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US Bichar Initiative Program Director

United States Biochar Initiative

5474 SW Arrow Wood Lane

Portland, Oregon 97225




The U.S. Biochar Initiative (USBI) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar through research, policy, technology, and practice. USBI promotes biochar for sustainable food security, improved soil fertility, climate resilience, and other environmental and economic benefits. USBI’s vision is to leave a legacy of fertile soils and carbon sequestered by raising awareness of and increasing the utilization of biochar through collaborative efforts with organizations involved in production, application, and research. USBI engages the scientific, agriculture, and biomass communities to use safe, stable, sustainable biochar through collaboration to learn, educate, inform, demonstrate, and develop markets, policy incentives, and quality standards. The 12-member USBI board of directors is dynamic, talented, and diverse. It includes biochar producers, technology developers and suppliers, researchers, agricultural extension specialists, policy makers, and educators.

Since 2009, USBI has developed networks of companies and individuals who produce carbonization technologies, biochar, and biochar amended products. These networks include brokers and resellers, soil scientists, agronomists and others using biochar to improve soil health, water quality experts, and specialists in other valuable ecosystem services. USBI has provided market and technical assistance information through telephone support (10-15 per week), meetings, workshops, demonstrations, webinars, annual conferences, social media, a website, a video library, and a dedicated online discussion list with 1,300 participants, many of whom are professionals and practitioners. USBI interacts with 200 biochar suppliers and producers, 6,700 newsletter subscribers, more than 18 agencies, and professional and business associations.

The demand for information, education, market development, and technical assistance has increased beyond the means of a volunteer organization. USBI has used funding from conferences, sponsors, donations, grants, and cooperative agreements with the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations program to provide information services to the growing biochar industry. USBI has received a new, three-five year funding commitment from the Wood Innovations Program and US Endowment to provide operating and program implementation funds.

USBI currently is concentrating efforts on six priority focus areas:

1) Organizational Capacity Building

2) Markets and Standards

3) Technical Assistance

4) Education and Outreach

5) Special Initiatives

6) 5-year Strategic Planning and development of a 1–2-year Action Plan.


The individual(s) selected for this program management role will coordinate USBI activities as directed by the USBI Executive Committee and funding organizations.

Primarily, the USBI Program Manager will be responsible for:

  • Convening the various industry sectors and stakeholders to identify and prioritize market and standards development needs.
  • Facilitate development and coordination of programs to develop standards and specifications appropriate to these priority markets.
  • Coordination with USBI Communications Consultant on implementation of outreach and education strategy and action plan.
  • Serving as a USBI representative at local, regional, and national meetings and conferences;
  • Providing technical assistance to companies in forestry, wood products, agriculture, and biomass energy; biochar producers and users; public agencies; and research organizations.
  • Assist with planning and coordination of special projects and initiatives to demonstrate, monitor and promote biochar products and application; and
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of a measurement system that will track outcomes and use results to detail accomplishments and inform achieving USBI goals.

Specific Duties and Outcomes

  • Coordinate closely with the USBI Executive Committee to develop strategies, action plans, and budgets.
  • Maintain momentum for the USBI by detailing accomplishments for publication and distribution. This includes production of an annual report.
  • Create, organize, and maintain a file management system and adhere to internal controls policies.
  • Oversee the USBI program budget, including billings, payments, and other financial transactions.
  • Manage staff / contractor work assignments, workloads, and schedules.
  • Focus significant attention on new relationship development to biochar producers and users.
  • Work to implement the 5-year Strategy and 1-2 year Priority Focus Area Action plans.
  • Serve as the lead contact for all national, regional, state, and local programs that USBI is involved with.


The period of performance is 24 months with the possibility of an extension.

How to Apply

This position will be open until filled. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to matt@usendowment.org. Please include USBI Program Director Position in the subject line of your email.


$140,000 to $185,000

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