Director of Programs: Women's Leadership

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Published 23 days ago


The James Beard Foundation is a mission-first organization pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry and broader food system: an industry underpinned by racial and gender equity, environmentally sustainable practices, and viable business models. The work that we do supports the long-term viability of food and beverage industry careers. 

In the last decade, the Foundation added a range of conferences, issue summits, culinary labs, Women’s Leadership Programs, and a Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, to establish a more equitable and sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Programs’ division of the James Beard Foundation held its inaugural Chef Action Summit at Princeton University with 150 Boot Camp alumni; had more than 400 committed restaurants and 237 leaders in its Smart Catch sustainable seafood program; and hosted its 2020 Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program, reaching a class of 84 alumnae since the program’s launch in 2017. 

Reporting directly to the Foundation’s VP of Programs, the Director of Programs: Women’s Leadership will lead the James Beard Foundation’s (JBF) efforts to build comprehensive programs that champion gender parity by supporting women throughout the lifecycle of their careers; address the root causes and challenges that women face in the advancement of their careers; and cultivate leadership, gender equality, and diversity in the culinary industry. 

Key Responsibilities:

 As Director of Programs: Women’s Leadership, you will lead the development and execution of a 3-year strategic plan that aims to reach a large number of women throughout the industry and in every part of the country, with programs that will include courses, curricula, conferences, webinars, and editorial content. You will be responsible for building comprehensive programs for a full life cycle of support by refining the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program, re-imagining the Owning It program, and creating new programs as needs and opportunities arise; identifying ways that help women access capital more readily; designing research projects with academic partners; launching campaigns to drive business towards women-led restaurants, and collaborating with women’s organizations throughout the country on programs and thought leadership. ​

Desired experience of a successful candidate include:

  • First-hand, quantifiable experience creating programs and other efforts that have led to more opportunities for women in the food and beverage industry
  • Keen understanding of established and emerging women’s organizations in the food and beverage, hospitality, and food systems spheres, and a deep network among them
  • A respected authority on the advancement of women in the food and beverage industry
  • Experience developing tool kits and/or other curricula and working with academic partners to create research and training programs, preferably in business development and related skills
  • A track record in project management and impact/KPI driven initiatives
  • Experienced and engaging public speaker
  • Deep experience with collaborative and cross-divisional work
  • Entrepreneurial experience is highly desirable
  • Experience in working with brand sponsors to meet their marketing objectives
  • Experience working with chefs and restaurateurs is highly desirable

Core Competencies/attributes

To be effective in this role, key core competencies and personal characteristics include:

  • High energy and passion for the James Beard Foundation’s mission and a demonstrated commitment to advancing impact through racial equity, gender equity, and sustainability
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight but also as a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside the organization
  • Role model a work ethic oriented to the achievement of goals, accountability, and measurable impact
  • Great communication skills to share processes and programs with an eye on transparency and efficiency to create buy-in at the internal and external levels.

The James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs are designed to support all women–including non-binary professionals–in the hospitality industry at all stages of their careers through scholarships, mentorships, training, specialized entrepreneurial education, networking events, and other offerings.

We are committed to providing the tools, resources, and networks to the community to ensure that there are more women-owned businesses; more financial investment in women-owned businesses; and more women in leadership across the industry.  ​​

The James Beard Foundation recognizes that relevant qualifications of a successful candidate will come from a broad range of lived experiences, education, and expertise areas. As part of the James Beard Foundation’s commitment to advancing equity within our organization and through our work, we are committed to an equitable hiring process. We believe that when our organization reflects the culinary industry and the communities we serve – including people of color, people from working-class backgrounds, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, etc. – that JBF is most impactful and effective. Hence, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or members of other historically marginalized communities.​​

There are many benefits to a career at the James Beard Foundation. In addition to working to promote a good food world through thought leadership, education, and advocacy, JBF offers its employees a dynamic work environment with benefits including medical, dental, life insurance, 403(b) retirement savings, and generous paid time off. Additional perks include TransitCheck, discounted health club memberships, and much more.

The salary band for this position begins at $75,000


The James Beard Foundation is a mission-first organization pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry and broader food system: an industry underpinned by racial and gender equity, environmentally sustainable…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    November 1, 2021


USD 75,000 - USD 100,000


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near New York, NY
Associated Location
34 W 15th St, New York, NY 10011, USA
4th Floor

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