Location: Remote / Washington, DC

Executive Director

Application deadline: March 15, 2021

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), founded in 1993, invites applicants for the position of Executive Director (ED). We seek an energetic, multi-disciplinary candidate with strong leadership and management skills who is committed to advancing walkable, diverse, and sustainable urbanism. CNU is the leading national organization committed to these goals. Our mission is to change the practices and standards of urban design and development to support healthy regions and diverse neighborhoods. A complete description of the organization and initiatives can be found at CNU is principled upon its’ Charter, the organization’s cornerstone document, which can be found at Executive Director candidates must exhibit strengths in three specific areas:

Leadership and Vision
We need a passionate, entrepreneurial leader who is knowledgeable about, and committed to, the principals of sustainable urbanism. The ideal candidate will have a multi-disciplinary background, with interests in built form and placemaking, environmental sustainability and climate change, economic resilience, and housing diversity and affordability. The successful candidate will recognize the importance of social diversity, equity, and community engagement. CNU is at a critical juncture. New thinking and new approaches are needed in light of new challenges – among them, the environmental stresses brought about by climate change, the loss of affordable housing in walkable neighborhoods, and the collapse of storefront retail. CNU members are a diverse group tackling these challenges from multiple perspectives. We need a strong leader who can represent our collective voice, build up our base to be more inclusive, leverage the talents and experience of our members, and help us craft a more effective approach to implementation. We need Executive Director candidates that are innovative in their thinking, positive in their outlook, and energetic in their actions.

Management and Organization
We need a professional who excels at management and organization – someone who can ensure programmatic excellence and “make the trains run on time.” Our ideal candidates will be effective at organizing and energizing CNU’s many volunteers, committees, partnering organizations, and funders. They will inspire staff to be effective change makers, leveraging members, and expanding the movements’ reach. They will ensure that financial goals are achieved, operating expenses are within budget, and accurate and complete accounting records are maintained. They will develop effective systems to track progress, evaluate program components, and measure successes. They will communicate measures and outcomes in a way that is engaging and motivational.

Financial Sustainability
CNU seeks an Executive Director that takes a leadership role in acquiring and managing the financial resources necessary for organizational sustainability and growth. The ED will need to expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing and future program operations. The successful candidate will have strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience, with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures. Having effective interpersonal skills and an ability to develop relationships will be essential. The ED will target and develop grant proposals, work with the Board of Directors to manage fundraising campaigns and identify and engage donors.

Specific job responsibilities

  • Work with membership and CNU Board to review, amend, and implement CNU’s Strategic Plan.
  • Leverage CNU’s Fellows, committees, initiatives, task forces, and working groups to advance the CNU mission.
  • Hire, manage, and evaluate CNU staff.
  • Prepare and administer the annual budget.
  • Engage in regular fundraising activities, including the procurement of grants, donations, and sponsorships.
  • Build alliances and partnerships with like-minded organizations.
  • Organize and oversee CNU’s annual congress, educational outreach, councils, training workshops, and webinars.
  • Leverage and support the Board of Directors.
  • Oversee CNU’s public messaging via its website and social media platforms.

Desired qualifications

  • An advanced degree in a field related to CNU’s mission. This may include (but is not limited to) architecture, urban design, sustainability, urban planning, real estate, or environmental or housing law.
  • Strong alignment with the mission of CNU.
  • Five or more years of experience in organizational management, including staff supervision and budgeting responsibilities.

Applications are due March 15, 2021. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Please apply by email to CNU Board Chair-Elect Susan Henderson at Applications should include 1.) a letter of interest that describes your relevant experience and motivation for applying, 2.) a CV, and 3.) the names, addresses, e-mail, and telephone numbers of three references. CNU is an equal opportunity employer.

CNU celebrates diversity that includes, but is not limited to, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. We strongly encourage applications from members of under-represented groups and expect all applicants to identify assets that address our commitment to diversity.