Current Openings

Executive Director

Beth Gilpin Consulting (Vermont Council on Rural Development) - Montpelier, VT, United States

Please note: An application deadline has been set for Sunday, April 28th.

Unleashing the power of Vermonters to create a better future

Invest your passion for building prosperous and resilient rural communities. Collaboratively lead a dedicated team to convene and facilitate democratic engagement and collective action at the local and state level.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of the locally defined progress of Vermont’s rural communities. Actively non-partisan with an established reputation for community-based facilitation, VCRD does its work through trust and communication, building from community conversations and organizing.

VCRD is one of the 37 nationwide State Rural Development Councils authorized in the federal Farm Bill, to facilitate coordination and collaboration across sectors to improve implementation of rural programs. VCRD is overseen by a 24-member Board of Directors comprised of federal, state, local, nonprofit, and private representatives.

For 32 years, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) has implemented this mission by helping rural Vermont communities identify and implement projects that enhance local prosperity and community life, and sponsoring and coordinating neutral, non-partisan public engagement across a range of issues such as:

  • The future of Vermont, broadband, in-state energy development, and Vermont's climate economy;
  • The creative economy, the structure of the planning system, and
  • Agricultural viability, value-added forest products development, and Vermont’s working landscape.

VCRD’s next Executive Director (ED) will guide and empower a small team of skilled, experienced and passionate professionals working to design and implement highly effective facilitation and programming that addresses key issues impacting rural life in Vermont.

VCRD welcomes and encourages applications from both first-time and experienced Executive Directors.


The new E.D. will advance and increase the impact of VCRD’s mission by

  • Building and fostering organizational vision, structure, and development.
  • Developing, overseeing and executing the annual budget and fund development plan.
  • Leading and empowering a team of highly skilled, experienced, and passionate professionals.
  • Overseeing the effective delivery of current and new programs and services.
  • Sustaining VCRD’s long-term credibility as a nonpartisan and nonpolitical convener and facilitator.
  • Maintaining and establishing relationships with political, government, community, nonprofit, legislative, and business leaders.
  • Ensuring that VCRD is inclusive of the diversity of voices and perspectives in our communities as it carries out its mission and work.
  • Developing and sustaining a culturally aware workplace.
  • Developing the annual work plan in collaboration with staff.
  • Developing grant opportunities with federal, state, and foundations to meet the operating budget; cultivating and maintaining relationships with individual donors and philanthropic partners; and working with the board and staff to connect to new donor prospects.

Please note that you can find a PDF of this posting here.


Since its inception, VCRD has built a reputation for integrity as a neutral, non-partisan mediator of public processes. VCRD creates and facilitates the framework for decisions by communities and policy leaders that results in direct and practical outcomes to address fundamental challenges at the local and state level. As a result, the collective success of VCRD’s Programs have included:

  • Over twenty-five years of community development strategic planning processes in more than 85 communities to evaluate assets and challenges, set priorities, build connections, and frame action to drive local community and economic development.
  • Nine Governor's summits or retreats, nineteen statewide Rural Summit conferences, and three national rural policy convenings.
  • Programs and services including the Community Visit program, Climate Economy Initiative, Vermont Community Leadership Network, Summits, Vermont Proposition, the Vermont Working Communities Challenge, Village Trust Initiative, and the Municipal Technical Assistance Program.
  • Policy council initiatives on broadband, agricultural viability, value added forest products development, the creative economy, the structure of the planning system, in-state energy development, the future of Vermont, advancing the Vermont working landscape, and advancing Vermont's climate economy.
  • Strategic planning guidance to initiate creative economy plans in twelve cities and towns.
  • Facilitation of over fifty community projects to advance broadband access.

Based in Montpelier and working throughout Vermont, VCRD has an annual operating budget of approximately $1,200,000 and a staff of eight. Please visit to read about the organization’s mission, vision, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion commitment, core operating principles and more. The position is based in the VCRD Montpelier office with remote work flexibility. Regular evening meetings and in-state travel required.


