Project Manager, Programs

Van Alen Institute
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Added on: 4 Mar 2024, Job offer expires on: 30 Apr 2024

Van Alen Institute is a 129-year-old design nonprofit that helps create equitable cities through community-led inclusive design. We partner with leaders of historically disinvested communities to support their immediate needs and long-term visions with our network, knowledge, and resources. We shape diverse interdisciplinary teams, build cross-sector public/private coalitions, and invest our funds to support neighborhood priorities. By centering community in everything we do, our inclusive design method responds to the urgent need for social justice in city-making.

Role Description

Van Alen seeks a highly skilled and collaborative Project Manager, Programs to lead and measure the impact of various public realm projects and urbanism initiatives. This role drives institutional evaluation, local and national program development, and project and relationship management for assigned programs and workstreams.

Reporting to the Director of Programs, this position streamlines departmental operations and partners with staff members on institutional strategy. The Project Manager should be a great facilitator and a strategic problem solver with experience developing and overseeing community-focused initiatives that engage diverse stakeholders.

Van Alen is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are committed to reflecting the communities with whom we work and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented populations to apply, including people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and disabled people.

Specific duties include but are not limited to:

Institutional Impact Evaluation

  • Oversees the institution’s evaluation efforts and maintains effective operations and workflows for the Programs department
  • Iterates on Van Alen’s Theory of Change and Measurement Framework
  • Owns and maintains databases, surveys, and other organizational data collection tools (e.g. Airtable)
  • Establishes processes across the organization to measure and track the impact of Van Alen’s work
  • Collaborates with team members across the organization and external parties to collect programmatic and impact data
  • Develops program-specific theories of change and measurement frameworks as new programs are established
  • Leads the Evaluation Fellowship, or other evaluation-related volunteers or staff.

Program Management

  • Manages assigned projects from start to completion, including monitoring of project scope, timeline, budgets, contracts, event management, developing agendas, run-of-shows, managing vendors, and supporting with outreach
  • Engages and manages diverse partners – including community-based organizations, multidisciplinary professionals, elected officials, and philanthropic organizations – ensuring all are informed, aligned, and excited as projects progress
  • Develop and implement metrics and systems to measure the effectiveness of the project and its impact
  • Oversees external contractors and staff that manage assigned projects; when applicable, the Project Manager, Programs:
    • Provides oversight and guidance to direct reports on assigned projects
    • Monitors project expenses, timesheets, and other administrative duties related to personnel management
    • Completes performance reviews and staff development plans

Departmental Workflows and Strategy

  • Coordinates with Director of Programs and staff on programmatic strategy development, including supporting learning and testing processes, program impact measurement, and annual planning
  • Manage departmental operations & workflows and lead meeting schedules (weekly standups, retrospectives, and monthly shareouts) that support the daily management and continued evolution of Van Alen’s work
  • Support the Director of Programs in hiring and onboarding for the department

Qualifications and skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in architecture or landscape architecture and a minimum five years of experience successfully developing, launching, and implementing community-led programs and projects in the design and urbanism field
  • Minimum three years’ experience in community engagement, user/participatory research, participatory design, architecture, urban planning, policy, or related field
  • Experience managing and overseeing capital projects in the public realms as well as temporary installations in public spaces
  • Experience engaging and managing diverse groups including community members, municipalities, philanthropies, and multidisciplinary professionals
  • Strong project management skill set with a demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities and projects, meet deadlines, and manage budgets with multiple funding streams
  • Experience anticipating project outcomes and comfortable making decisions that creatively and critically lead to problem and conflict resolution
  • Experience supporting and facilitating multidisciplinary professional teams to advance community-driven ideas by developing and implementing innovative and compelling solutions
  • Experience drafting content for a wide audience including reports, key findings, briefs, and web materials
  • Experience collecting, documenting, and interpreting data, both quantitative and qualitative, to assess the impact of programs and projects; and ability to use learnings and findings to guide decision making
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well with staff at all organizational levels and to interact professionally with internal and external stakeholders in person and via telephone and email communication
  • Collaborative and adaptive mindset; comfortable with and interest in iterative and learning-focused processes
  • A commitment to advancing social equity and inclusive design
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Suite, Airtable and Project Management software (i.e. Asana or Airtable). Experience with other interactive engagement platforms such as Mural, Miro, Whimsical, among others encouraged


Please send your application to with cover letter, resume, and writing sample in a single PDF with the subject line “Project Manager, Programs: [Name].”

The salary range for this position is $65,000-75,000 annually. Generous benefits are provided at no extra cost to employees. Contribution is required for dependents. Van Alen offers remote work opportunities on Monday and Friday. Van Alen is an equal-opportunity employer.

This job was added under Project Manager category

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