The Food Trust

Philadelphia, PA   |   February 13, 2020

About The Food Trust

The Food Trust’s mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. Working with neighborhoods, schools, grocers, farmers and policymakers, we’ve developed a comprehensive approach to improved food access that combines nutrition education and greater availability of affordable, healthy food. The Food Trust is recognized nationally for its role in leading the conversation around accessible, healthy food through its community-based programs and efforts to change food policy at all levels.

Founded in 1992 on the idea of healthy change, The Food Trust’s approach combines policy change with research and community-based programs to ensure that everyone has access to healthy, affordable food. Current programming addresses healthy food access by:

  • Connecting farmers directly to incentive programs in schools and communities;
  • Educating consumers about nutritious food options;
  • Increasing accessibility of healthy food at supermarkets, corner stores, and farmers markets;
  • Promoting wellness initiatives among youth and in local communities.

Utilizing a vast network of community partners, we offer nutrition education programs in neighborhoods, schools, and community centers and develop more informed food consumers on a national level. As advocates for healthy food policy, The Food Trust has led initiatives at the institutional, city, state, and federal levels to create incentives for healthy food, expand fresh food retail development, and organize constituents to take action against food-related health issues in their communities.

For more information on The Food Trust, please visit

The CEO Opportunity

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated and seasoned leader to lead a unique organization into the future leveraging its impressive history and national impact. The CEO will assume responsibility for operational excellence of The Food Trust. Reporting directly to, and partnering with the Board of Directors, the CEO will provide the leadership to formulate the future strategic direction of the organization that will guide the implementation of programs and optimize The Food Trust’s financial, operations and human capital capacity internally.

The CEO will need to review the delivery, content, outcomes, and feasibility of The Food Trust’s current programming and services and will need to exercise innovation and creativity to maximize impact. Overseeing the day-to-day operations, the new CEO will need to possess financial acumen and business savvy and offer inspirational and strong leadership and management to a passionate and committed staff. In particular, the CEO will need to strengthen systems, procedures, and policies. In addition, the new CEO will be charged with developing and implementing a holistic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative across the enterprise. The CEO will collaborate with the Board of Directors, build strong relationships with Board members, and communicate proactively with the Board.

Externally, the CEO will be an influential voice for healthy food access in Greater Philadelphia and across the United States and will serve as a strong ambassador for the cause. This new leader will build on The Food Trust’s strong reputation and record of results to elevate the organization as an important national voice and thought partner. As such, they will work closely with partners, donors, elected officials, and others to influence the policy landscape.

The CEO will lead a staff of 90 and oversee the organization’s $10-million budget.

Responsibilities for the CEO will include, but are not limited to:

  • Leading the development and implementation of a new comprehensive strategic plan, in partnership with the Board of Directors, that will guide the future path of the organization;
  • Providing inspirational and motivational leadership for extraordinarily passionate, committed, and skilled staff and fostering a culture of openness, transparency, and collaboration;
  • Setting priorities decisively, assuring accountability, and allocating resources to ensure results;
  • Ensuring that all Food Trust financial standards, operating policies, and programmatic goals are met;
  • Managing day-to-day operations, including setting financial and programmatic goals, analyzing results and taking corrective action in close collaboration with staff and Board.
  • Deepening and fostering strong relationships with The Food Trust’s existing and potential funders; ensuring that fundraising goals are met, and resources are utilized and reported on accurately and in a timely manner;
  • Acting as the chief spokesperson for the organization, cultivating strong relationships with major donors, network partners, stakeholders, volunteers and with policymakers at the local, state, and federal level;
  • Serving as an ambassador both internally and externally, to promote the organization’s mission and to gain necessary resources and support;
  • Embracing a data-driven approach to program evaluation and organizational performance;
  • Communicating consistently and proactively with the Board and other constituents in a thoughtful, clear, and diplomatic manner;
  • Designing and implementing clear expectations, in partnership with the Board, for its contributions to the governance and success of the organization; and
  • Fostering effective strategic alliances with community organizations and policymakers, utilizing network partners to advance the work of The Food Trust.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate for this unique opportunity will be a visionary with strong execution skills and operational sensibilities who can drive change while delivering on impactful programming. The person will be passionate about The Food Trust’s mission and approach to increasing healthy food access through community programs and policy change. The successful candidate will have proven strategic leadership and management skills and experience managing a Board of Directors. In addition to the above, the CEO will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Formulating a Strategic Vision

The CEO will be a strategic, visionary, and results-oriented leader who is experienced at articulating and implementing a plan for increased impact in an organization’s next chapter. They will provide focus, long-term direction, and offer creative ideas to amplify and deepen the impact of The Food Trust’s programs and policy initiatives. Applying a systematic approach to craft clear and challenging goals, the CEO will possess an awareness of program-level implications and cultivate a shared sense of purpose within and beyond the organization to translate their vision into reality. The person must possess an entrepreneurial and fearless spirit and courage coupled with humility and self-awareness.

Business Acumen and Strategic Financial Management 

The CEO will bring strong experience with strategic financial oversight and a comprehensive record of overseeing various functions of an organization. They will have proven experience in process management, budgeting, strategic forecasting and planning, and in overseeing financial, accounting, compliance and risk management of a complex organization. An experienced executer who can link strategy with tactics, they will have experience with grants management, a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use financial and operational metrics to drive organizational decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The CEO will also be skilled at presenting financial and operational information in a clear, concise fashion to a range of constituents with varying levels of expertise in those areas.

Passion for the Mission

As the champion for The Food Trust’s mission, the CEO will bring the dedication and motivation needed to create accessible pathways to healthy food across the sector. This individual will bring a passion improving local communities demonstrated by a commitment in their professional and/or personal life. The CEO will understand the value of relationships and consistently seek out opportunities to increase the organization’s impact with a range of stakeholders. In representing The Food Trust, the CEO will confidently communicate key program and policy areas to situate The Food Trust within the broader landscape of food access across the country.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The next CEO will need to exhibit an abiding passion and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion values. The person must demonstrate a successful track record in advancing organizational DEI objectives and influencing others to approach all work with an equity lens. This individual will bring strategic management skills and experience developing and promoting DEI initiatives across an organization, ideally in a nonprofit setting.

Strong Organizational Leadership

The CEO will have a track record of success in organizational management. As a seasoned leader, they will bring a balanced hand in cultivating organizational culture and crafting strong administrative systems. The CEO will have significant experience in organizational operations, finance, board governance and management, and be a strong partner to the staff. They will be an experienced manager who engenders trust in the staff through a collaborative management style, helps them achieve their potential, and holds them accountable. The CEO will maintain a level of appropriate transparency and consult the staff as partners, leveraging cross-departmental strengths. They will demonstrate honesty, consistency, accountability, inclusivity and respect for individuals while modeling organizational values.

An Ambassador for The Food Trust

Through collaborative leadership, the CEO will develop and implement a shared vision with diverse stakeholders and will be comfortable representing the organization publicly. They will possess a natural ability to convene and inspire individuals, communities, and partner organizations around a common vision. The CEO will be a strong advocate for network constituents, the Board, and the staff. They will be credible when representing the organization in all venues, from meetings with funders to national policy arenas, and will be effective at conveying The Food Trust’s mission. They will be a leader of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Andrew Wheeler and Erin Reedy are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link here. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


The Food Trust provides equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or by any other basis protected under applicable law.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit