Design Trust for Public Space is a nonprofit organization which brings together city agencies, community organizations and private sector experts to make a lasting impact – through design – on how New Yorkers live, work and play.

Our current and upcoming projects include: Trust by Design, a two-month campaign to elevate public space as a driver of a healthy, equitable, and resilient NYC; Opening the Edge, a resident-led process to design a new public space at the Lillian Wald Houses and serve as a model for NYCHA citywide; Neighborhood Commons, a project with NYC Small Business Services, providing place-based organizations (such as BID’s) and small businesses with the tools to recover as key community anchors; and finally we are planning to launch our multi-year call for proposals that will focus on the powerful impacts of public space on individual and community health to establish a generational conversation about health equity. 

Position Summary

The Director of Programs manages all Design Trust programs, publications, and related activities, under the guidance of the Executive Director. The Director leads multiple public space design and community development projects. They work closely with the Executive Director, the DT Board Program Committee, program staff and fellows on Programs overall strategic direction. Specific duties include: acting as lead project director for all Design Trust programs, activities, and community engagement, including workshops and neighborhood meetings with public officials, community members, and developers; creation and tracking of work plans, project timelines and budgets; supervision of Program staff; leading project research, including analysis of neighborhood economic, environmental, and social data; oversee editorial development, design and dissemination of all deliverables, including books, reports, maps, diagrams, and renderings.


Urban Analysis, City Planning, and Strategic Planning

  • Provide overall strategic planning for Design Trust programs
  • Develop vision for Design Trust programs, including review and exploration of DT project model and Request for Proposals/Call for Public Space Projects process
  • Work with Executive Director to manage Board Program Committee composition and quarterly meetings – set meeting agendas and expectations, solicit productive feedback on program, project proposals and deliverables
  • Work with Executive Director to develop and manage strategic partnerships and relationships
  • Lead comprehensive Design Trust program evaluation process, including the development of a program evaluation framework and toolkit for ongoing use
  • Manage RFP/s and Fellows-selection process
  • Prepare Request for Proposal/s for project solicitation
  • Identify potential Design Trust public space projects, research and develop conceptual framework and scopes of work
  • Develop and help disseminate Fellowship descriptions, review applications, interview finalists, and select candidate(s) with the help of the Program Manager
  • Delegate RFP and fellows tasks, as necessary and appropriate, to Program Manager, and supervise their successful completion.

Public Space Project Activities and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Work with Project Partner and Fellows, and Advisory Committee, if any, to develop project goals, budgets, scopes of work, deliverables, timelines, and implementation plans
  • Oversee public space projects research, activities and community engagement, including workshops, walking tours, and neighborhood meetings. 
  • Schedule and lead meetings with key stakeholders to gather information, get feedback, and influence decision-making
  • Develop and adhere to project timelines and budgets, update as needed
  • Review project(s) upon completion against program evaluation criteria with Program Committee
  • Delegate project development tasks, as necessary and appropriate, to Program Manager, and supervise their successful completion.

Production and Communication of Public Space Projects

  • Solicit and oversee the work of consultants, and other project contributors
  • Review and edit all project content, including maps, diagrams, renderings, videos, essays, etc.)
  • Produce additional content as necessary, e.g. write text
  • Lead the design and production of project publications and websites
  • Develop a schedule for production
  • Delegate editorial development, design, and production tasks, as necessary and appropriate, to Program Manager, and supervise their successful completion.
  • Disseminate project deliverables
  • Work with Executive Director to develop messaging and provide project related content for Executive Director’s public presentations, interviews, publications, and other communications
  • Conceive of and lead the development of program-related activities focused on public space projects, including panel discussions, tours, lectures, etc. and works with Program Manager to execute.
  • Present projects and represents the Design Trust at public meetings, community board meetings, classes, lectures, interviews, and other public forums
  • Speak at local and national conferences, highlighting the replicability of the work of the Design Trust
  • Work with Director of Development to disseminate materials to key stakeholders and interested parties.
  • Delegate dissemination tasks, as necessary and appropriate, to Program Manager, and supervise their successful completion

Required Background, Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s Degree preferred—or equivalent experience—and at least 5 years of professional experience
  • Strong background in public space, urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, public policy, urban studies, environmental studies, or related fields
  • Experience managing employees
  • Team player and thrives in a small-office environment
  • Proven excellent written and oral communication skills and organizational skills
  • Microsoft Office skills required; Adobe Suite experience preferred
  • Experience managing diverse activities to meet deadlines
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people

Preferred Experience

·  Prior experience working in community development, design, urban planning or advocacy organizations


The Design Trust offers a competitive salary based on experience and an excellent benefits package (health, dental, vision and 401(k). In addition, Design Trust employees receive ample vacation and sick time, enjoy a flexible work environment, and work with a talented team of individuals on public space projects that have a real impact on New York City’s urban environment.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted via email only and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only complete applications will be reviewed. Due to the volume of applications, only those candidates short-listed for the first round of interviews will be notified. No phone calls please.

To apply, send the following as one complete PDF file:

  • A cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, with salary requirements and 2-3 references
  • Your resume (2 pages maximum)
  • A writing sample (project-related)

Name your PDF file “lastname_firstname.pdf” and send your complete application to: with “Director of Programs” written in the subject line.

Deadline to apply is: Monday August 17, 2020 with a projected start date of September 15, 2020.

Design Trust is an equal opportunity employer and encourages people of all abilities, ethnicities, genders, national origins or ancestries, socioeconomic statuses, races, formerly incarcerated statuses, religions and sexualities to apply. Design Trust is also committed to accessibility and to working together with you to develop an accessibility plan.