Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.

Chief Executive Officer Washington, DC

The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), one of the nation’s most impactful advocates for rural America, seeks a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will further its mission to build healthy and resilient rural and Indigenous communities across the United States. Throughout its nearly 50-year history, RCAP has built collaborative and respectful relationships with thousands of small, rural communities, promoting sustainability, improving quality of life, advancing environmental health, and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. Today, RCAP coordinates with its six regional nonprofit partners on a holistic strategy to advance rural development nationally, creating equitable access to drinking water, sanitary wastewater, solid waste disposal, and community and economic development opportunities.

At the core of RCAP’s multifaceted strategy is its network of over 300 skilled technical assistance providers who work across every state, the US territories, and Indigenous and tribal lands. Last year, RCAP served more than 4.3 million individuals, including over 344,000 tribal members and 1.1 million low-income people in over 2,500 communities. To build capacity for this work at the local level, RCAP invests in training, research, and data collection; cultivates strategic partnerships; elevates the voices of rural and tribal communities through storytelling; and engages in robust policy, advocacy, and grant-seeking efforts. These efforts successfully leverage millions of dollars annually in federal and private support, the majority of which is passed through to its partner organizations.

RCAP has proven itself to be a flexible and adaptable organization, having seen its staff and budget nearly triple over the past five years due to an ambitious impact agenda. For FY2022, RCAP’s operational budget is $4.5 million, and its pass-through budget is $28.5 million, the majority of which is derived from federal agencies, principally the US Department of Agriculture and the US Environmental Protection Agency. The rest of its financial support comes from numerous private philanthropies, whose investments increase and diversify each year. RCAP is headquartered in Washington, DC and is supported by a geographically distributed staff of 22; a 15-member board of directors; and a network of six independent partner organizations that represent the Southeastern, Midwestern, Northeastern and Caribbean, Southern, Great Lakes, and Western regions of the United States.

RCAP’s next CEO will work closely with the organization’s staff, board, and regional and local partners to build power in rural America. They will ensure that RCAP’s approach is judicious, data-driven, and grounded in the lived experiences of rural residents. As a result of the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and increased investment in economic and community development, the CEO will prepare the organization as it continues to grow its footprint and will ensure all programs, and the staff who lead them, are appropriately supported. They will mentor and develop a collaborative team of dedicated professionals across the organization, ensure a healthy and inclusive internal culture, and work in collaboration with the six regional partner CEOs, closely aligning the network around shared goals and strategies. RCAP’s CEO will coordinate and build rapport with key federal funding agencies, private funders, partner organizations, and national thought leaders, and will develop a clear and powerful communications strategy for the organization.

The CEO will bring expertise in translating a vision and strategy into a practical plan and demonstrated experience successfully navigating multilayered networks and bureaucracies, preferably at the federal level. They will be an effective manager of people with particular interest and skill in facilitation and a strong collaborator and communicator with colleagues, partners, and peers. The CEO will commit to learning from and partnering with a diverse array of constituencies and will be skilled in change management, staff and financial leadership, and resource generation and stewardship. Experience working with a governing board is preferable. A professional and personal commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a sophisticated understanding of and commitment to rurality are essential.

All inquiries, nominations, and applications (including resumes and one- to three-page letters of interest responding to the opportunities and challenges outlined above) should be directed in strict confidence electronically below. Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted. To be assured full consideration, please submit materials by Friday, May 13, 2022.

The salary range for this position is $200,000-$250,000.

Rebecca Swartz is leading this search with Tatiana Oberkoetter and Haley Burrowes.

RCAP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

We welcome and encourage applications from candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our workforce across a range of dimensions. Individuals who come from rural areas; who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, or other People of Color; who are queer, trans, non-binary, or two-spirit; people with disabilities; people who are immigrants; people from poor and working-class backgrounds; and people who are/have been system-impacted are strongly encouraged to apply.

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