LEARN Seeks New Director – Job Description

                         Job Description: Director, LEARN@EcoVillage Ithaca

Our Vision is a world in which people actively care for each other and the planet.

Our Mission is to provide transformative learning experiences for growing healthy, just and sustainable communities both locally and globally. We support and draw from a variety of practical and visionary resources, especially the living, learning community of EcoVillage Ithaca.

Job Title: Director, LEARN@EcoVillage Ithaca (LEARN)

Job Purpose: The Director provides creative leadership and vision for LEARN, the educational outreach arm of EcoVillage Ithaca, one of the largest and most well-known ecovillages in the world. They help LEARN fulfill its mission by developing and administering educational programs, and implementing the organization’s strategic plan.

Reports to: LEARN Advisory Board and Anke Wessels, Executive Director of The Center for Transformative Action (CTA). LEARN is a project of CTA.

Duties and Responsibilities

Project Management and Financial Oversight

Education: Director oversees and evaluates existing and proposed educational programs consistent with the strategic plan. They coordinate group tours and workshops for students and interested adults, ranging from short, two-hour “Dips” to five-day “Dives.” They also work with green building and design professionals to provide continuing education opportunities, as funding permits.

Fundraising: Works with the Development Circle to raise annual operating funds for LEARN (current budget is $60,000). Current fundraising sources include individual donations, foundation grants, program income, memberships, book sales, and visitor hospitality. The Director currently has primary responsibility for most of these areas, including cultivating new and existing donors.

Supervision: Oversees and works with a variety of consultants, volunteers and interns, through direct supervision or circles (committees). Though staffing levels can vary, Director currently supervises one part-time administrative assistant who also coordinates individual visitors and one part-time Eco-Gap coordinator. There are approximately 20 volunteers who assist with programs and/or administrative work as needed. Works with CTA to ensure CTA’s Personnel Policies and Procedures are followed.

Financial Oversight: Working with the Advisory Board treasurer and CTA, Director produces an annual budget, and supervises the administrative assistant who handles deposits and invoices. Director reviews monthly financial statements from CTA and with the treasurer reports to the Board and monitors the financial situation of the organization. They ensure compliance with CTA’s fiscal policies and procedures.

Occasional Responsibilities

Communication and Media: Working with volunteers, the Director oversees the production of a printed Annual Report. Director makes sure that the website, ecovillageithaca.org (re-built in 2014), Facebook Page, and outreach materials such as brochures are up to date and relevant. Director sends out occasional updates on Mail Chimp to a list of about 1,200 people.      

Director works with local, national and international media to set up and participate in interviews for print and radio or television broadcast. They supply background material for books and documentaries which include EcoVillage Ithaca.

Outreach:  Director corresponds and/or meets with a wide variety of people interested in the EcoVillage concept and provides resources for groups as diverse as sustainability researchers, cohousing groups, other ecovillages, and graduate students  all over the world. Director maintains relationships with other local, national and international organizations as time allows.

Advisory Board: Works with Advisory Board to set monthly board meeting agendas, and to implement decisions.

Documentation:  Documents progress of organization through the distribution of membership updates by email, Facebook, and postings on the website, as well as writing monthly staff reports.

Organizational Structure The Director is hired by CTA with the recommendation of the LEARN Advisory Board. The Director supervises LEARN staff, consultants and interns, and works with the Board to define these positions and recruit candidates. The Director works with staff and volunteers to support Board committees (also called circles), and to support and coordinate interactions with LEARN members, EcoVillage residents, volunteers and a wide range of collaborators and clientele outside the organization.


  • ability to provide strategic and visionary leadership for an internationally recognized organization
  • both an entrepreneur and a team-player
  • non-profit management experience
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written
  • broad knowledge of sustainability practices
  • proven fundraising abilities, including a diverse range of strategies (such as donors, grants, program fees)
  • ability to develop, monitor and manage organizational budget
  • ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of organizations, including CTA, and individuals
  • ability to inspire and manage teams of volunteers
  • ability to maintain good relationships with EcoVillage residents

Hours: The current hourly, non-exempt position is 19 hours/week at $25 per hour, with the possibility of an increase up to full-time, depending on funding. Benefits include two weeks paid vacation per year (rising to 6 weeks over time). If the position increases in hours, health benefits will also be included.

There are no special working conditions or physical requirements for the job. However, there is currently no office, and Director and other staff work out of their homes.

Direct Reports: Administrative Assistant, 10 hours/week, Eco-Gap Assistant, 4-8 hours/week

Equal Opportunity:  CTA is an equal opportunity employer. Employees are hired based on their merit, ability, experience, and training without regard to race, color, national origin or ancestry, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical ability, size, religious affiliation, or genetic makeup. We are committed to being an inclusive organization and encourage people from diverse communities to apply.

Application Information:

For a detailed position description visit http://ecovillageithaca.org/news-events/ Applicants should email a resume, cover letter and 3 references to arlene.learn@ecovillageithaca.org  with “LEARN Director Search Committee” in the subject line. Questions may also be directed to the Search Committee through this email.

Deadline: July 15, 2019