Location: Providence, RI

Executive Director

Salary: $115,000

Closing: June 7, 2023

The Downtown Providence Park Network (DPPN) works across nine downtown public spaces, cultivating enduring connection, pride, and vibrancy throughout the generations. Each space has its own personality, assets, needs, and priorities, and together, they form a connected loop. The Network was created by The City of Providence, The Providence Foundation, The Providence Parks Department, I-195 Redevelopment District, and many other entities enriching our downtown.

The Organization
The Downtown Providence Parks Network was created in 2021 to unify, steward, and activate the loop of public spaces that runs between the Point Street Bridge, Waterplace Park, and Greater Kennedy Place. We do this by:

  • Raising funds for the parks
  • Marketing, communications, and advocacy to promote the downtown parks
  • Developing a unified identity and working toward implementing a wayfinding system
  • Planning free programs and hosting community engagement opportunities
  • Using data to enable learning
  • Helping to facilitate coordination across our parks and with partners 

The Network operates under Memoranda of Understanding, currently under development. The Network Executive Director will build and nurture strong relationships with the Mayor’s Office, the Parks Superintendent and her team, the Board of Parks Commissioners, members and staff of the I-195 Redevelopment District, City Councilors, leaders of The Providence Foundation and Downtown Improvement District, and other civic, philanthropic, elected, and business leaders. A 15-member Board of Directors guides the Network’s strategic direction.

Core Responsibilities

  • Lead, galvanize, and inspire. The Executive Director will lead development of a shared vision and strategic plan that excite and enlist the staff and Board, partners, donors and supporters. Building on existing strengths, the Executive Director will be a catalyst for achieving current and new goals and aspirations. The Executive Director will be a grower of relationships, talent and resources, a communicator, and a thought leader. The Executive Director will partner effectively with the Board, leveraging its capacities, and will advance relationships and engagement across Providence. The Network is highly collaborative and interdependent with other organizations, and this role requires a strong facilitative leader who enjoys working in concert with complementary partners for the benefit of the collective mission.
  • Achieve growth, expansion, and evolution. The Executive Director will have a record of growing and diversifying resources, through philanthropic support, capital campaigns, sponsorships, grants and earned revenue. Through strategic engagement with funders, donors and the broader community, the Executive Director will increase commitment and support for the Park, both annually and in the context of the upcoming endowment campaign. Fundraising is a primary focus of the Network, and the Executive Director will be responsible for leading the organization’s fundraising efforts.
  • Build relationships and profile. The Executive Director will be a compelling external representative who relishes building and deepening relationships with diverse stakeholders. The Executive Director will have experience increasing brand awareness and relevance and be an outstanding communicator in all kinds of settings. The Executive Director will cultivate effective relationships with leaders in government and throughout the civic, philanthropic, and corporate communities.
  • Develop a solid organizational foundation. The Executive Director will be a leader of people and teams, organizations and change. The Executive Director will be an active listener and builder of shared purpose and a positive culture of collaboration, constructive dialogue, learning and innovation. The Executive Director will have business acumen and ensure that the Network has effective systems and processes. The Executive Director will align the Board, staff and partners around priorities and plans that incorporate proven and fresh approaches, technology, resourcing, and measurement.
  • Lead with equity and sustainability in mind. The Executive Director will envision the downtown parks as a long-term, world-class asset for Providence. Through strategic acumen, thoughtful innovation and partnership, and excellent implementation, the Executive Director will identify various ways to enhance the culture of downtown so that everyone feels as though they belong and to create sustainable infrastructure and improvements.

The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and supervise employees and vendors.

Personal Assets and Experience
The ideal candidate has relevant experience in leadership, management and growth. A hybrid background that includes experience with public/private partnerships, fundraising and capital campaigns, organizational leadership, and resource growth is ideal. Experience with greenspace and Providence connections are valued. Passion for the mission of the Downtown Providence Park Network is essential. The Executive Director will have personal characteristics that include:

  • An inspiring, engaging, and welcoming presence.
  • Big-picture strategy and hands-on engagement.
  • High emotional intelligence, listening, and relationship-building skills.
  • Confidence and humility as a leader.
  • Ability to unite, galvanize, lead, and prioritize.
  • Communication, negotiation, media, and presentation skills.
  • Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Resourcefulness and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Team-building, collaboration and conflict resolution skills.
  • Adaptability, creativity, and resourcefulness.
  • Ability to build consensus and to make the tough calls.
  • A sense of humor.

The ideal candidate will bring:

  • Public/private partnership experience.
  • Fundraising, significant resource growth and/or expansion, and substantial capital campaign expertise.
  • Experience in the field of greenspace or work in similar public contexts.
  • Providence connections including government, civic, corporate and/or philanthropic; and/or proven ability to develop such relationships.
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred with a minimum of five years of experience in a related field, such as park or nonprofit organization management.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills with experience working with a board of directors and in developing community relationships.
  • Experience launching initiatives and building systems.

How to Apply
To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to by June 7, 2023.

The Downtown Providence Park Network seeks to reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community and encourages people from all backgrounds to apply.