Don’t miss out on the largest nonprofit awards ceremony in the country! Click HERE to purchase your Salute to Excellence tickets!

The Nashville Food Project

Chief Program Officer

The Nashville Food Project


Job Summary

Mission, Vision, and Values
The Nashville Food Project brings people together to grow, cook and share nourishing food, with the goals of cultivating community and alleviating hunger in our city. At The Nashville Food Project, we embrace a vision of vibrant community food security in which everyone in Nashville has access to the food they want and need through a just and sustainable food system. This mission and vision are guided by core organizational values, including hospitality, stewardship, interdependence, learning, justice, and transformation.

Organizational Background
The Nashville Food Project (TNFP) was born from the idea that good food is a matter of basic dignity. Since its start in 2007, TNFP has served thousands of Nashvillians facing food insecurity. In 2011, TNFP was incorporated as an independent nonprofit, shifting the focus of its meals program toward a collaborative partnership model and launching an urban agriculture program. Today, TNFP continues to connect people to nourishing food and to each other through vibrant urban agriculture projects, made-from-scratch meals, and food shared with local partners working to disrupt cycles of poverty.

Position Summary
The Chief Program Officer (CPO) is responsible for the development, management and evaluation of programs at The Nashville Food Project. Reporting to the CEO, the CPO leads the articulation and operationalization of the strategic priorities of TNFP through its programs and partnerships.

Job Responsibilities

Position Description
The Chief Program Officer will serve as a key member of the leadership team with strategic and operational responsibility for programs at The Nashville Food Project. The ideal candidate will have the following qualities, skills and characteristics:

The CPO will possess a passion for the mission, vision, and values of TNFP. The ideal candidate will understand the importance of widened access for communities disproportionately affected by food insecurity. The CPO will have a strong understanding of the interconnection of social justice and food justice, and be committed to disrupting systems of poverty in a smart, driven organization entering its second decade of work.

The CPO will play a key role in the leadership and development of TNFP program directors and staff. The CPO will lead with empathy, kindness and a strong commitment to service. The ideal candidate will be a proven leader with maturity and experience leading high-performing, dynamic teams. The CPO will have a proven record of effective management and a demonstrated ability to build, coach, and motivate teams while focusing on impact. They will inspire and empower staff with effective communication, constructive feedback, and consistent collaboration.

The CPO will lead through a deep commitment to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. They will be knowledgeable of how food justice is inextricably linked to racial, environmental, economic, and health justice. This person must demonstrate the ability to advance organizational objectives and influence others to approach all work with an equity lens from within their team and function. A trustworthy partner to staff, the CPO will model consistency in using the organizational values as regulative ideals for leadership and accountability.

The CPO will be a systems thinker with the vision, capacity, and experience to help lead a complex organization with a variety of programs. They will be an intuitive planner with an ability to set priorities and develop and implement thoughtful, clear, action-oriented plans to guide programs. The CPO will be creative in designing, implementing and evaluating programmatic initiatives. They will help build partnerships and establish relationships across the community, including with funders, volunteers, community leaders, and other supporters. The ideal candidate is systems-oriented and is excited to convene diverse stakeholders to affect big picture change of the food system.

● Oversee TNFP programs, ensuring each is adequately staffed, resourced, and supported
● Collaborate with program directors to refine existing programs as needed and co-create new programmatic initiatives aligned with the strategic priorities of the organization
● Develop and implement systems to support programmatic staff to track annual work plans and strategic priorities
● Communicate program updates to the Leadership Team and Board on a regular basis
● Maintain strong relationships with key partners of TNFP programs by regularly convening meetings to stay abreast of community priorities and partnership opportunities
● Coordinate with program directors to develop program-level budgets and financial metrics
● Assist program staff in maintaining expenses within budgeted parameters
● Design and implement a programmatic impact dashboard to measure and evaluate key
performance indicators (KPIs) based on strategic organizational priorities
● Collaborate with the Leadership Team and program directors to identify, cultivate, and pursue new revenue opportunities (including grants and social enterprises) for new and existing programs

Strategic Leadership
● Lead, supervise, and evaluate the work of the program teams in meeting strategic goals
● Collaborate with the CEO and Board to facilitate the strategic planning process as needed
● Collaborate with the Leadership Team and Board in the development and implementation of a systems change approach across the organization to ensure TNFP’s programmatic priorities are aligned with mission, values, and strategic goals

● Cultivate relationships with volunteers, community partners, and other key stakeholders affecting the efficacy and vitality of TNFP programs
● Communicate effectively in public with diverse groups of TNFP stakeholders
● Co-create, convene, and facilitate meetings with program partners and food system
stakeholders to build alignment between organizational priorities and community needs
● Contribute to the production of newsletter articles, social media content, board reports, strategic planning documents, and other promotional materials as needed
● Assist with Board meetings and standing board committees as needed


● Multiple years of progressive experience in personnel management
● Keen organizational, analytical, and problem-solving skills
● Demonstrated ability to hold others accountable to organizational policies and procedures
● Exemplary communication skills, interpersonal skills, and professionalism
● Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with staff and stakeholders
● Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
● Proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite and Google Suites
● Ability to collaborate with the team on-site for a majority of working time

● Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent education and experience
● Minimum of five years of experience in nonprofit management or related field
● Strong interest in, or experience with, anti-poverty and/or food justice work
● Background experience in culinary arts, food service management, and/or agriculture

Additional Information


This position is full-time, exempt, and salaried. Weekend and evening hours may be required.

Starting annual salary is $70,000 – $80,000, commensurate with experience. TNFP offers a benefits package for full-time employees including:
● 75% employer paid health insurance, and voluntary dental and vision insurance
● Employer paid term-life and AD&D insurance, and long-term disability insurance
● Employee assistance program
● Cell phone stipend
● Nine paid holidays, plus two floating holidays
● Paid Time Off (PTO) program
● Parental leave
● Ongoing training and professional development opportunities

How to Apply

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter outlining your interest in our work and mission to Applications received on or before September 9, 2022 will receive priority consideration. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

In all aspects of its work, The Nashville Food Project strives for a culture of inclusivity and fairness without discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristics protected by law.


  • Date Posted: August 16, 2022
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Accounting / Financial Management
  • Service Area: Other
  • Salary Range: $70,000 - $80,000