New! Climate Partnership and Development Assistant Position

As a project of the ECOP Climate Priority Action Team (PAT), the Climate Partnership and Development Assistant Position will help advance the Cooperative Extension System in expanding our footprint of work from a national perspective in Climate.  

The Extension Foundation (ExF) is seeking an individual to work with our Partnership and Development Coordinator to further design and develop new partnerships and funding sources, serve as project coordinator, and be key administrative support for ECOP Climate PAT projects.  This position will work closely with Priority Action Team and Priority Implementation Team leaders and their goals to seek additional partnerships (both capacity and funding), provide administrative support for implementation and communication

Thematic areas for Priority Implementation Teams (PITs) will be finalized in September, but some examples could include: 

  • Climate-Smart Agriculture – Helping farmers, ranchers and landowners develop and adopt climate-sensitive practices on working lands will improve the profitability and sustainability of plant and animal systems in rural and urban environments. These practices will maintain adequate and safe food systems as supply chains are strained under a shifting climate.   
  • Climate-Resilient Communities – Cooperative Extension can work with rural and urban communities to develop climate-sensitive community plans to support the adaptation, mitigation, and resilience of communities to climate change.
  • Ecosystem services – Cooperative Extension supports the protection and preservation of natural areas and resources amid changing climates. For example, translational research and Extension programs focused on adaptation, mitigation and resilience can help reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forest production. 

These and potentially other themes identified for priority action will have a couple of initiatives embedded in them. In addition, themes will encompass Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (who we support, who we hire to serve, how we make our organizations open to all, the science we have must be broadly available and appropriate, how do we ensure our programming does not create inequities) to make sure that we reach all US residents in rural and urban communities, especially those in underserved locations. Second, partnerships with private and public entities have been a cornerstone of Extension’s success for more than a century and will be a foundation of these initiatives. Third, climate literacy will be embedded in each of the themes focusing on appropriate and specific audiences including community leaders, farmers, ranchers, agricultural businesses, landowners, families, and youth.

The Priority Action Team (25 members) will have the goal to identify potential partners, build collaborations, and resources for national Extension programs surrounding climate. This team will involve Extension Directors, Extension specialists, and outside collaborators such as federal government agencies and philanthropic organizations. The Priority Action Team will meet quarterly to discuss emerging opportunities for Extension in climate and to help identify potential partners. 

Priority Implementation Teams (3 teams, 10 members) would be composed of Extension specialists from across the nation with the task of identifying Extension programs that are ready to be scaled up and funded at the national level. The first task of the Priority Implementation Teams is to develop a foundational letter of intent that would be available to adjust when different funding opportunities arise. This document could be used by APLU during funding discussions or by members of the Priority Action Team. The Implementation Teams would serve as Extension’s partnering group regarding national climate initiatives for their theme. The implementation team would also be responsible for developing letters of intent or submitting large grants on behalf of ECOP. A second task of the Priority Implementation Team would be to provide content to further develop the advocacy toolkit for climate, mitigation, resiliency, and adaption Initially, these teams would meet monthly. 


  • Develop strong relationships with the Extension Foundation team and the ECOP PAT and PIT’s. 
  • Cultivate opportunities for additional engagement and new partner participation with PIT projects.
  • Support proposal development and secure funding in collaboration with the Extension Foundation Partnership and Development Coordinator for the PAT/PIT identified Projects. 
  • Assist in the scheduling, agenda-setting, communication sharing and general administrative support of the Climate PAT (Quarterly meetings) Leadership and PITs (Monthly meetings) in coordination with the ExF Partnership and Development Team. 


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 2-5 years related experience required. 
  • Demonstrated experience in partnership and fund development to support national projects.  
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral required.
  • Strong organizational skills, with the ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks and work within tight deadlines.
  • Ability and willingness to be the meeting organizer, notetaker and ensure action items are recorded and followed up with
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives.
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively and entrepreneurially engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside Extension Foundation.
  • High energy and passion for the mission of Extension Foundation and Cooperative Extension.
  •  Experience in a virtual, national or global team environment preferred.

To apply for this position please complete the online application here:  

The Climate Partnership and Development Assistant Position is housed within the Extension Foundation, reporting to the Partnership and Development Coordinator.  This is a virtual position with some travel to meetings.  Personal office equipment will be required for daily work. 

Please complete the online application by September 8, 2021 for consideration.

The New Technologies for Agricultural Extension (NTAE) cooperative agreement (grant no. 2020-41595-30123) with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through a partnership with Oklahoma State University and the Extension Foundation will enter its third year on September 1, 2021.