The Alliance for the Great Lakes is pleased to announce an opening for the position of Community Planning Manager in southeast Chicago. The Alliance is a mid-sized, non-partisan NGO with a vision of a healthy Great Lakes for all people and wildlife, forever.

The Community Planning Manager (Manager) will advance community identified policies, projects and programs to improve access to the Calumet River and Lake Michigan and reduce community flooding using nature-based land management strategies. The Manager will elevate equitable land use and local economies by supporting local institutions and building community assets to ensure local economic and environmental vitality and stability. S/he will facilitate collaborative decision making and locally led community engagement strategies to identify and prioritize policy and planning initiatives. The initiatives supported by the Manager will be those prioritized by community partners and city departments. S/he will work with a team of water planning, advocacy and communication leaders at the Alliance to shape policy and practices that build on the clean water values of the Great Lakes.

The Community Planning Manager reports directly 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


Research, Draft, and Advance Plans, Policies and Programs

  • Research, recommend and advance strategies that institutionalize and operationalize green stormwater infrastructure in the City of Chicago, with a focus on long-term maintenance.
  • Research, recommend and advance equitable and sustainable land use policies for the Calumet industrial corridor.
  • Research and recommend new opportunities to support local institutions and build community assets through planning, policies or programs to support local economic and environmental vitality and stability.

Facilitate Collaborative Decision Making and Community Engagement

  • Co-facilitate meetings with local partners to develop and execute community engagement and outreach to ensure local stakeholders and residents inform work for commercial corridors and river adjacent sites.
  • Co-facilitate meetings with local partners and municipal staff (e.g. transportation, planning, public health) to ensure that local stakeholders and residents inform, guide and influence city planning and decision making.

Project & Event Coordination

  • Coordinate residential engagement events like site clean-ups, participatory design, and pop-up events.
  • Develop and coordinate shared work plans, virtual work spaces and calendars.
  • Track and report on grant deliverables, project budgets and expenses.
  • Coordinate partners’ and consultants’ scopes of work.

Program Development

  • Assist with the development of grant proposals for new work that facilitates program growth and supports strategic partnerships.
  • Inform the Alliance’s strategic direction in SE Chicago, Detroit and NE Ohio.

Knowledge/Skills, and Competencies

  • Bachelor’s degree plus 1-3 years of experience in urban planning, public health, economic development, political science or related field.
  • Experience working independently to support community leaders and advocates, especially in communities of color or low-income communities.
  • Demonstrated experience listening to and advancing the interests of community stakeholders and residents who are the most impacted by municipal policy and planning decisions.
  • Familiarity with policies and programs related to green stormwater infrastructure/non-point source pollution, industrial land use, and equitable development.
  • Experience planning and executing events to quickly activate public spaces, such as through temporary installations or pop-up events.
  • Demonstrated experience using participatory planning methods.
  • Excellent research, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Creative thinker with the ability to quickly translate ideas into on-the-ground actions, test for success and shift tactics as needed.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office 2010, PowerPoint and Excel is required.
  • Knowledge of and existing relationships in southeast Chicago is strongly desired.
  • Spanish-speaking fluency is a plus.
  • Valid driver’s license required.

Job Parameters

This position is full-time and consistent with Alliance employment policy.

Salary to be commensurate with experience.

Excellent benefits including health, vacation and retirement plan, are included.

The preference is for this position to be located in Chicago, with occasional travel around the Great Lakes region.

Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references to: Include job title in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted 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 for the Great Lakes

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

Do you love the Great Lakes? Sign up and we'll keep you up-to-date on critical Great Lakes issues and all the ways you can help.

Sign Up for Email