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Senior Project Manager or Program Director, Water Equity

Open Positions

Senior Project Manager or Program Director, Water Equity

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) seeks an innovative and talented individual to join our urban resilience team, which is responsible for water, climate, infrastructure, and broad quality of life solutions at the neighborhood level. The urban resilience project portfolio encompasses CNT’s award-winning work on environmental justice, equitable water systems, and climate resilience.

This role, depending on level, will lead and/or contribute to our water equity initiatives – developing a strategy for our engagement in water programs and finding resources to support that. The position is designed for candidates with 7-10 years of previous, related full-time work experience. Knowledge of urban issues and a commitment to CNT’s mission must be demonstrated regardless of educational background and work experience.

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About CNT

The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has operated at the intersection of sustainability and equity since 1978. Our mission is to deliver innovative analysis and solutions that support community-based organizations and local governments to create neighborhoods that are equitable, sustainable, and resilient. CNT provides:

  • Analysis - rigorous, interdisciplinary analysis of urban and regional problems to produce evidence-based solutions, including sophisticated data tools and online resources to make findings usable.
  • Engagement and Empowerment - engagement of neighborhood partners and local government leaders, supporting and empowering them to improve their communities.
  • Innovation - innovative and data-driven policy, financial, and technological solutions.
  • Entrepreneurship - where there are gaps in service, entrepreneurial approaches to create new programs to solve problems we uncover.

Position Description

CNT is seeking an experienced professional with a particular background in water systems – from lead service lines and green stormwater infrastructure as effective flood mitigation solutions to drinking water affordability and equity in access to clean water sources. We have broad needs for assistance in project management and project support across our areas of work. It is not expected that candidates will have expertise in every aspect of CNT’s programs – but ideally, we do hope to find a Sr. Project Manager or Program Director who is broadly interested in and qualified to contribute to CNT’s work across topics in a multidisciplinary way.

CNT is headquartered in Chicago with a national reach. Significant work is done in the Chicago metropolitan area and surrounding states, which may require occasional travel. Candidate interests and ambitions should reflect CNT’s national profile.

Key responsibilities and expectations of the Sr. Project Manager or Program Director, Water Equity are:

  • Advance CNT’s mission in all work. Commit to CNT’s core principles of equity, resilience, and support for communities, and use this mission to guide program direction.
  • Foster and maintain strong relationships with our core partners, including community-based organizations, peer nonprofits, and governments. Position the priorities of marginalized communities at the center of CNT’s work, and orient our programs to support and empower CBOs.
  • Set strategic direction for our water equity program (director-level). Advance current major projects and partnerships, pursue new opportunities as they arise, and understand as well as communicate how the projects relate to one another within a coherent program. In collaboration with other staff, contribute to fundraising by cultivating new opportunities, expanding existing funder relationships, developing proposals with colleagues and partners that align with funder priorities, and reporting on accomplishments.
  • Project or program development and management. Explore, initiate, and manage discrete projects within CNT’s broad portfolio – from individual projects, memoranda, and reports to responsibility for developing multi-year goals. Several immediate projects are funded through government grants and ensuring activities remain within the parameters of these grants will be a high priority for this position.
  • Research and analysis. Engage with CNT’s urban analytics department on the production of innovative, original analysis. Strong analytical abilities—both quantitative and qualitative—are valued, as well as the ability to work with analysts on joint projects.
  • Advocacy and communications. Represent CNT’s position and values externally in a variety of settings – at times supporting existing policies and proposals and at times offering criticisms and challenging the status quo. The candidate should be comfortable representing CNT’s perspective professionally but assertively.

Portfolio outlook and select project descriptions:

  • Support to community-based environmental justice groups. CNT has several active projects that are co-led with community-based organizations to both research current disparities and provide tools to overcome them. Continuing to manage these projects in a way that achieves the goals established by the community partner is a high priority.
  • Participation in conferences, coalition meetings, or on local and national committees to advance environmental justice initiatives involving green infrastructure, innovative finance of water systems, climate action planning and more. In alignment with our mission, CNT prioritizes opportunities to collaborate and share knowledge with CBOs, peer nonprofits, and municipalities on a local and national scale. The ability to represent CNT in these spaces to speak on best practices, innovative solutions, strategic recommendations, as well as the benefits and direct impacts of co-designing with communities will be paramount.
  • Calumet climate innovation platforms. CNT leads a variety of projects on Chicago’s south side and in south suburban Cook County to build climate resilience and reduce flooding. The platforms include both technical components (crowdsourced and compensated collection of flooding data through an app) and leadership development components (empowering residents to understand and contribute to flooding solutions in their neighborhoods). Expertise in green and grey infrastructure and how those natural and built water systems complement one another will contribute greatly to this ongoing work; notable projects include RainReady, Urban Flooding Baseline, and Civic Innovation Hub.

While water equity will be a primary area of focus for this role, contributions to other projects in the fields of environmental justice, climate resilience, transportation equity, and air quality are also expected. Candidates should be able to demonstrate skills and values fundamental to CNT’s approach to its work.

We believe in working closely and equitably with local community-based organizations in ways that share power, knowledge, and resources. CNT has strengthened our commitment to racial equity in our mission, structure, and practices. The successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of frameworks and practices surrounding justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency.

Skills, knowledge, and abilities:

  • Commitment to racial equity, environmental justice, and sustainability.
  • Multi-disciplinary interest and knowledge of emerging issues in climate, water, and similar elements of the built environment, and understanding of their potential to affect our cities and broader society.
  • Demonstrated project management skills, especially related to projects funded by the public sector.
  • Strong communication abilities and willingness to engage with external stakeholders; government, private sector, and the media.
  • Strong analytical and technical skills as well as the ability to work with analytical staff.
  • Strong writing skills for copyediting with a high level of attention to detail.
  • Willingness to work in a mission-driven organization to accomplish challenging goals.
  • Ability and willingness to work as part of a multidisciplinary and diverse team.
  • Education in urban planning or urban issues, public policy, environmental science, social justice, or related field; or, education in a technical field like engineering, landscape architecture, or architecture paired with CNT’s commitment to equity and sustainability.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree preferred.

Salary, Benefits, and Location

Salary will be commensurate with experience and in the $80,000-$85,000 range for the Sr. Project Manager; $85,000-$95,000 range for the Program Director.

CNT offers 20 vacation days, 12 holidays, 10 sick days, and 2 personal days annually, as part of its competitive benefits package. We respect life-work balance and are supportive of staff with families. CNT currently permits all staff to work from home according to their preference as a result of the pandemic and expects to maintain a flexible schedule in the long term. CNT expects all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be willing to become vaccinated upon hire.

This position is based in Chicago and reports to the Managing Director, Urban Resilience.

Employment Policy: It is the policy of CNT that all employees are employed at the will of CNT. Continued employment is subject to funding availability and job performance.

Anti-Discrimination Policy: CNT is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate against any employee or job applicant based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or marital status. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, termination, promotion, transfer, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

How to Apply

Email cover letter and resume by August 11, 2023 to Bridget Torres, Please write Sr. Project Manager or Program Director, Water Equity in the email subject line. No phone calls please.

Diversity Policy
View CNT's diversity policy here



Diversity Policy

View CNT's diversity policy here