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Associate Director - Training & Capacity Building

Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Remote
At TPL, we're a team of park and land advocates who believe in connecting everyone to the outdoors. As an ethos, we believe access to nature is a fundamental human right and essential to the health and well-being of our communities. ​We're committed to creating more places that bring us outside—parks, trails, playgrounds, and public lands—and making them available and welcoming to everyone, everywhere. We also understand that how we do our work is just as important what we do.  That’s why our national Community Strategies team focuses on the capacity of parks and other green spaces to catalyze powerful social and civic outcomes like social ties, belonging, and civic engagement.  (For more information, please reference TPL’s Common Ground Framework, which details our theoretical model, strategies, and tactics.)
To amplify the social impacts of parks and green spaces across the country, Trust for Public Land is seeking a highly motivated individual to lead an array of training and capacity-building activities: toolkit development, field testing, evaluation, and strategic dissemination of project results. Our technical assistance work is growing rapidly and is primarily oriented to park practitioners in local government and community-based organizations.  

About the position

The Associate Director for Training and Capacity Building role is an exciting and important position at the organization. The position will own and manage a dynamic workstream that supports the organization’s national research and advocacy efforts to leverage the community programs embedded within America’s city parks for their capacity to mitigate the impacts of polarization, social isolation, and division. The role will focus on three core areas to enable parks and green spaces in the U.S. to deliver their full range of social and community impacts: 

  1. Design and implement technical assistance programs, capacity-building resources, and project pilots across TPL’s network of park practitioners and advocates 
  2. Provide program leadership and business development for the Community Strategies program at TPL 
  3. Produce high-quality educational, evaluative, and strategic communications products that allow leaders across TPL to share our expertise with park practitioners, philanthropic partners, and policymakers.

Lead technical assistance, capacity building, and project pilots (50%)
  • Field technical assistance requests from external stakeholders, and design and coordinate tailored responses, tools, and processes, including deployment of both TPL and external expertise and resources.
  • Track, synthesize, and respond to emerging trends and themes as they become evident through technical assistance, evaluation, and research delivery
  • Design and facilitate workshops, webinars, forums, and other events or meetings that result in learning, networking, and training outcomes.

Lead Community Strategies program management activities (30%)
  • Develop and monitor project management assets (timelines, budgets, work plans in Asana) and lead effective collaborations (meetings, workshops) in close coordination across multiple TPL departments and teams.
  • Support Community Strategies Director, field offices, and other internal partners with strategic planning, including the development of logic models, evaluation tools, community engagement resources, and reporting tools that streamline our work.
  • Support business and partnership development activities, including leadership of philanthropic and fundraising activities.

Design and produce effective and influential thought leadership content (20%)
  • Research and develop case studies, evaluation and learning tools, and strategic communications materials that allow leaders across the organization to highlight TPL’s Community Strategies program resources and outcomes.
  • Conduct original research and writing (or manage research/writing consultants) to rigorously document the process, practice, and impacts of community engagement, park programming, and stewardship activities.

  • 5-10 years of relevant experience with the practices of training, workshop facilitation, resource or toolkit development, and strategic communications.
  • Demonstrated ability to build trust and motivate action among a variety of stakeholders including TPL staff, park practitioners, community-based organizations, local government officials, and philanthropic leaders. 
  • Experience managing complex projects independently, including the ability to multi-task, develop and manage budgets, oversee consultants, and maintain multiple project timelines and schedules
  • Self-motivated and proactive with an ability to work with little direct supervision, prioritize work, communicate progress, and exercise good judgment in identifying and solving problems efficiently.
  • Ability to develop, research, and produce high-quality content for end products like training curricula, evaluation reports, strategic communications briefs, and workshop presentation decks.
  • Ability to verbally communicate clearly and compellingly in settings ranging from internal meetings, external technical assistance workshops, professional conference presentations, and philanthropic appeals.
  • Ability to work flexible hours and travel when needed (not more than 20-30% per month), including occasional obligations on evenings and weekends 
  • Professional experience (or a professional degree) in the fields of urban design/planning, sociology, design, recreation, or related fields.   

Compensation, benefits, and in-office working requirements

TPL has moved to a hybrid work model with a mix of in-office, field, and remote work. This position is anticipated to require travel, including locations in the US Southeast and Midwest, but is not required to be located near a TPL field office.  Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta preferred for ease of travel (other locations/remote possible).

As a full-time, exempt employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, holidays, Summer Fridays, and a 403(b) retirement plan with up to a 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the anticipated hiring range for this position is $80,000-90,000 annually.
Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities, it encourages candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets and experiences to apply.


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