Community Planning Manager

Alliance for the Great Lakes
Chicago, IL, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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The Alliance for the Great Lakes is pleased to announce an opening for the position of Community Planning Manager. The Alliance is a mid-sized, non-partisan NGO with a vision of a healthy Great Lakes for all people and wildlife, forever. This new position will lead the Alliance’s efforts to build Detroit as a leader in implementation of integrated water management, with a strong emphasis on utilizing green stormwater infrastructure strategies.

The Community Planning Manager will develop and manage the Alliance’s portfolio of work in Detroit focused on community resilience through equitable water infrastructure investments. S/he researches, drafts and advances plans and policies to improve the health of Detroit’s Great Lakes waters and the people that rely on them. The Manager supports city agencies and non-profit partners in operationalizing policies and programs to implement green infrastructure city-wide, with a specific focus on Complete Streets and long-term maintenance. The Manager facilitates, coordinates and supports coalitions of government professionals, non-profits, and community organizations in advocating for priority stormwater projects, policies, and programs. S/he will work with a team of water planning, advocacy and communication leaders at the Alliance to shape policy and practices that builds on the clean water values of the Great Lakes.

The Community Planning Manager reports directly to the Community Planning Director.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization.


Planning & Policy

  • Draft policy recommendations and guidelines for institutionalizing and operationalizing green stormwater infrastructure, with a specific focus on Complete Streets and long-term maintenance.
  • Execute advocacy strategies and campaigns to support policy priorities.
  • Translate technical information into content for advocacy and education communication materials.
  • Identify strategic opportunities to inform state policies that support implementation of green infrastructure.
  • Meet with local and state decision makers to advance policy priorities.


  • Advance collaborative decision making with teams, coalitions and/or advisory groups.
  • Design and facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges for municipal staff to build their capacity to institutionalize and operationalize green storm water infrastructure, with a focus on Complete Streets and long-term maintenance.

Project Management

  • Develop and manage shared work plans, virtual work spaces and calendars.
  • Track and report on completion of grant deliverables.
  • Manage partners’ and consultants’ scopes of work.
  • Create project budgets and track project expenses.
  • Coordinate meetings with stakeholders and project partners.

Program Development

  • Advise the Alliance’s program director and leadership on strategic growth opportunities.
  • Forecast strategic growth opportunities for the Alliance to address identified needs and gaps in Detroit.
  • Recommend opportunities to align work in Detroit with other program staff in Chicago and NW Indiana.
  • Develop new work and grant proposals that facilitate program growth and supports strategic partnerships.

Knowledge/Skills, and Competencies

  • Bachelor degree plus 3-5 years of experience in urban planning, land use or municipal policy, transportation planning, public health or related field.
  • Strong working knowledge of Detroit’s political and municipal structures.
  • Familiarity with Complete Streets and integration of green stormwater management into capital projects.
  • Keen understanding of the dynamics of project and policy implementation within public agencies and non-profit organizations.
  • Highly organized facilitator with strong leadership and diplomacy skills.
  • Demonstrated success in project management and contract administration.
  • Creative thinker with the ability to quickly translate ideas into on-the-ground actions, test for success and shift tactics as needed.
  • Demonstrated commitment to listening and responding to the needs and demands of diverse groups of individuals and partner organizations.
  • Strong listening, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Commitment to and passion for mission-driven public interest work related to the Great Lakes and the role of water in the revitalization of Detroit.
  • Strong Microsoft Office skills, with proficiency in MS PowerPoint and Excel required.
  • Experience working at the intersection of transportation planning, stormwater water management and public health is a plus.

Job Parameters

This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy.

Salary to be commensurate with experience.

Excellent benefits including health, vacation and retirement plan, are included.

The preference is for this position to be located in Detroit, with occasional travel around the Great Lakes region.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references to:  Include job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.

About the Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The search process will reinforce the Alliance’s belief that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors.

The Alliance’s vision is a healthy Great Lakes for people and wildlife, forever. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.