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Jobs at The Trust for Public Land

Among all national conservation organizations, only The Trust for Public Land focuses on conserving land for people. We offer challenging and rewarding careers for people who seek to leave a legacy of protected lands. Our staff of more than 300 committed and talented professionals works across the country.

To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to the address listed at the bottom of each job posting. All job postings are current—positions are listed until filled. We strive to make our job postings accessible to all users. If you need assistance completing the application process, please contact us at 415-495-4014 or

Director of PLAN Operations and Planning

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Date Posted: 01-09-2018
The Trust for Public Land has four service areas: PROTECT, which focuses on land protection; CREATE, which focuses on building parks; FUND, which focuses on creating and advocating for public funding for parks and land protection; and PLAN. The PLAN team includes both GIS specialists and planners who focus on deep and diverse community engagement; visualizing solutions to help communities set priorities for parks and open space through maps, web applications, and decision-support tools; and empowering communities to take action to protect land, create parks, and connect more people to the outdoors.
Reporting to the Vice President/Director of PLAN, the Director of PLAN Operations and Planning is responsible for the effective coordination of planning and GIS staff, the operations of the GIS and planning portfolio and directing the planning team. The Director of PLAN Operations and Planning provides input on strategic direction to advance the service area’s reach, leveraging The Trust for Public Land’s data, technology, and planning talent. The Director supports the Vice President and Director of PLAN as a strategist to advance innovation and technologies, managing the PLAN service operations, including the planning team, and communicating internally and externally, enabling the Vice President and Director of PLAN to focus on innovation, partnerships, fundraising, and organization-wide leadership. In addition, s/he partners closely with key staff in marketing, philanthropy, finance, state offices, service areas, and national and regional programs, and operational and executive leadership to ensure integration of services and communications in accordance with organizational priorities and needs.
The Director of PLAN Operations and Planning partners with the Director of PLAN and other team members to brainstorm, problem-solve, and develop innovative approaches to cutting-edge planning and GIS services and technology. Candidates must have experience in the fields of planning and GIS. They must also have a proven track record in strategic oversight of a team of staff and consultants and in developing innovative solutions that solve real-world issues. A successful candidate must have technical knowledge and savvy; be an exceptional writer, listener, and overall communicator; be extremely proactive and organized; be creative and innovative, and be visionary and able to inspire and motivate team members.
We prefer that the selected candidate be located in Santa Fe, NM., but well-qualified candidates located in cities where the Trust for Public Land has a larger office location may also be considered for this position. 

