Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Executive Director

Baton Rouge’s Downtown Development District (DDD) is seeking a dynamic leader to fill the role of executive director, a position vacated by the untimely passing of long-time DDD leader Davis S. Rhorer. Emergent Method, a Louisiana-based management consulting firm, has been retained by the DDD to facilitate this executive search and hiring process.

This position will play a key role in steering DDD’s direction and strategic initiatives with the overarching goal of supporting growth and vitality for Downtown Baton Rouge. Serving as a spokesperson for the organization, the executive director acts as the primary point of contact for the DDD Commission, government entities, community leaders, other key stakeholders across Baton Rouge. This position reports to the DDD Commission, operating under the oversight of the East Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council, and has managerial responsibilities over all DDD staff, capital projects, plans, and contractors. This is an unclassified position, employed by the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge and eligible for all relevant City-Parish benefits. For more information on these employee benefits, click here.

The ideal candidate will have proven experience in relevant fields like urban planning and landscape architecture, as well as senior management experience leading other downtown development authorities, where he or she has exhibited exceptional communication, leadership, and coalition-building skills.

Planning and Economic Development

  • Plans and develops business, residential, and public development projects, including coordination of project funding sources and oversight of project management.
  • Leads the development and implementation of downtown-specific plans or projects in coordination with relevant stakeholders.
  • Coordinates with local, state, and other officials to develop strategies and coalitions for economic development projects.
  • Coordinates with local, state, and other officials to develop and strengthen policies or laws that promote a safe and vibrant Downtown Baton Rouge.
  • Collaborates with others to develop creative solutions that benefit Downtown Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas.
  • Supports and promotes tourism-related initiatives involving Downtown Baton Rouge, in collaboration with the City-Parish, Visit Baton Rouge, and other stakeholders.
  • Performs necessary administrative work in the area of planning and redevelopment of an urban area, including establishing goals and objectives, coordinating development and activities set by the state and City-Parish, and establishing programs to meet needs as appropriate.

Leadership, Strategy, and Operations

  • Demonstrates leadership, decision ability, and self-direction skills by planning, managing, and conducting all administrative management and operational aspects of the District.
  • Works supportively, collaboratively, efficiently, and effectively with the DDD Commission, Metropolitan Council, and Mayor-President in overseeing the completion of all strategic objectives and initiatives.
  • Supervises, directs, and recommends actions to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Develops, reviews, and monitors budgets to ensure efficient financial operations and effective programming in accordance with the DDD’s fiscal management policies, including managing purchasing activities, preparing and submitting grants, and negotiating and managing contracts.
  • Creates and maintains a high-performing organizational culture aligned with the values of DDD.
  • Manages and directs the day-to-day responsibilities of DDD personnel and staff, conducting regular employee performance evaluations and monitoring resources in line with operational needs and workforce demands.

Public and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Represents the DDD effectively to external stakeholders and the general public in a manner consistent with the DDD’s mission and objectives.
  • Serves as a spokesperson for the DDD by deploying an effective communications plan in coordination with key stakeholders, publicizing activities related to the organization’s programs and goals and building awareness to positively represent the DDD to stakeholders and the general public.
  • Develops and maintains strong working relationships with key stakeholder groups, including residents, government agencies, business owners, community leaders, religious organizations, and local nonprofits and philanthropies.
  • Collaborates effectively with other community leaders to affect change and improve outcomes for a diverse and inclusive residential and business environment that positively contributes to the region’s economic wellbeing and stability.
  • Monitors and provides information related to proposed legislation, regulatory changes, studies, and reports, advising the Commission of potential impacts to the organization and relevant responses.


  • A bachelor’s degree in urban planning, landscape architecture, business, public administration, geography, public policy, or a related field is required, with a master’s degree in any of these fields considered a plus. A combination of experience and education that clearly demonstrates comparable knowledge, skills, and abilities may be suitable.
  • A minimum of eight-to-twelve years of professional experience in a related field.
  • A minimum of five-to-seven years of management experience, including overseeing functions such as budgeting, staffing, and performance management.
  • Proven planning and project management experience in a related field, preferably urban planning.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of applicable local, state, and federal laws, ordinances, policies, rulings, and regulations regarding urban and economic development and incentives.
  • Knowledge of capital and financial resources available to assist in the development and redevelopment of urban areas.
  • Knowledge of relevant government programs and procedures, including available funding, legislative processes, and budgeting processes.
  • Knowledge of the needs of urban areas and how to develop and implement plans that meet these needs. Knowledge of intergovernmental relations and the importance of strong working relationships across all relevant government agencies and functions.
  • Ability to understand and leverage the value of real estate in urban environments to support broader economic and community growth.
  • Ability to perform effectively under pressure and use strong organizational skills when faced with competing priorities.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills.
  • Strong management skills, emotionally intelligent, and self-aware with an ability to listen effectively to others and learn from their best ideas.
  • Ability to develop and sustain productive and mutually beneficial working relationships with diverse stakeholders, citizen groups, partners, and governing bodies.
  • Ability to foresee and evaluate potential issues with programs or initiatives and prepare alternative solutions.
  • Ability to make clear and timely decisions.
  • Ability to travel, as necessary.

How to Apply
Candidate(s) should submit a resume with a cover letter and references to