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Philadelphia Program Director

Philadelphia, PA
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, supporting healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Our Philadelphia office delivers mission in a variety of ways, an important one being the creation and redevelopment of parks in neighborhoods of high poverty. We lead public-private partnerships that deliver high-quality, dynamic spaces that residents, teachers, students, and organizations all use to strengthen their community. Our process is as important as our product – we lead highly participatory design efforts where people express how a new park can best serve the priorities and character of the people it serves. This cultivates ownership and leadership that elevates the impact of each new community park, supporting social cohesion and expanding community capacity.

The Program Director is responsible for leading and expanding a robust urban park redevelopment effort. This is a position that requires both technical expertise as well as strong passion for advancing equity in Philadelphia neighborhoods. The Philadelphia Program is focused primarily on transforming schoolyards into high-quality, greened community spaces, and on existing parks and recreation assets that are in need of capital improvements.

The Program Director will manage relationships with key points of contact from public agencies, including the School District of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, and the Philadelphia Water Department. The Program Director will ensure that a portfolio of projects advances effectively, on budget, and in keeping with internal and public agency protocols. The Program Director will lead projects themselves, supervise staff leading projects, and identify opportunities for improving impact, scale, quality, and cost-effectiveness.

Program Management: (50%) Oversee program managers and other staff in all aspects of the green playground development process, including oversight of design consultants and construction contractors.  Coordinate with colleagues in internal departments including legal, finance, and philanthropy to ensure maximum impact and minimize program challenges. Manage and improve internal systems for tracking project timelines, deliverables, approvals, and other milestones. Ensure public involvement opportunities are accessible, fair, and coordinated with relevant organizations, including Council offices. 
Partnership Management: (25%) Manage coordination with public agency representatives, including Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Philadelphia School District, Philadelphia Water Department, and others involved in providing funding or partnering in project implementation.  Oversee the growth of new program partnerships with agencies, local non-profits and community groups in support of playground development and park stewardship. 
Funding:  (10%) Oversee all aspects of the program’s public funding efforts including identification of public funding sources, application process, execution of funding agreements, and reimbursement process.  Work closely with the State Director and regional philanthropy staff in their efforts to raise private funds for program support. 
Budgeting: (5%) Manage multi-year program budget to meet funding goals and annual expenditure forecasts. 
Other: (10%) Contribute to emerging and changing priorities, showing flexibility and a commitment to teamwork. 

  • Bachelor’s degree and eight to ten years of work experience in the field of landscape architecture, architecture, construction management, community development or managing public capital projects is required. Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture or Architecture highly preferred.
  • A deep commitment to equity, and a passion for using public spaces as tools for supporting social cohesion, community health, and climate resiliency.
  • Passion for putting residents at the center of projects that impact them and their neighborhoods.
  • An entrepreneurial approach to identifying opportunities for improving mission delivery, and a flexible and team-oriented approach to contributing to colleagues’ work.
  • Strong experience in design and construction management, including oversight of design and construction professionals, budgets, and project schedules.
  • Experience with working with public agency staff on capital projects. Experience with the Philadelphia School District, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, or the Philadelphia Water Department preferred.
  • Candidates should be committed to orchestrating a collaborative design process, involving community members, public agencies and other community stakeholders.
  • Experience administering public contracts.
  • Must be highly detail oriented and organized.
  • Must be interested in contributing in a positive manner to a team that values authenticity, hard work, and humor.
  • This position will require some evening and weekend work, as well as independent, local travel
The Trust for Public Land is committed to cultivating a diverse staff that is representative of the communities we serve.  Applications from individuals having diverse backgrounds and life experiences are strongly encouraged.  We are open to the possibility that a great candidate for this job may not precisely meet all of the above criteria; if you believe you’re the right person for this job and can persuasively make that case, we encourage you to apply.
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