Great Rivers Chicago Associate

Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC)

Chicago, IL, US

MPC is hiring a full-time Associate to support Great Rivers Chicago, a signature project under our Land Use and Planning cluster. MPC is seeking a highly motivated individual with strong project management skills, along with the ability to execute strategies and learn new tasks quickly. This role requires flexibility and working with individuals in many different sectors, ranging from nonprofit organizations, to community organizations, to government partners, to the private sector.

This role is highly collaborative and requires knowledge of the broader Chicago community as well as the ability to identify needed tasks to successfully implement communications strategies, including authoring blog posts and coordinating newsletters, events and media, as well as connecting project partners to resources and expertise, and using research skills to guide project components.

The position will report to MPC Director of Land Use and Planning Christina Harris.

Primary responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide project support to place-based community projects
    • Support Our Great Rivers grantee projects by providing support and assistance to external partners in applying for funding, relationship building and pro-bono resources
    • Plan monthly convenings of organizations involved in riverfront projects and implementation
    • Collect information to assess the short and long-term impacts of past and current community-led projects
    • Support a multi-faceted communications strategy around telling stories of the impacts of community-led projects
  • Complete an assessment of progress on Our Great Rivers goals
    • Evaluate and document progress on 2020, 2030, and 2040 goals categorized under Inviting, Living and Productive
    • Provide input into prioritizing goals to be championed in 2020 by the City of Chicago’s River Ecology and Governance Task Force
    • Document progress made and still needed on each goal in the Our Great Rivers vision
    • Develop research and advocacy strategy for identified and unfulfilled 2020 goals
  • Build political will to implement Our Great Rivers and associated projects
    • Support work associated with the City of Chicago’s River Ecology and Governance Task Force
    • Complete research for current and future advocacy objectives

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The ideal candidate has a broad understanding of Chicago’s neighborhoods and politics and holds a degree in a relevant field (this can include but is not limited to: urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, community development, economics, political science, public administration, etc.) and has at least one year of relevant work experience (this can include internships). Knowledge of the river system, environmental issues and environmental justice are a plus. Work and internship experience should include writing, research and working with other partners to achieve defined objectives. The ideal candidate:

  • is a creative thinker able to help connect the Great Rivers Chicago work with other MPC initiatives;
  • is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle concurrent tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
  • is experienced with the Adobe Suite, including InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop (preferred, not required);
  • is experienced with GIS programs such as ArcMap or QGIS and online mapping libraries (Google maps, Cardo DB, etc.): strong spatial analysis and mapping skills (preferred, not required);
  • is able to communicate directly and work collaboratively with staff colleagues and external partners;
  • desires to make a positive impact on the greater Chicago region;
  • is patient and eager to learn;
  • is energized by the body of issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission;
  • is passionate about developing his or her own as well as MPC’s competencies on diversity, racial equity and inclusion;
  • has worked or otherwise been part of a diverse range of communities and community groups;
  • has a sense of humor;
  • is an excellent writer and public speaker;
  • is both entrepreneurial and executes skillfully on assigned work;
  • has a working knowledge of regional actors and institutions in northeastern Illinois; and
  • has cultural competency with an ability to communicate ideas to many different types of audiences and partners.

How to apply:

Please send the following materials by email to: Skyler Larrimore, [email protected]

1) A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job being filled;

2) Your résumé

3) A short writing sample (2-3 pages); and

4) Three references  

No phone calls please.

For more information on MPC, please visit our website:

MPC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.