Executive Director

Position Summary:

The Executive Director for the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Suffolk County represents and is accountable to the Association Board of Directors and the Director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension system. The Executive Director is expected to be an effective leader, helping to develop and project a compelling and contemporary vision for Extension programming to stakeholders, both internal and external.The Executive Director must be engaged with decision makers both locally and at Cornell in order to be effective.

The Executive Director is expected to provide high level leadership and management of the Association within Cornell and local policy direction. The Executive Director develops and maintains effective working relationships among the staff, other Extension Associations, Extension Administration, Cornell faculty, and stakeholders. This position will build positive relationships with legislators, local government leaders, community leaders, funding agencies, and civic groups. The Executive Director exercises professional judgment and executive skills in administering overall Association operations. This position provides leadership in overall educational program development, implementation, establishing program priorities, provide leadership for the ongoing development of a welcoming and inclusive organizational climate for diversity, and program integration across disciplines and within the broader Extension system. The Executive Director is expected to develop enhanced revenue streams to sustain and augment programming in the Association.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Master’s Degree appropriate to the responsibilities of the position.
  • A minimum of six years of progressively responsible experience, including at least three years in Cooperative Extension or a closely related field of employment.PhD may substitute for 2 years of experience.
  • At least four years of substantive leadership and management responsibilities including human resources, finance, and organizational management.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the operation, philosophy, and objectives of a non-formal education system such as Cooperative Extension.
  • Proven success in strategic planning, ability to establish and communicate goals and objectives, and to set meaningful and achievable plans-of-work.
  • Proven experience and success in effective management practices and procedures, including a working knowledge of fiscal planning, budget development and management, proposal writing, and personnel management.
  • Demonstrated ability to staff, develop, motivate, and work with personnel (paid staff, board, committees, and implementation volunteers).
  • Demonstrated ability to work with the general public, community leaders and government officials, and to assess local community issues.
  • Successful track record in fund development, grantsmanship and revenue enhancement.
  • Excellent, proven written and oral and written communication methods (e.g., radio, TV, print, computer, and meetings).
  • Reliable transportation and the ability to meet the travel requirements of the job.
  • Ability to accommodate flexible working hours including nights and weekends as needed.
  • Demonstrated ability to respond decisively, accurately, confidently and courteously to challenges and opportunities.
  • Working knowledge of state-of-the-art technology and the ability to apply it to administrative and educational functions.
  • Success in integrating diversity in the major duties outlined in the position description or demonstrated equivalent transferrable skills to do so.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Substantial coursework and/or experience in education preferred.
  • Experienced in running a not for profit or diverse organizations, with diverse people.Skilled at leading teams, facilitating toward consensus, and planning strategically with multiple stakeholders
  • Experience in leadership, management, education, and/or grant writing/grant management.
  • Substantial training or experience with applied research, non-formal education and/or public outreach.
  • Experience working with State and local officials
  • Knowledge of Suffolk County and contacts in County’s business, industry and economic development communities.

The following behaviors, attributes and actions are expectations of the CCE Association Executive Director:

  • Appreciate and embrace diversity in all interactions with clientele, staff, volunteers and the public.
  • Assist the Cornell Cooperative Extension system in reaching out to diverse audiences.
  • Seek out and take advantage of CCE professional development opportunities for yourself and for Association staff designed to increase awareness and skills in intercultural competency and diversity in all of its forms including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, the LGBTQ community. Physical ability, mental health status, veteran status and economic status.
  • Embrace and support overall CCE efforts to ensure that the staff, volunteers and CCE program participants are representative of the diversity of New York State.
  • Aware of, and adheres to, established CCE of Suffolk County policies and procedures.
  • Contribute to the overall success of the organization by performing all assigned duties in a professional, timely and accurate manner.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.


Applications accepted thru: 1/15/2020

Salary: $150,000.00 negotiable

Estimated Start Date: April 6, 2020

Eligible for Full Benefits: Health insurance, dental insurance, NYS retirement, life insurance 3 weeks annual vacation, 12 sick days per year and 5 floating holidays


Review of applications will begin immediately. Position will remain open until qualified pool of candidates is obtained.

Applicants need to:

  1. Attach/upload a resume to the online application in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.
  2. Attach/upload a cover letter to the online application in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.
  3. Attach/upload contacts info for 3 references to the online application in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.

In the “Experience” section of your application, use the Paperclip icon to search for file(s) or use the “Drop Files Here” box to manually drag document(s) into your application. Once the application is submitted you will not be able to change your submission or add attachments.

External Applicants: (including current employees of other Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations) please refer to the Applying for a Job (External Candidate) document for additional guidance.

Internal Applicants: Current employees of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association indicated in this job posting are considered internal applicants; please refer to the Applying for a Job (Internal Candidate) document for additional guidance.

No relocation or VISA Sponsorship available.

The Association may make reasonable accommodations to enable applicants to participate in the hiring process and employees to perform the essential functions of their job. If you require an accommodation so that you may participate in the selection process you are encouraged to contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Administrative Systems at (607) 255-6120, or via email at: cce.recruitment@cornell.edu.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a collaboration among Cornell University, the United States Department of Agriculture, the State of New York, and the residents of New York State. Per NYS Law, county and regional extension service associations are subordinate government agencies. This employment opportunity is with the entities listed and not with Cornell University.


Valerie J. Smith
Human Resource Director
631-727-7850 x 344

Last updated November 21, 2019