Position Summary

Position Description

Position Highlights

The University of Arizona County Cooperative Extension Director position for Maricopa County (MCCE) provides key leadership and oversight of Extension programs, faculty, and staff. The primary focus of this position is to facilitate innovative and impactful strategic directions and guide planning and actions to meet county-wide needs, develop the capacity of MCCE through internal and external partnerships, seek and oversee external funding, hire and mentor faculty, and communicate impacts through reports using a variety of means. The Director will utilize a strengths-based approach that meets the unique needs of the county and its people. The position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, strategic thinking, and the ability to influence and work with decision-makers and stakeholders on many levels.

Administrative and Supervisory Duties

This position includes administrative responsibility as County Extension Director and will represent Arizona Cooperative Extension at county and state levels. This includes attending college and county-level department head meetings, negotiating county budgets, interfacing with the County Board of Supervisors, Extension Advisory Board management and development, engaging with other community groups, assuming responsibilities of vacant county positions, and resolving issues of concern with volunteers and community partners. Supervisory duties include direct supervision of administrative staff and county-based faculty and indirect supervision of 60-70 employees. The Director works collaboratively with the Manager of Finance and Administration to oversee and make budgetary and human resources decisions. Additional responsibilities may be deemed necessary and will be assigned by the Associate Vice President and Director of UArizona Cooperative Extension.

County Program Development and Implementation

  • Oversees development of a broad-based Extension program that serves the overall Cooperative Extension mission and strategic plan.
  • Facilitates county-level assessments, evaluation, and strategic planning.
  • Identifies financial resources and opportunities (grants, contracts, in-kind contributions, gifts, etc.) to support unit and statewide Extension and University goals and strategic directions.
  • Provides leadership, guidance, and direction in implementing the strategic plan of the county unit, UArizona Cooperative Extension, and the University of Arizona.
  • Promotes communication and teamwork with county and state Extension and other faculty, staff, and volunteers.
  • Provides direction in developing a marketing plan and related marketing materials, websites, and newsletters using various mass media methods.
  • Promotes Cooperative Extension as the outreach arm of the state land-grant university.
    Program Evaluation and Results.
  • Provides oversight for program and personnel evaluation and ensures documentation of results and impacts of educational programs.
  • Oversees communication of program results to both professional peers and clientele through periodic reports, scholarly works, and various types of publications (e.g., bulletins/fact sheets, popular articles, state publications, scientific articles, social media, video, and computer programs and applications, etc.).

Professionalism and Service

  • Maintains professional competence through study, participation in professional activities, and the application of knowledge and skills attained on the job.
  • Maintains high ethical and professional standards and is loyal to Cooperative Extension, the University of Arizona, and the state of Arizona.
  • Promotes public understanding and support for Extension and University policies and programs.
  • Performs as a collegial member of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
  • Serves in leadership service roles on internal and external committees, boards, working groups, etc.
  • Collaborates with peers to achieve goals and objectives.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs):

  • Knowledge of public funding streams, grants, contracts, and fund development.
  • Demonstrated skills in written form including any or all the following: reports, fact sheets, briefs, journal articles, scholarly works, or other publications for public distribution.
  • Knowledge of group dynamics and skills in team building.
  • Evidence of ability to supervise and evaluate employees.
  • Demonstrated skills in addressing and resolving complex problems, sometimes without clear precedent.
  • Knowledge of group dynamics and human relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop coalitions, collaborate, and create a shared vision.
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the variety of topics and issues relevant to current Maricopa County Cooperative Extension projects, programs, and activities.
  • Evidence of ability to build a team of faculty and staff using the Extension program model.
  • Evidence of skill and proficiency in Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), and digital communication tools such as Teams and Zoom.
  • Familiarity with multicultural and different socioeconomic and underserved audiences, an interest in working with people from a variety of backgrounds, and a commitment to excellence in all aspects of the position.
  • Evidence of leadership, teamwork, collaboration, excellence in human relationship skills, and excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Outstanding record of research-based Cooperative Extension/community-engaged programming.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and capacity to engage with the types of local economic, social, and governance challenges and opportunities in Maricopa County’s context.
  • Evidence of successful grant and contract acquisition and management for interdisciplinary approaches.

Required Qualifications

• Requires at least a master’s degree to perform job duties in an area related to the needs and efforts of the County Extension Programs. • Minimum of seven years of related work experience, including five years of managerial and/or leadership experience, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

• Earned Doctorate Degree in a relevant field. • Demonstrated leadership experience, preferably land-grant systems, or comparable organizations with significant recognition within a field of specialization. • Five or more years of experience as a high-level administrator or executive director. • Demonstrated direct supervisory experience for 10 or more employees. • Evidence of experience with interdisciplinary approaches to programming.

Other Requirements

Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to title or department)

Contact Name

Vanessa Parra gvparra@arizona.edu

Contact Email


Contact Phone


Application Instructions

Curriculum Vitae (CV), Cover Letter, and One Additional Document Please provide transcripts with the application, upload as an additional document. Finalists will need to provide 3 references upon request.

Equal Employer Statement(s)

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As a Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

About University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please go to https://talent.arizona.edu/