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CitySeed is hiring! Sanctuary Kitchen Program Director

CitySeed seeks a dynamic and driven leader with proven experience in program growth and strategy to lead Sanctuary Kitchen.

Job Overview

Sanctuary Kitchen, a program of CitySeed founded in 2017, partners with refugee and immigrant chefs to build economic opportunity and authentic connections through food. Sanctuary Kitchen runs a social enterprise that offers employment at above-market wages, culinary training, and professional development to 40+ chefs from 11 different countries. Through our food and events, Sanctuary Kitchen reaches thousands of people, building intercultural understanding in New Haven and beyond.

The Sanctuary Kitchen Program Director will be a mission-focused, strategic, and community-oriented leader. They will lead the Sanctuary Kitchen team - including colleagues, immigrant and refugee chefs, and volunteers. They will work closely with a broad network of stakeholders, including advisory board members, non-profit and community partner organizations, and social enterprise partners (such as catering customers or workforce development partners). The Sanctuary Kitchen Program Director will be a leader who can build on the success of the program over the past four years, and scale its growth to deliver measurable results in the future. The Program Director will contribute creativity, organization, and cultural humility to the team, and bring a lens of racial equity and economic opportunity to the work. Formalizing the chef training program’s curriculum and pipeline, and forging partnerships with potential job-placement sites will be at the forefront of the Program Director’s work. Equally important will be to further develop Sanctuary Kitchen’s food business model in close collaboration with Sanctuary Kitchen’s Culinary Manager. This position reports to CitySeed’s Managing Director, and works closely with CitySeed’s Executive Director and Sanctuary Kitchen’s Culinary Manager. 

Duties and Responsibilities

The Sanctuary Kitchen Program Director will lead Sanctuary Kitchen’s programs and internal operations, including: team management, program strategy and implementation, partnership building and outreach, and communications. 

Programming Strategy and Implementation

  • Oversee the day-to-day functioning of Sanctuary Kitchen programming. Develop and implement long-term strategy for Sanctuary Kitchen’s projects and programs, including the development of Sanctuary Kitchen’s food business, culinary training and professional development programs, and cultural events
  • Produce and implement monitoring and evaluation plans with relevant metrics to monitor the growth and success of Sanctuary Kitchen over time
  • Evaluate all Sanctuary Kitchen plans, programs, activities and procedures with regard to their purpose, inclusivity, sustainability and impact on the organization and community
  • Maintain and oversee the growth of Sanctuary Kitchen’s year-round culinary training program for immigrant and refugee chefs, including various learning modules (ESL, culinary skills, job-readiness), professional development experiences (ex: kitchen experience, sales and customer service experience, internships, etc.), and job placement opportunities
  • Plan and implement culinary events (cooking classes, supper clubs, etc.) in partnership with Sanctuary Kitchen chefs and community partners; oversee event logistics, promotion, and facilitation often with the support of other staff, volunteers, or advisory board members
  • Work closely with the Culinary Manager on developing Sanctuary Kitchen’s Food Business model, including product development, sales and outreach strategy, fiscal goals, etc.
  • Build the capacity of Sanctuary Kitchen’s systems and processes by maintaining and coordinating various platforms (ex: Square, Squarespace, Eventbrite, Google Drive, etc.)  to ensure the efficiency, sustainability and growth of the program over time

Budgeting and Financials

  • Support the Executive Director on fundraising strategy related to Sanctuary Kitchen
  • Support the Managing Director in developing the annual budget for Sanctuary Kitchen, as well as regular financial check-ins throughout the year to meet Sanctuary Kitchen’s monthly and annual fiscal goals
  • Manage Sanctuary Kitchen’s billing and accounting processes by working with the Culinary Manager and CitySeed’s accountant

