Full-Time Special Projects Manager
Are you a seasoned Project Management professional who is passionate about sustainability and innovation? Are you looking for the perfect opportunity to use your skills to support local government efforts to combat the climate crisis in local communities? Do you have experience managing portfolios of grant-funded projects with complex relational and technical requirements? If so, you might be an ideal candidate for USDN’s Special Projects Manager position!
- Job Classification: Regular, Full-time, Exempt
- Work Location: Remote, Anywhere in the United States
- Salary: 75,000 – 85,000 annually + generous benefits including 100% employer sponsored health, dental, and vision, flexible leave, and 401K.
- Reports to: Director of Capacity Building
- Closing Date: Friday, Sept. 29, 2023
As a member of the Capacity Building Team at USDN, the Special Projects Manager designs, manages, and implements USDN programs and special projects to help local government practitioners become more effective change agents who transform practice and generate equitable and impactful outcomes in the movement toward an equitable, resilient, and sustainable world. This position helps to develop, track, monitor and advance special projects, and project portfolios to ensure USDN is meeting emergent opportunities in the field. This dynamic position collaborates with USDN staff, members and partners to design and deliver on grants and programming that meets member needs in alignment with USDN’s adopted program goals and strategies. The Capacity Building Team designs and delivers programming (e.g., virtual peer learning groups, trainings, workshops, in-person events) to develop the skills and knowledge of USDN members in two areas:
- Foundational Practices (‘how’ members approach their work) – Building the capacity of local government practitioners to be effective change agents who center equity and marginalized communities as they envision and deliver their work. These practices include racial equity and inclusion, power analysis, leadership skills, change management skills, and communications skills.
- Pathways (‘what’ members work on) – Developing the capacity of local government practitioners to effectively move prioritized sustainability work forward to generate equitable and impactful local outcomes. These pathways include equitably reducing climate risk; accelerating transitions to low-carbon and resilient buildings, energy sources, and mobility systems; and investing in ecosystem regeneration and access.
Program Management & Delivery
- Help lead the recruitment, hiring and training of embedded staff in partnering cities of the Greening America’s Cities Initiative.
- Engage with staff, members, and partners to design, manage, and deliver in-person workshops and ongoing virtual learning groups and training
- With support from Capacity Building Director, develop, monitor and manage special projects’ programming and budgets
- Plan and lead virtual meetings, learning group calls, trainings and workshops via Zoom or similar platform. This will include identifying topics, goals, and activities, planning agendas, coordinating with content providers, facilitating discussion, using technology to engage audiences, and occasional presentation of content.
- Identify, develop relationships with, and secure the participation of members and partners as needed to deliver effective programming.
- Manage communication with members about the team’s portfolio of special projects program offerings.
- Ensure the delivery of high-quality participant programs and services that encourage member engagement and respond to member needs and opportunities.
- Provide subject matter expertise on a range of equity, diversity and inclusion issues.
Program Strategy & Development
In collaboration with the team:
- Identify and develop programming ideas that align with USDN’s goals and priorities.
- Participate in and consult on the annual Program Planning process based on lessons learned from the special projects portfolio
- Develop, review, and respond to program evaluation data.
- Develop and implement a unified curriculum approach to professional development offerings informed by adult learning styles and diverse delivery modes for professional education and programming with specific focus on USDN’s special projects portfolio
Team Management & Development
- Manage and supervise special projects liaisons and other staff as assigned.
- Foster engagement, camaraderie, collaboration, and clarity within a remote environment.
- Develop clear work plans that align with an integrated team plan.
- Assist with tracking and budget management with direct reports.
- Share learnings and ideas with other internal teams and seek to learn from their experiences and perspectives.
- Establish positive working relationships and cooperative arrangements with key programmatic partner organizations.
- Contribute to written briefs, blogs, interviews, videos, and other educational materials that USDN may develop to broadly share and influence field knowledge.
- Strong HR and leadership fundamentals to support the recruitment, hiring, and leadership development of special project liaisons and/or fellowship participants.
- Cultivate and maintain professional competency in equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
- Emphasize USDN’s adopted EDI principles in the design and delivery of programming and throughout the performance of job responsibilities. The position will advance EDI principles as a characteristic of responsible governance, where all levels of government have a fiscal and moral responsibility to address the long-term implications that inequity has on prosperity, health, and safety of residents.
- Identify and respond to EDI challenges that members are experiencing.
- A minimum of 6 years of experience in program or project management preferably in the nonprofit sector.
- Demonstrated successful experience managing complex project portfolios of grant funded programs or initiatives.
- Experience with leadership development, HR and supervision fundamentals.
- Foundational knowledge of principles and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and application of those principles in communities, local government, nonprofits, and cross-sectoral collaboration.
- Experience developing, delivering and evaluating programs including planning, costing, team building, execution, feedback, and evaluation techniques.
- Experience with equitable climate and sustainability practices and policies relevant to local governments.
- Experience working with or within local government.
- Experience designing, convening and facilitating productive meetings, training, and/or workshops.
Desired Knowledge & Skills:
- Ability to manage multiple complex programs and projects and multiple deadlines simultaneously.
- Ability to work independently and with team members in a collaborative and dynamic environment.
- Ability to design and facilitate productive meetings (virtually and in-person).
- Experience managing staff members.
- High level of communication skills – interpersonal, written and verbal – and strong relationship-development skills.
- Knowledge of equitable local government sustainability practices and policies.
- Knowledge of racial equity theory and practice in an organizational and government context with application to various systems including zoning, buildings, energy, mobility, climate and resilience issues.
- Ability to develop relationships and work across a diverse array of teammates, partners, and communities.
- Structured thinking with a goal-oriented approach toward program implementation, management, and evaluation while managing inclusive engagement processes.
- Proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite, Zoom.
- Adaptive management techniques with the ability to rapidly make and implement decisions that take into account members’ diverse perspectives and changing conditions
- Assessment and facilitation of complex and/or sensitive situations;
- Active listening, verbal and written communications.
Terms of Employment. This is a full-time, exempt position that reports to USDN’s Director of Capacity Building. The compensation range for this position is expected to be between $75,000 – 85,000 annually. USDN offers a robust benefits package, including 100% employer covered health, dental, disability, and life insurance, flexible leave policy, generous paid leave, and 401(k) program.
Location. This is a fully remote, work-from-home position. USDN has no central office but staff collaborate extensively via video call meetings and through periodic in-peron convenings. The candidates must furnish their own quiet office space for conference calls. USDN provides an IT stipend to cover internet and phone use, computer, software, and other home office supplies. Work hours: 9am-5pm Eastern, Central, Mountain, or Pacific Standard Times (flexible); 40 hours/week.
Urban Sustainability Directors Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage applications from qualified people of all gender expressions and identities, sexual orientations, racialized communities, Indigenous persons and persons with disabilities.