase.

The job is multi-faceted, and involves a mix of creative problem solving, strategic thinking, financial management, fundraising, and staff development. You will lead our fundraising efforts, and will build and maintain strong donor relationships. In this capacity you will frequently serve as the “public face” of Gardens for Health, and will be asked to represent our work with a variety of audiences. You will also manage an exceptional team, and will work across both our Boston and Rwanda offices to maintain a culture of collaboration, innovation, and impact throughout the organization. Finally, under the guidance and direction of the Board of Directors, and in close collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team, you will identify and pursue opportunities for growth that advance our mission of providing lasting agricultural solutions to malnutrition.

As our Executive Director, you will have the opportunity to shape the future of an organization with a proven track record of success, and exciting prospects for growth.


Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Set strategic priorities and accompanying implementation plans in collaboration with the Board of Directors and Senior Leadership Team
  • Evaluate external partnerships and new initiatives and ensure that opportunities for strategic and programmatic growth are aligned with our mission and priorities
  • Proactively identify areas of growth and develop strategies to meet those needs
  • Lead the development and execution of communications strategies that amplify our voice and contribute to national, regional, and international dialogues around nutrition and agriculture programming

People Leadership

  • Lead a team of more than 100 talented staff members across our Boston and Rwanda offices
  • Build and maintain a culture of innovation and flexibility that puts “impact first”
  • Manage staffing and decision-making procedures to ensure that strategic priorities are being met and that we are appropriately staffed for our current and future growth
  • Strengthen local leadership and promote professional development for staff at all levels of the organization

Financial Leadership

  • Ensure strong financial stewardship of the organization in collaboration with the Treasurer and Chairman of the Board
  • Lead fundraising efforts across the organization, including: cultivating relationships with foundation partners and major donors, identifying new opportunities for grant funding, and building a sustainable funding runway that can support current and future growth
  • Set the annual operating budget in collaboration with the Senior Leadership Team
  • Approve monthly expenditures and ensure that GHI is using both our financial and human resource capital to best advance our mission


Position Details

Job Title: Executive Director

Location: Cambridge, MA with frequent travel, including regular trips to Rwanda and significant domestic travel for conferences and fundraising

Time commitment: Full-time

Our ideal candidate has:

  • A passion for Gardens for Health’s mission and the desire to shepherd the organization through this phase of growth
  • Extensive experience leading teams and/or organizations to success – experience with a nonprofit and/or social impact organization preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in cross-cultural contexts – experience working in Rwanda and/or East Africa is strongly preferred
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to effectively represent Gardens for Health to a wide range of stakeholders
  • Experience raising funds for nonprofits – direct experience with donor stewardship and grant management are strongly preferred
  • Proven ability to lead financial operations, including financial planning and budgeting
  • Strong analytical skills, and a track record of developing and managing complex programs
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • A Masters Degree in International Development, Public Policy, Management, or a related field

Preferred start date: September 1, 2017

Compensation and benefits: Competitive salary and benefits

To apply: Send resume, cover letter, and list of references to careers@gardensforhealth.org