Team Management

  • Provide a consistent day-to-day leadership presence for the Sanctuary Kitchen team
  • Alongside the Managing Director, hire, train, supervise, and evaluate Sanctuary Kitchen staff and interns as appropriate, and in accordance with CitySeed’s personnel policies
  • Lead and nurture a strong team, building relationships with inclusivity and strengthening leadership at all levels of the program
  • Create a positive work environment aligned with CitySeed organizational values and Sanctuary Kitchen’s culture of diversity, collaboration, and inclusion 
  • Promote effective, inclusive and consistent internal communications within Sanctuary Kitchen’s team, between CitySeed staff, and with external stakeholders  
  • Ensure staff and program are supported with physical infrastructure and equipment needs

Partnerships and Outreach

  • Establish and maintain intentional, diverse, and collaborative relationships with other organizations and partners to further Sanctuary Kitchen’s mission
  • Manage and coordinate strategic planning with the Sanctuary Kitchen advisory board
  • Work with the Volunteer Coordinator to manage the recruitment, training, scheduling, and evaluation of 200+ Sanctuary Kitchen volunteers

Communications, Marketing and Branding

  • Serve as the spokesperson for Sanctuary Kitchen and oversee the program’s communications strategy through print, online, public relations and community outreach channels
  • Work closely with CitySeed’s Marketing Coordinator to create and execute content for Sanctuary Kitchen’s newsletter, website, social media, and other campaigns to promote Sanctuary Kitchen food products, sales, events, and the program overall 
  • Identify new opportunities for improving customers’ experience, both online and in-person

We anticipate that a successful candidate will have management experience in a nonprofit or values-driven organization, and direct or lived experience working with immigrants and refugees. CitySeed recognizes that experience and expertise come in many forms. If you have different experiences that you think are a good fit for the role, please apply so we can learn more about you.  

Required Qualifications 

  • Belief in the mission and core values of Sanctuary Kitchen and CitySeed
  • 5+ years of relevant experience, such as: culinary experience, food business management, cultural programming, workforce development, non-profit management, etc.
  • Program leadership experience including: budget and fiscal management, goal-setting, team building and staff management, monitoring and evaluation, program growth and outreach
  • Lived experience and/or direct experience working with immigrant and refugee communities
  • Strong written communications skills including: writing and editing, developing proposals, newsletters and social media content, and crafting outreach materials
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with many stakeholders, including Sanctuary Kitchen chefs, colleagues, board members, customers and partners
  • Experience taking initiative and managing complex projects that require organization, attention to detail, prioritizing activities, and meeting deadlines
  • Entrepreneurial mindset, ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Passion for community-level food systems and a commitment to racial and economic justice

Desired Qualifications 

  • Experience with higher-level organizational strategy and organizational growth
  • Flexibility, maturity and a sense of humor 
  • Have experience working with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds
  • Basic understanding of Arabic, Farsi/Dari and/or Spanish 
  • Knowledge of the New Haven food system and/or nonprofit landscape
  • Basic social media, website and design experience (Canva, Adobe Creative Suite, or similar)
  • ServSafe Food Manager or equivalent certification 
  • Able to lift/carry up to 50 pounds for kitchen management, events, farmers markets, etc.


  • Desired Start Date: Early June 2021
  • Location: New Haven, CT
  • This position is full-time and salaried. Salary is commensurate with experience, starting at  $45,000. 
  • Benefits include vacation and holidays, parental leave, health care and a flexible work schedule. 
  • The Sanctuary Kitchen Program Director will be expected to work some evenings and weekends, to support events and programs, as needed.

To Apply: Please fill in your information and attach your resume and cover letter through this form.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. CitySeed is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all employees and our community. 

About CitySeed: CitySeed is a dynamic, community-based nonprofit organization based in New Haven, Connecticut, whose mission is to engage the community in growing an equitable, local food system that promotes economic development, community development, and sustainable agriculture.

Our values include: 

  1. supporting community rights to access healthy and culturally-appropriate food and recognizing the know-how, celebration, and/or history that each community member brings to food and cooking; 
  2. dismantling privilege, oppression, and racism in the food system; 
  3. collaborating with community partners on food justice and inclusive growth projects and to leverage resources and programming to better serve the community at large.

For more about CitySeed and our mission visit our website:

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