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OMRI is Hiring a Technical Director

About OMRI

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a leading nonprofit organization working to strengthen the organic industry. OMRI operates an internationally recognized evaluation program that reviews and lists input products for use in producing, processing, and handling organic foods and fiber. OMRI Listed® products may be allowed for in operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program or the Canadian Organic Standards

Location: OMRI’s offices are located in Eugene, Oregon (Learn more about the City of Eugene). Telecommuting may be an option for the right candidate.

Overview of the Position

We are looking to fill a key position on our team. The Technical Director will be responsible for providing technical support to the OMRI Review Program and the general public, and managing OMRI’s research and education programs. The Technical Director reports to the Executive Director and supervises the Technical Coordinators. The ideal candidate will have notable experience working with organic regulations and a strong understanding and familiarly with organic production and processing in North America. This person will be able to research and analyze complex issues, and clearly communicate technical information to a variety of stakeholders, including organic industry leaders and government officials as well as the general public. The ability to manage projects and programs both independently and with a team is also essential. 

Major Responsibilities:

Staff Management

  • Supervise the technical staff
    • Supervise the day-to-day work of the Technical Coordinator and Senior Bilingual Technical Coordinator, and coach and mentor technical staff
    • Coordinate hiring process for the staff members that this position supervises
    • Conduct periodic performance check-ins and evaluations of supervised staff
    • Serve as a liaison for technical staff, communicating and supporting organizational priorities, and addressing and resolving concerns and/or bringing to upper management as appropriate
    • Advise on personnel issues and strategies as part of the OMRI Personnel Team

Organizational Management

  • Participate in organizational work planning and strategic planning efforts
    • Identify strategies and projects to further OMRI's strategic goals
    • Participate in work planning sessions
    • Oversee the completion of workplan projects, and update the management team on the progress of projects
  • Develop departmental budgets for the research and education programs
  • Conduct assessments and develop recommendations for technical department staffing
  • Participate in organizational decision making at management team meetings
  • Report to the Executive Director and, as needed, the Board of Directors on the activities of the research and education departments

Technical Support 

  • Be a technical resource to address and resolve difficult or complex issues for the OMRI Review Program
    • Answer technical and policy questions from OMRI staff and from prospective applicants and listed suppliers referred by OMRI staff
    • Assist in training Review Program staff
    • Prepare for and attend Review Panel (RP) meetings, when deemed necessary by Review Program and Quality Director
    • Participate in Review Program meetings, as needed
  • Coordinate the work of OMRI’s Advisory Council (AC)
    • Develop and initiate work priorities with the AC Steering Committee
    • Facilitate the AC discussion and decision-making process resulting in either issuance of a policy or standards clarification or a recommendation to the board of Directors to amend OMRI policy or standards
    • Communicate policy or standards questions identified by an RP or staff to the AC, and communicate issues resolved by revision or clarification of OMRI policy or standards to the RPs and staff
    • Work on other AC related tasks identified by AC Steering Committee
  • Oversee the revision of OMRI manuals and technical publications
    • Facilitate revisions of the OMRI Standards Manuals, Generic Materials List and any other technical publications, as needed
    • Work with the Review Program and Quality Director to help facilitate revisions of the OMRI Policy Manual

Research and Education Programs

  • Serve as OMRI’s primary point of contact for governmental and regulatory bodies
    • Interface with U.S. and foreign government officials regarding material review issues. Write and present comments, as needed
    • Write and present comments at National Organic Standards (NOSB) meetings and with National Organic Program (NOP) personnel, as needed
  • Oversee OMRI’s research program
    • Develop and maintain research programs that support OMRI’s mission, strategic plan, and Review Program
    • Collaborate with academic, industry and non-profit researchers
    • Manage technical contracts and projects as needed
  • Manage OMRI education program
    • Collaborate with Marketing Director to develop and maintain an education program that supports OMRI’s mission, strategic plan, and Review Program
    • Develop and manage OMRI technical services for certifiers
    • Provide technical support to certifier and state/provincial program subscribers
  • Collaborate with Executive Director in grant writing and fundraising to support education and research projects

Public Information

  • Provide support and information to the public
    • Write NOSB reports, newsletter articles, website copy, and other public information, as requested
    • Represent OMRI at appropriate trade shows, conferences, and meetings, as requested
    • Answer questions from the general public and individual, organization, business, and educational subscribers
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications:

Education and Experience:

  • Master’s degree in natural sciences or public policy or related field required  
  • Documented training in organic regulations, such as IOIA certification, NOP training, etc. 
  • 3 years of experience working with organic regulations required
  • 3 years of experience managing employees required

Skills:

Required

  • Demonstrated technical writing and research skills 
  • Strong understanding and familiarity with organic food systems and food and agriculture regulations
  • Demonstrated public speaking skills and experience
  • Ability to make and communicate decisions clearly, and delegate work 
  • Ability to coach and mentor employees 
  • Demonstrated project coordination and planning skills 
  • Strong customer service skills 
  • Demonstrated superior written and oral communications skills 
  • Willingness to participate in professional development activities, and ability to acquire new skills and adapt to change quickly 
  • Ability to work constructively as part of a dynamic team 
  • Proficiency in standard office software 
  • High level of attention to detail and ability to process complex information and instructions
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks, organize information, complete tasks in a timely fashion, and appropriate handle confidential business information 

Preferred

  • Bilingual (Spanish/English proficiency)

Other Requirements:

  • Ability to work occasional nights and weekends
  • Ability to frequently travel domestically and internationally
  • Ability to provide annual motor vehicle report and proof of auto insurance, if required

Benefits

  • Full time position with competitive salary
  • 100% employer-paid medical, dental and vision plan
  • 100% employer-paid life insurance, long term disability and short term disability insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Generous paid time off
  • Opportunities for flexible scheduling
  • Opportunities for training and professional development
  • Bike-friendly business with support for alternative transportation options
  • Critical nonprofit organization with established team and leading role in organic industry
  • Casual, fun work environment

Deadline

Open until filled

How to apply

Submit your resume, cover letter and technical writing sample as a PDF or Word document to jobs@omri.org referencing Technical Director in the subject line. Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted. No Phone Calls, Please.

EOE M/F/D/V