Join Delta

Throughout the year, Delta Institute offers internships for individuals who can help advance Delta’s mission, while gaining hands-on experience and skill development.

There are currently no internship opportunities at Delta Institute.

Specialist, Programs

Chicago, IL


Grade: 3

Salary Range: $54,636 – 71,027


A quick description of Delta Institute

Thriving Communities. Thriving Landscapes. Action and impact are core to Delta as we strive to create a Midwest and Great Lakes region with a healthy environment, robust economy, and vibrant communities. Delta creates programs that show how policies, ideas, and resources can be harnessed for a more sustainable and resilient region. We take a systems view on how businesses, communities, and government and are impacted by the environment and economy, and create comprehensive solutions that pull these pieces together. Delta is proud to have a multidisciplinary team, and we strive to attract a diversity of experience, skillsets, and perspectives to enable us to challenge assumptions and create new approaches to long-standing problems.


Core Skillset

A specialist performs program, administrative or organizational development-related tasks.  Specialists are directed in their work on a day-to-day basis but manage large work projects with some guidance from directors.  Serves as liaison with clients and stakeholders and is responsible for ensuring timely communication, consistent work flow and high quality deliverables. Specialists represent the organization at public events and raise funds to support the organization.

Other core skillset attributes are:

  • Work in a timely and collaboratively manner on multiple deliverables with internal and external stakeholders
  • Identify and lead specific organizational initiatives
  • Developing new strategies that advance Delta and its mission
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Advanced knowledge of environmental and economic issues not only in the Great Lakes region but in the Midwest



Position Specifics

As a Specialist, an employee will know what happens on the ground in the dynamic landscapes of the Midwest and Great Lakes. A Specialist will bring that robust experience in regenerative food and land stewardship to Delta while working within the team to implement a variety of projects that focus on changing how we think about the practices that we implement on the landscape, how we value the environmental impacts, and how to change the structural drivers to create large-scale impacts.

A Specialist will bring strong technical skills to the team including an aptitude for technical analysis, communication, networking and collaboration. A Specialist will continue to build expertise in the team’s focus areas. A Specialist should be adept at tackling difficult environmental and social problems (as it pertains to agriculture and land stewardship) with often unclear paths to success, or take iterative approaches with a long-term goal of seeking solutions to larger social and environmental issues. A Specialist will also need to be comfortable working by themselves, among multiple types of personalities, on tight deadlines, in ambiguous and circuitous circumstances, and have an overall positive outlook on the change that happens in the world.

As part of a truly multidisciplinary organization, the Specialist will also interface and support other projects that require unique skills and knowledge; and, have a knack translating complex ideas to a variety of audiences both internally and externally.


What you’ll be doing:

  • Collaborate on multiple agriculture, regenerative food and landscapes projects to ensure high-quality, on-time, and on-budget deliverables
  • Manage staff, interns, and partners to complete deliverables
  • Assist in the creation of decision support tools for a variety of stakeholders
  • Identify, lead, and implement projects and/or project tasks as part of a project team
  • Work to conceive and develop proposals, and engage team members in the development process
  • Collaborate on team planning and implementation meetings
  • Where project structures require it, take a hands-on approach by developing work plans with tasks, timeframes, milestones, resources, and dependencies; or, when required, a hands-off approach by providing project teams with the resources they need to execute high-quality project deliverables
  • Develop and maintain key professional affiliations in support of organizational and professional development goals
  • Identify program partners and collaborate across boundaries to meet common objectives
  • Identify and understand the primary users of products, services, and deliverables
  • Maintain effective communication with clients and stakeholders managing and meeting project expectations
  • Be adaptable in acknowledging that other duties will come and go; and, be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done


What you’ll have:

  • College degree preferred, and advanced degree desired or equivalent experience
  • At least 5-7 years of overall professional experience specifically in agriculture, regenerative foods and/or land stewardship
  • Strategic, excellent organizational skills, self-starter, motivated, and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Ability to apply systems thinking to complex environmental issues
  • Demonstrated success developing and evaluating program models, and selecting and successfully operationalizing innovative programs
  • Proficient in using technology as both a project implementation tool as well as a management reporting tool
  • Ability to organize, analyze, and visualize data and documents to produce deliverables
  • Proficient in producing GIS-based deliverables
  • Strong project management skills managing complex, multi-faceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
  • Experience in managing and motivating people to meet high performance standards
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail

Core competencies are the values and defined behaviors that we believe are central to the ability of every employee to do the work of the Delta Institute.  These core competencies are a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviors that are the mark of a good Delta employee.   Core competencies are a distinguishing characteristic of Delta employees for our clients, customers and stakeholders.  They are a visible demonstration of our shared values and are evident in how we work together.  Individuals can be at different levels of ability on a specific core competency which is why we measure ability each year and provide feedback and development suggestions.

All Delta employees have these core competencies:

  • Adaptive
  • Cooperative
  • Equitable
  • Passionate
  • Pragmatic
  • Transparent
  • Tenacious



  • Continually required to sit
  • Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Continually required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Continually required to talk or hear
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move up to 10 pounds


Delta offers its employees a competitive salary with a robust benefits package that includes generous paid time off, 401k, and medical, dental & vision insurance. Delta is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Please email application packet (one PDF) that includes the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume


All as one PDF to:

Subject line: Specialist, Programs

Application submission due date: 11/25/19

No phone calls, please.