40%     Operations Leadership for Planning and GIS
  • Oversee PLAN unit budgets and resources, ensuring that they are allocated efficiently and effectively, maximizing return on investment and ensuring comprehensive service throughout field offices.
  • Lead and direct all portfolio operations of the planning and GIS service area which includes the following:
    • Assess existing systems to track overall PLAN portfolio of past, current and potential projects. Recommend and oversee refinements, as appropriate, to ensure the infrastructure supports the PLAN service and the organization’s short-term and long-term goals—with an eye to how the organization overall could leverage similar systems.
    • Build and update dashboards and reports for the Director of PLAN and PLAN staff
    • Develop project management tools as needed
    • Create easy-to-use time management and project tracking tools
    • Create workload projection tools and dashboards
    • Lead evaluation of all PLAN team services
    • Other duties as assigned
  • Scoping and budgeting projects:
    • Build and maintain scoping and budgeting tools and ensure that they integrate into the PLAN operations platform seamlessly
    • Work with key planning and GIS staff to produce scoping templates for different types of projects and for a variety of audiences
    • Work with key planning and GIS staff to develop initial budgets and scopes and to re-scope projects as needed throughout project life cycles
    • Track trends in scoping and budgets for project types to refine the PLAN service scoping process for efficiency and replication
  • Serve as the primary strategic partner to finance, philanthropy, and marketing teams regarding PLAN operations. Analyze reports and data to provide recommendations to the Director of PLAN and key finance and philanthropy staff regarding decisions pertaining to PLAN operations.
  • Manage contractors in partnership with key planning and GIS staff:
    • Create and maintain contracts
    • Assign contractors to projects
    • Approve and track contractor invoices
  • Resolve any technical and database management issues in a timely and effective manner—working closely with key staff.
  • Maximize the potential of the operations database, which includes being able to extract, review, and interpret results and turn existing data into information that is actionable. Develop compelling new approaches to measure mission impacts and improve fundraising results for PLAN.
  • Ensure that planning and GIS teams have appropriate resources to do their work successfully
30%     Direct the planning team
  • Shape the ongoing direction and priorities of the planning group, with guidance from the Director of PLAN and planning team members
  • Business development for planning team projects:
    • Work with state directors, services, functions and programs to integrate planning and GIS services into strategic plans and national thought-leadership programs and initiatives; work to ensure that state offices and national programs understand PLAN team’s resources and services
    • Identify new potential lines of service for the planning team driven by the mission and strategies
    • Pursue project funding, including grants and fee-for-service contracts
    • Scope potential nationwide thought leadership projects with TPL staff and outside partners. This includes leading or participating in scoping calls/webinars, preparing pitch materials, drafting proposals and budgets, and conducting follow-up with potential clients and TPL staff
  • Planning team management
    • Supervise, motivate, train, and mentor staff
    • Set agendas for and lead planning team meetings
    • Communicate closely with planning team about strategic direction and organization-wide coordination
    • Track status of current planning projects and oversee annual evaluation of completed projects
    • Manage funding sources that apply broadly to planning team activities (as opposed to specific projects, which individual project managers oversee)
    • Coordinate with marketing team on materials for general public or target audiences related to planning services (for example, prepares or reviews papers, videos, case studies and press materials)
15%     Strategic Thought Leadership and Solutions Development
  • Partner with the Director of PLAN to provide dynamic and innovative leadership for the planning and GIS team
  • Partner with the Director of PLAN to develop strategic partnerships, concepts, descriptions, scopes and budgets for cutting-edge, creative, and innovative projects and initiatives and BIG ideas
  • Help craft and implement a multi-year strategic plan, including quantifiable success benchmarks
  • Work closely with the Director of PLAN and key planning and GIS staff to develop annual PLAN goals and budgets
  • Foster an environment of collaboration, comradery, innovation, creativity, risk-taking, and achievement. Ensure that staff are set up to succeed and held accountable for excellence through clearly defined and measurable goals. 
  • Embrace diversity as a strategic advantage
  • Lead, mentor, and guide the team to ensure that they are pursuing best practices in the planning and GIS field
15%     Communications
  • Celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success. Bring together planning and GIS as a cohesive and integrated team.   
  • Create communication and collaboration tools and systems and ensure they are effectively leveraged across the organization by PLAN staff.
  • Resolve elevated administrative and/or personnel issues in a timely and effective manner, consulting with the Director of PLAN as appropriate.
  • Keep the Director of PLAN apprised of PLAN team accomplishments and events, portfolio status, issues, impact tracking and coordinating and tracking inquiry conversations with state directors and field staff
  • Make presentations (internal and external) about potential, existing, or completed projects and concepts to provide education and training, inspire new work, and raise awareness about the roles and accomplishments of our team
  Other duties as assigned by the Vice President and Director of PLAN
  • This role will adjust and align with PLAN and organizational needs, particularly related to current and future initiatives, programs and leadership and board expectations.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience in a complex, decentralized environment—including work with remote team members and partners.
  • Experience working directly with a senior leader and with teams on innovative solutions.
  • Proven ability to foster successful collaboration across teams.
  • Experience with program evaluation and developing using metrics to measure progress and success.
  • Minimum 8 years related experience, focused primarily on oversight of planning, landscape architecture, GIS, geospatial, technology or similar functions.
  • Thorough and specific knowledge of planning and GIS techniques and technologies.
  • Direct experience as a senior manager preferred.
  • Database management and project management application experience required.
  • Experience collaborating with and managing vendors and consultants.
  • High degree of knowledge of administrative and supervisory principles and techniques.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills.
  • High level of performance, integrity, organization, and creativity.
  • Commitment to and thorough understanding of TPL’s mission.
  • Bachelor's degree required. Advanced degree preferred. | Conserving Nature Near You
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