Chief of Staff
Job Type

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect 7 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities. 

We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we have facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Reporting directly to the CEO, the Chief of Staff (COS) supports the CEO to ensure effective direction and integrated management of all AFT’s operations in line with the CEO’s vision and guidance.

As an integral part of the AFT Executive team, the Chief of Staff will augment the role of the CEO by assuming some of the CEO’s internal responsibilities, including providing support, managing certain special tasks/projects, and assisting with the management of the senior leadership team—allowing the CEO to better prioritize and make the best use of time. 

What You’ll Be Working On

  • Works in close partnership with the CEO to help ensure that AFT is operating at maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Supports the CEO in moving specific streams of work or projects forward and completes "special projects," and takes on key tasks or responsibilities, including those that would otherwise fall to the CEO.
  • Assists the CEO with management of direct reports (namely, the VPs that constitute the executive leadership team, as well as AFT’s Policy Director and Land Projects Director). 
  • Participates in regular check-in meetings between the CEO and his direct reports, and engages in follow-up activities.
  • Represents the CEO at various internal meetings, where useful and appropriate.
  • Acts on behalf of the CEO during times when the CEO may be occupied or unavailable, when authorized to do so by CEO. 
  • Provides strategic direction and guidance to members of the executive leadership team or other staff, where the COS has relevant expertise and where such direction and guidance would be appropriate.
  • Serves as a sounding board for the CEO, helping enhance the CEO’s leadership and management.
  • Provides the CEO with independent perspectives and observations, as well as recommendations for potential or specific solutions; shares relevant information of which the CEO may not be aware for his consideration. 
  • Helps the CEO monitor and evaluate AFT’s overall direction and performance to effectuate organizational goals.

The ideal candidate possesses sufficient knowledge of conservation agriculture to fully understand and appreciate the breadth of AFT’s work, and:

  • In depth knowledge of at least two of the following functional areas: 
       o program development and delivery;        o communications and marketing;        o policy advocacy;       o fundraising;        o nonprofit finance; and        o programmatic or organizational evaluation.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of people. 
  • Exceptional communications skills, both verbal and written.
  • Highly organized and detail oriented. 
  • Ability to operate independently and effectively with minimal direct oversight.

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in suitable field, with an advanced degree preferred. 
  • At least 15 years of relevant work experience.
  • At least 5 years of proven executive experience (as a CEO, COO, COS, or VP).


  • Salary range $120,000 - $145,000.   AFT may consider  higher compensation for an exceptional candidate with extensive C-suite experience.

Why you should apply

  • Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
  • A diverse and inclusive work environment
  • A cause and mission you can be proud of
  • Competitive compensation & benefits
  • Flexible scheduling

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click on the ‘apply’ button below.  Please include a resume and cover letter.

Salary Description
$120,000 - $145,000