The Community Resilience Fellow (Fellow) supports the Director of Community Planning with coordination of the community planning work in southeast Chicago and northwest Indiana. S/he focuses on strengthening community members’ capacity to advocate effectively for policies and projects that improve local water resilience. The Fellow works to activate publicly accessible water-connected sites and improve the connections community members have to their local waterways. He or she will use local knowledge and participatory planning methods to advance locally prioritized efforts that improve the health of the Great Lakes, deliver multiple benefits to health and economic outcomes, and enhance the resilience of the communities. The Community Resilience Fellow (Fellow) reports to the Community Planning Director.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. The Alliance is a four-star Charity Navigator organization. Learn more about the Alliance at


  • Coordinate and help facilitate planning meetings and workshops with community members, local stakeholders and municipal agency staff.
  • Organize and support activation of community member networks using participatory planning methods.
  • Conduct research and make initial policy and project recommendations to the Alliance that would result in long-term implementation of water-focused projects that improve public health, economic development and transportation outcomes.
  • Ensure project tools such as fact sheets, outreach tactics and meeting facilitation are developed and used to accurately convey the expressed needs of the communities we serve.
  • Identify specific capacity gaps among community members and recommend options for addressing those gaps.
  • Coordinate regularly with Alliance staff in other locations to learn about and document their engagement and planning strategies.

Knowledge / Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, public health, political science or related field.
  • Experience working independently to support community leaders and advocates, especially in communities facing resource and capacity challenges.
  • Experience coordinating successful meetings that engage multiple stakeholders.
  • Experience planning and executing events to quickly activate public spaces, such as through temporary installations or pop-up events.
  • Expertise in land use policy especially as it affects water resources.
  • Demonstrated experience using participatory planning methods.
  • Excellent research, written and verbal communication skills.
  • The ability and desire to work with a team in a small, friendly office setting.
  • Motivation to get results and learn quickly while not being hesitant to ask questions.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office 2010, PowerPoint and Excel is required; GIS is a plus.
  • Knowledge of and existing relationships in southeast Chicago or northwest Indiana is a plus.
  • Spanish-speaking ability is a plus.
  • Valid driver’s license required.
  • Availability from December 2017 through December 2018 is required.

Job Parameters

  • This position is consistent with Alliance employment policy.
  • Number of hours and salary are commensurate with experience.  Benefits are offered in accordance with Alliance policies.
  • This position to be located in Chicago, Illinois with regular local car travel of less than 100 miles round trip from downtown Chicago required.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, map sample (optional) and 2-3 references to: Include job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted until December 1, or until the position is filled. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.

About the Alliance

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The search process will reinforce the Alliance’s belief that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors.

The Alliance’s vision is a healthy Great Lakes for people and wildlife, forever. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. For more information about the Alliance’s programs and work, please visit us online at

Keep In Touch

Stay up-to-date on open positions and other happenings at the Alliance by signing up for our email list.

Sign Up