Planning Program Director

Puget Sound Partnership
Tacoma, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.
The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) leads the region's collective effort to restore, protect, and sustain Puget Sound. We align the work of our partners around a shared vision and science-driven, prioritized strategies. We ensure smart investments that help to allocate resources efficiently and effectively. By striving to remove financial, regulatory, and resource barriers for our partners, we serve as a catalyst for success in restoring health to Puget Sound.
More information on the Partnership is available at our website:
PSP is a great place to work and has implemented several "Employer of Choice" initiatives, including:
  • We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. PSP fosters an inclusive environment that encourages all employees to bring their authentic selves to work each day. We strive to hire, develop, and retain a competent and diverse workforce that is reflective of the public and partners we serve.
  • We actively engage in climate change by offering free Intercity transit commuting options from Seattle and Olympia. In addition, the Partnership offers a generous Reduced Transportation Commute financial incentive and agency-paid ORCA cards to all employees.
  • We foster a healthy work/life balance by offering flexible/alternative work schedules, and mobile and telework options (depending upon job duties).
  • We are making exciting steps towards modernizing our workplace by providing motivating and inspiring workspaces at three locations that promote creative thought, innovation, and collaboration among co-workers.
  • We support an Infant at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of breastfeeding newborns and infant-parent bonding. Eligible employees who are new mothers, fathers, or legal guardians can bring their infant (6 weeks to 6 months) when returning to work (depending upon job duties).

We also offer:

  • A main office located in the Center for Urban Waters, a LEED Platinum-certified building, on the beautiful Thea Foss Waterway of Commencement Bay in Tacoma, WA. We are within 10 minutes of downtown restaurants, shopping, museums and Farmer's Market. This building offers a lactation and first aid room, fitness room and full kitchen for employees.
  • A drop-in work location in downtown Olympia at Capitol Court with access to the Farmer's Market, Capitol Lake and the Capitol Campus. This location is located on an Intercity Transit bus line, including the DASH (free) shuttle.
  • A drop-in work location in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle with access to restaurants, shopping, bus service and a train station.


The Puget Sound Partnership is actively looking to fill its Planning Program Director position. The Planning Program Director is an essential member of the agency's Executive Management team and leads the Integrated Planning Program, which performs agency planning associated with the regional plan for Puget Sound recovery and salmon recovery. The position also assists with defining agency policies on a range of related internal and external issues.

Some of the outcomes and competencies were looking for:

  • Making strong and timely decisions that keep the organization moving in the right direction, based on good judgement and consideration of cultural and ethical factors, awareness of risk and benefits, political and social context and organizational priorities.  
  • Providing clear direction, plans, aligns, delegates and removes obstacles to enable and empower others to get the right work done.
  • Displaying outstanding skills in listening, writing and speaking clearly, concisely and persuasively; ability to simplify and communicate complex materials; ability to understand and learn from what others say; and to grasp the technical policy, and political meanings of written materials; ability to behave skillfully, diplomatically and yet effectively, in politically sensitive situations.
  • Clearly identifying long term needs; articulate ways for the agency to work with the boards to set long-term goals; and identify pathways to work in various capacities, with a variety of partners, and along different pathways to achieve those goals.
  • Designing and leading effective meetings of boards, subcommittees, and internal teams.
  • Discerning root causes of issues in complex and "noisy" situations, apply critical analysis to identify and assess potential solutions, evaluate those with diverse perspectives, and make timely, well-considered decisions.
  • Setting and implementing strategic vision for the Integrated Planning Program.
  • Developing effective policies related to recovery implementation.
  • Influencing the work of partners (state, federal, tribal, local, NGO and business) and building relationships with constituencies. 
  • Keeping the agency boards and various steering committees informed with presentations as necessary.
  • Overseeing the Partnership's contribution to the development of Implementation Strategies (the prioritized paths to individual targets).
  • Ensuring close coordination with the Tribal Management Conference and state partners.
  • Ensuring work in the Integrated Planning Program proceeds in an efficient and effective manner.
  • Appropriately responding to legislative affairs as they relate to the planning functions and objectives.
  • Successfully managing program expenses, revenue budgets, contracts, grants and performance.
  • Leading, mentoring and coaching a high performance team with respect, equity, inclusion, and engagement. 


Success in this position requires that one be a team player, defined as possessing initiative and a driving passion for the work, bringing humility to their job and interactions with others, and having excellent people skills.  

Leadership is expected of everyone in the organization, and is defined as follows:

We are committed to achieving our mission of accelerating and advancing the recovery of Puget Sound. To ensure our success, we are equally committed to running our agency in a high-performance manner that focuses on high-quality products and processes and a collaborative approach. We achieve high performance by:

  • Valuing one another, our diversity, and our contribution to the agency and the mission.
  • Embracing shared leadership, and empowering all staff, as critical thinkers, to make timely evidence-based decisions in a collaborative manner.
  • Promoting learning--and implementing what we learn--by using the adaptive management cycle for both programs and internal operations.
  • Optimizing our human and financial resources.

Required Education, Experience, and Technical Skills:

  • A minimum of seven years of professional experience in environmental related field.
  • A minimum of five years of supervisory experience.
  • A minimum of five years of project management experience.
  • A minimum of five years of strategic planning, policy development, and analysis experience.
  • Experience in science and/or data-informed planning.
  • A bachelor's degree or above in planning, environmental management, natural resources, public administration, public policy or planning, or related field.
  • Above experience can be concurrent.

Preferred Education, Experience and Competencies:

  • High level management experience in a complex, public sector work environment.
  • Program administration including personnel, budget, and grant/contract management, performance management and accountability.
  • Experience with tribal governments.
  • Experience working successfully in a political environment with sensitivity to controversial issues.
  • Experience and interest in process and performance improvement (LEAN, Baldridge, etc.).
  • Master's degree or higher in environmental management, natural resources, planning, public administration or related field.
Supplemental Information

Application Process – Please read the instructions completely.
We are a small, passionate, mission-driven, team-oriented, and fast-paced agency with an exceptional interdisciplinary staff.  If you enjoy building community and protecting our environment, we encourage you to apply!
Intrigued?  We'd love to hear from you. Click on "Apply" at the top of the page, complete only the short application profile and attach the following:

  • letter of interest, describing how you meet and can demonstrate the qualifications for this position.
  • current resume.
  • Three (3) or more professional references, to be included in your profile. Please include at least one supervisor, peer and (if you have supervised staff) a subordinate.
  • A few moments of your time to answer only a few supplemental questions attached to this application.

And that's it!

The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of the application material submitted, and the supplemental questionnaire. By submitting materials you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.
Do not attach transcripts or other documents that are not requested in the application process, or that are password protected. These type of documents cause errors when downloading application materials and will not be forwarded to the hiring supervisor.
Veteran's Preference Notice
To take advantage of veteran's preference, please do the following:

  • Email a copy of your DD214 (Member 4 copy), NGB 22 or USDVA signed verification of service letter to .
  • Use a subject line of  "VET for 2019-03285"
  • Include your name as it appears on your application in

Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, contact Lolo Florentino Arévalo at (360) 407-8074 or prior to when the job positing closes AND before you submit your application.
The Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) is an equal opportunity employer.  PSP strives to create a working environment that is inclusive and respectful.  It is our policy to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of our workforce. Persons with a disability who need assistance with their application or that need this announcement in an alternative format, may call (360) 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service