Job Listings

Executive Director, Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, 85724
Extension and Outreach

Posting Number: req17494

Department: YCEDA

Location: Yuma

Address: Yuma, AZ USA

Position Highlights

Arizona's flagship and land-grant university, the University of Arizona, seeks an entrepreneurial and innovative leader to be the next Executive Director of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture in the Division of Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension.

The Executive Director will work closely with the YCEDA Advisory Council (comprised of seven leaders from both Salinas, California and Yuma, Arizona), 10 College of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences academic unit heads, the ALVSCE Associate Vice President for Research, Associate Vice President and Director of UArizona Cooperative Extension, and Director of the Arizona Experiment Station to advance the division's contributions in meeting the challenges of 21st-century desert agriculture.

YCEDA is funded primarily through membership from its Advisory Council, and the position is contingent upon stakeholder funding. The center is action-oriented and focuses on all aspects of desert crop production. An over-arching aim is to provide research results and productivity to industry very quickly and to facilitate the growth of the strategic alliances which have formed this collaborative network. The Executive Director will be able to advocate for Yuma and other desert agriculture areas and be experienced in working between multiple research areas with diverse researchers using exceptional communication skills.

The Executive Director will report directly to the ALVSCE Vice President/CALES Dean and will work closely with the VP/Dean and the ALVSCE Advancement, Advocacy, Alumni Affairs, Corporate Relations and Development team to grow philanthropy and other non-agency funding.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

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Duties & Responsibilities

Duties and Responsibilities: 

* Provide leadership in addressing and responding to issues
related to desert crop production.
* Facilitate strategic alliances within the desert
agriculture industries that are important to Arizona and maintain the existing
collaborative network.
* Identify and access leading scientists worldwide for
state-of-the-art expertise.
* Build projects and opportunities for externally funded
research in collaboration with CALES academic units and the Cooperative
Extension System.
* Expand the reach of YCEDA and especially establish a
tangible presence in the Salinas valley.
* Maintain the existing strong multimedia presence and build
on it.
* Maintain, promote, and facilitate strategic alliances and
relationships with stakeholders, legislative representatives, granting
agencies, private enterprises, and other interested parties to share the vision
and importance of desert agriculture.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

* Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
* Demonstrated ability to build strong and effective teams to solve specific issues and have the ability to deliver research outcomes to broad audiences.
* Demonstrated ability to communicate in the media.
* A strong expansion mindset in all areas, including new members

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent advanced learning attained through professional level experience required. 
  • Minimum of 11 years of related work experience, including 7 years of managerial experience, preferably in large complex institutions or organizations, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Requires experience in leading multiple teams, projects, programs, and/or functions.
  • Experience with Entrepreneurship.
  • Demonstrated experience with implementation of wide range of cutting-edge technologies.
  • Experience with proactively seeking and securing outside sources of funding from grant agencies, commercial contracting sources, foundations, and other areas.
  • Demonstrated
    experience with a scientific aptitude in multiple crop production
  • Experience working in private industry with an understanding of how to work with an advisory council.
  • Experience
    working with or in academic organizations.
  • Experience with successful strategic planning and implementation, including the leadership ability to attract, motivate and retain outstanding talent.
  • Experience working with a strong relevant national and international professional network.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's preferred.
  • Experience with promotion and marketing, using various forms of media, especially social media.
  • Demonstrated experience with a focus on increasing productivity/acre in desert agriculture issues.
  • Experience working with Cooperative Extension and non-Cooperative Extension personnel.

FLSA: Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.00

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: $164,141 - $213,383

Compensation Type: salary at 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE)



Career Stream and Level


Job Family

Research Program Admin

Job Function


Type of criminal background check required: Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to job duties)

Number of Vacancies: 1

Contact Information for Candidates

Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Cover Letter

Special Instructions to Applicant

Please provide Curriculum Vitae (CV) and Cover Letter (and include Letter of Interest, which should include your philosophy on research, leadership, and management).

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As a Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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