City of Detroit - Deputy Director, Planning and Development Department




City of Detroit


Detroit, MI


The City of Detroit is seeking a talented, energetic individual with an exceptional record of accomplishment to serve as Deputy Director for the Planning and Development Department (PDD). PDD is charged with providing a participatory model of Urban Planning, Design and Development services that encourage population growth within the city and ensure that every neighborhood has a future. Its mission is to provide professional advice and technical expertise that promotes well-designed physical, social, economic, and environmentally healthy development within the City that enhances the quality of life for its residents, businesses and visitors.

The Deputy Director will report to the Director and will serve as second-in-command of the Department. He/ she will be responsible for managing and overseeing staff with multiple assignments including small area or neighborhood plans, managing multiple programs/services and design consultant teams, formulating policy positions, maintaining intergovernmental partnerships, managing operating budgets and ensuring deadlines are met.

This role is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual to make an immediate and lasting impact in one of America’s most iconic cities. Having recently emerged from bankruptcy, the City of Detroit stands at a critical moment in its history. With more than 1/3 of the City’s 139 square miles in public ownership, urban planning and land use are vital components to determining the city’s future. The individuals who are best suited for this role will have an outstanding track record of accomplishment in other urban centers, strong leadership and project management skills, and a deep conviction that Detroit has a better future.
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Assist in hiring and restructuring as the Department is rebuilt to accommodate its mission and increased demand for urban planning and land use services Help shape the physical development of the city by developing policies, implementation of urban design guidelines and neighborhood physical plans, recommending zoning amendments and overseeing compliance with the city’s Master Plan. Maintain and improve quality of city/neighborhoods by reviewing project/land use applications and building permits for zoning compliance. Works with public, architects, engineers, contractors and department personnel to interpret zoning ordinances and department policies/ procedures. Analyze trends in population, land use, transportation, zoning and other areas of significance to the department’s success. Exercise considerable initiative and judgment in the completion of assignments and interacts in the broad interests of the community. Acts on behalf of Director in his absence. - See more at:


Master’s in Urban Planning, Urban Design, Architecture, Public Administration or a related field and 8 years of progressively responsible urban planning experience or an equivalent Four years of experience in a supervisory/ management capacity. AICP Certification is not required. The ability to obtain certification as a career goal will be considered. 8-12 years of planning or zoning enforcement (2 of which were in a supervisory or administrative capacity). Or an equivalent combination of training, education and experience, which demonstrates the ability to perform the duties of the position. - See more at: Potential candidates must demonstrate excellent skills in writing, data analysis, oral presentation and problem solving. Experience with Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint is required for this position. Additional experience with graphics software (InDesign, SketchUp), modeling programs (Synchro, TransCAD), GIS, or database analysis will be considered favorably. Potential candidates may be asked to demonstrate their writing and oral presentation skills.


Please submit a resume to Basil Cherian ( and Matt Walters (