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Director of Special Projects

City of Providence
RI, Rhode Island, US
Closing date
Aug 17, 2022

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Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
The City of Providence welcomes and encourages diversity in our workforce at all levels of the organization. We provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibit hiring discrimination of any type. All City hiring decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

All persons employed by the City of Providence are required to have achieved a fully vaccinated status against the COVID-19 virus. "Fully vaccinated status" shall be defined as having received the full number of doses required to complete the vaccination series of one of the currently recognized COVID-19 vaccines. Proof of vaccination completion will be required before beginning employment with the City.
Job Summary
Providence is a vibrant and dynamic city, on the forefront of economic growth and innovation, sustainable urban development, and progressive social issues and change. Providence is a city of neighborhoods, with an urban fabric and scale that celebrates its historic architecture and diverse cultural heritage. This rich tapestry of culture and ideas is sustained by our city's commitment to heighten the quality of life and wellbeing for all Providence residents. Our employees play an important role not only in making our city what it is today, but also in shaping the City's future.

The Department of Planning and Development's mission is to shape the future of Providence and ensure a high quality of life for city residents and a vibrant, attractive urban environment for businesses, workers and visitors by: * generating a progressive and broad community vision in the City's Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood plans, special area plans and redevelopment plans; * encouraging excellent design in our built environment through regulatory tools and development review; *promoting a high-quality public realm that enhances civic life; *creating strong and vibrant neighborhoods through strategic investments and policies; *engaging our community in meaningful ways; *preserving our unique heritage; *encouraging a broad range of housing options and a diverse job base; and *effectively managing and implementing diverse projects citywide to reach these goals.

The Department of Planning and Development seeks a Director of Special Projects to lead a small team of professional planners to plan, design and implement significant and impactful projects throughout the City's twenty-five diverse neighborhoods in topic areas including but not limited to urban design, land use, transportation, housing, environmental planning, sustainability and resilience, and historic preservation. The Director of Special Projects is a critical part of the leadership team of the department and reports directly the Director of the Department. Examples of recent projects include the Great Streets Master Plan and Urban Trail Network, the North Main Street Corridor Study, the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Improvement Project and many others.
Duties & Responsibilities
Under direction of the Department Director, the Director of Special Projects performs complex and responsible planning work in areas such as land use, urban design, environmental planning, open space and public realm, transportation and mobility, comprehensive and neighborhood planning, special corridor and redevelopment area planning, and oversees planning, design and implementation of critical capital projects included in the City's Capital Improvement Program related to these focus areas.

Examples of essential functions of this job include, but are not limited to:
  • Skilled and effective results-driven project management of complex projects including delegating roles and responsibilities, creative problem solving, strategic communications, crafting RFPs, monitoring project budgets, deadlines, and deliverables.
  • Supervises, assists, develops, and implements planning policies, regulations and procedures and projects to improve equity, sustainability, well-being and vibrancy of the City of Providence.
  • Directs robust community engagement processes with community members and stakeholders.
  • Supervises and reviews the work of subordinates and oversees consultant work.
  • Oversees the creation of clearly written concise reports, studies, and documents.
  • Works with City and Department leadership to strategically advance City priorities and policies and to enhance the City's capacity and expertise.
  • Compiles, analyzes, and interprets complex technical, physical, social, economic, and statistical data for urban policy development, planning projects, open space and recreation planning, transportation planning, redevelopment projects, historic preservation, sustainability, land management and natural resources.
  • Supervises, designs, and prepares graphic presentations including maps, reports, plans, charts, models, sketches, and graphs to illustrate and analyze planning and development projects and policies.
  • Reviews and coordinates Federal, State, and local review and permitting processes for projects, including coordinating various stakeholders, and integrating required data and documents; for Federal grant programs, this may include review and coordination with Federal, State, and local agencies, including coordinating various stakeholders and conducting required reporting and documenting metrics.
  • Coordinates with other local, State and Federal governmental agencies on planning matters; reviews documents prepared by other government agencies, such as environmental impact reports, policies, reports, plans and legislation.
  • Manages and supervises grant applications to relevant Federal, State, and other agencies and foundations to advance the work of the Department and manages the successful implementation of grants and supervises the ongoing compliance and reporting requirements.
  • May represent the Department to other government officials and departments, media, community groups, developers, boards and commissions, business organizations, professional organizations, and the general public.
  • In coordination with the Director of Communication and External Affairs for the Department, develops, manages and coordinates internal and public outreach for Department policies, plans, initiatives, and projects.
  • Interprets and explains legal, technical, and procedural aspects of planning work to agencies, commissioners, government officials and members of the public.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Possession of a Master's degree from an accredited college or university in City, Regional or Urban Planning, or a closely related field such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Urban Studies, Urban Design or Environmental Studies AND eight (8) years of verifiable full-time-equivalent experience in an urban, city, regional and/or other related planning environment (such as transportation planning, environmental planning, architecture or urban design);

Supplemental Qualifications
  • Ability to foster and maintain relationships at all levels and with key constituencies using excellent oral and written communication skills to generate consensus • Ability to develop and communicate a shared vision of future needs • Politically astute with a proven track record of collaboratively and harmoniously working with other City departments, elected officials, local, regional, and state governments, commissions/boards, outside agencies, residents, small businesses, and other key stakeholders in achieving planning goals and objectives • Demonstrated ability in effectively leading and managing organizational development and cultural change; leading and balancing bold visioning with strategic planning and tactical implementation; and comprehensively leading and energizing staff. • Highly effective communicator with a high degree of emotional intelligence and maturity who demonstrates cultural competence, active listening, and responsiveness to the community, residents, and planning staff • Demonstrated track record of embracing diversity and advancing racial equity and inclusion • Visibility and presence as an approachable leader in the Planning Department and community • Humility with and ability to leverage staff's knowledge and technical expertise; committed to staff development and empowers staff with authority and resources to carry out their responsibilities • Knowledgeable of legislative processes and social issues related to planning and land use • Strategic thinker who can identify and provide guidance on interrelated issues of transportation, land use, climate change, and neighborhood and community needs • A PLUS: Has a deep love and affection for Providence

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