Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC)

Chicago, IL, United States 🇺🇸

MPC is hiring a full-time Associate to support current and future projects that deepen the organization’s effective government and water management agendas. We seek a highly motivated individual with a background in local government, public administration, or related fields. Strong relationship, project management and data analysis skills as well as adaptability are essential. Ability to accurately assess and creatively solve complex issues is a must. This position is available starting July 2, 2018.

Skills Needed

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The ideal candidate holds a degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, Planning, Law or other relevant field, and has at least two years of relevant work experience. The ideal candidate also has a variety of the skills and experience listed below. Candidates should be specific and accurate in their application materials about which of the following skills and experience they have:

  • direct experience with local government operations, particularly municipal government;
  • interest in multijurisdictional approaches and projects, and experience supporting such initiatives;
  • knowledge of public finance principles and practice, and financial analysis abilities;
  • research and data analysis skills including quantitative or statistical analysis;
  • some legal knowledge and experience (although a law degree or license is not expected of candidates for this position);
  • understanding or background in water utility operations or water resource management;
  • ability to interact with local government staff and elected officials of many types;
  • experience in meeting facilitation, including focus groups and formal public meetings, and ability to productively manage discussions on challenging topics;
  • experience designing and implementing training programs or curricula for educational programs and/or professional development; and
  • understanding of regional actors and institutions in Illinois.


This Associate is responsible for advancing MPC’s work to drive policy change at the local level across two main programs: water resources and effective government. Initially in the water program, the selected candidate will help implement local use of the recently-released Drinking Water 1-2-3 guide through educational trainings and other outreach activities, and will help lead research and pilots on cost-saving strategies and governance models for water utility service and water rate affordability solutions. In the effective government program, the selected candidate will be among the first staff hired to launch a newly designed program to build local government capacity, and will help local governments pursue increased collaboration, service sharing, and consolidation.

Duties will include

  • Contributing to, and in some cases leading, locally-sponsored technical assistance projects on the topics of intergovernmental collaboration, service sharing, and consolidation.
  • Participating in all project phases, including project scoping, meeting and focus group facilitation, quantitative and qualitative research, development of recommendations, production of final products and implementation actions, and extensive coordination with local sponsors.
  • Supporting projects within MPC’s water program, including those outlined in MPC’s Water Supply Action Agenda.
  • Engaging and working with multiple local and regional stakeholders to execute on MPC’s governance and water initiatives.
  • Researching best practices in water management and municipal governance for white papers and policy briefs, while also writing original content for a general audience through newsletters, blog posts, and social media feeds.
  • Assisting with MPC’s legislative work and policy advocacy, as well as translating lessons learned into policy reform recommendations, to be communicated through original reports, policy briefings, and dialogue with elected officials.
  • Coordinating public events, forums and workshops, as well as advisory committee meetings and focus groups.

The ideal candidate will have the following core competencies of highly successful MPC employees:

  • Entrepreneurial: a self-starter, able to proactively identify, prioritize and complete tasks, handle multiple projects and deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment, able to chart a course and map out the path to a problem solution, and extremely detail-oriented
  • Relationship Builder: able to develop sincere connections and establish rapport with diverse groups and individuals, able to maintain and cultivate relationships even during conflict
  • Passionate, Eager and Positive: passionate about the issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission, able to contribute positively to group problem solving, always seeking solutions, volunteering and taking initiative
  • Curious: demonstrates desire for lifelong learning and self-improvement, engaged in the news and current events, not afraid to ask why and seek to understand context
  • Team Player:capable and willing to work collaboratively with staff and volunteers, consult the team for guidance, value positive contributions, tap strengths of all staff and ask for help when needed
  • Strong Communicator: an excellent writer and communicator who can competently represent the organization and its work to the public, board members, donors and audiences of all kinds
  • Analytical Thinker: able to identify root causes and causal relationships, challenge assumptions and identify pros and cons of possible paths forward
  • Socially and Emotionally Intelligent:able to read people and situations, anticipate reactions, read between the lines, and be aware of emotional reactions

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail or mail: 

  1. A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job description; 
  2. Your résumé;
  3. A brief writing sample; and 
  4. Three professional references.

Skyler Larrimore 
Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
[email protected]  

No phone calls please.  For more information on MPC, please visit our website:

MPC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.