If you are passionate about VCRD’s mission and think you have what it takes to be successful in this role, please apply even if you don’t check all the boxes outlined in this section and above. We’d appreciate the opportunity to consider your application.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Five years+ of senior leadership in roles at the organizational, program, or departmental level that included financial oversight, people management, and strategic planning, in an organization with at least 5 employees, and an operating budget of at least $500,000.
  • Broad and in-depth knowledge of nonprofit organizations, including funding, administration, grant writing and management, board relations, risk management, and operations.
  • Knowledge of and passion for community and economic development as it relates to small, rural communities.
  • Experience guiding an organization through challenges, growth and change.

Desired Capabilities and Attributes

Community Builder

  • Supports democracy, collaboration, collective wisdom, and inclusion.
  • Understands community and economic development in Vermont and the needs of rural communities and uses this understanding to set future direction for VCRD policy and community initiatives for the benefit of the state.

Visionary and Strategic Leader

  • Appreciation of, commitment to, and confidence in the mission and overall value of VCRD.
  • Has a fundamental commitment to and understanding of local democracy with the knowledge of how local communities run.
  • A systems-thinker who is nimble, flexible, able to absorb many viewpoints, and quickly offer paths forward that consider the collective perspectives of others.
  • Proven commitment to empowering and building communities and partnerships.
  • Advances work through collective vision, collaboration, and facilitation.
  • Effectively manages risk and uncertainty.

Exceptional Communicator, Facilitator and Networker

  • Strong verbal, written and presentation skills across diverse audiences; equally comfortable talking to the farmer down the road, community-based groups, and the governor.
  • Active listener able to convene and neutrally facilitate disparate groups ranging from 5 to 500, lifting up the perspectives of others while demonstrating empathy and humility.
  • Possess the desire and ability to network, interface and easily build deep and meaningful connections with local, federal, and state governments and officials to move work forward.

Skilled Administrator and Empowering Team Leader

  • Fosters a diverse, inclusive, culturally aware and equitable work environment with sensitivity to social, economic, and racial justice issues.
  • Intentional, thoughtful, empathetic and caring, with emotional intelligence and the ability to establish appropriate expectations and boundaries while empowering staff.
  • Recruits, engages, appreciates, and respects staff and provides mentoring and support to augment their growth and fulfillment.
  • Identifies and maximizes the contributions of a large and diverse Board of Directors.

Experienced and Effective Fundraiser

  • Develops and implements complex finance and funding strategies.
  • Broadens organizational fundraising capacity, expertise and resources.
  • Secures, maximizes, and manages contracts and grants from federal, state, and private sources.
  • Cultivates funder relationships, prospects for and secures contributions and grants from foundations.


Base Salary

This is a full-time, exempt position with a salary range of $110,000.00 – 130,000.00 commensurate with experience and qualifications and an attractive benefit package.

Overview of Benefits Offered

Time Off: 11 paid holidays, 15 vacation days (20-hour carry-over), 8 hours’ sick time per month (96-hour max accumulation)

403(b) Retirement Plan: 7% employer contribution regardless of employee contribution.


  • Dental - Provided through Northeast Delta Dental. VCRD covers 90% of the premium.
  • Health - Employee selects from options available from BCBS of VT. VCRD contributes an amount equal to 75% of a Gold Level Family Plan, 80% of a Silver Level Family Plan, 80% of a Gold Level 2-Person plan, and 90% for a Gold Level Single Plan.


This search is being conducted in partnership with Beth Gilpin Consulting. Interested candidates should submit a resume and a cover letter via this website. All submissions will be acknowledged and treated as confidential by the search committee. Applications will be accepted through Sunday, April 28th, 2024, for interviews starting in May 2024, with a July/August start date.

Prospective candidates with questions may contact Beth Gilpin via this website for a confidential exploratory call.

VCRD is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer which is seeking a diverse candidate pool that reflects the underrepresented communities of Vermont. We encourage applications from individuals with historically marginalized backgrounds and/or individuals who know and/or represent rural communities similar to those VCRD serves.

Apply to this job
  • *
    Pick as many as apply
  • *
  • *
  • *
    * Required
  • *
  • *