Program Manager

Program Manager
Organization City Parks Alliance
Location Washington, DC
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline

Salary Range: $55,000 – $65,000

City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. The mission of the City Parks Alliance is to engage, educate and nurture a broad-based constituency to support the creation, revitalization and sustainability of parks and green spaces that contribute to more vibrant and equitable cities.

City Parks Alliance leads and serves the community of diverse organizations that encompass the parks and recreation world, from neighborhood groups to government agencies, championing high quality urban parks throughout the nation. City Parks Alliance is vital to sound public policy and citizen engagement that recognizes city parks as an integral part of forming strong, vibrant, equitable cities that nurture their communities and local economies. Our vision is that everyone in urban America will have access to the benefits of parks, recreational opportunities, and green spaces.

City Parks Alliance believes that parks and recreation services play a critical role in advancing racial equity.  Equity is about fairness:  Full and equal access to opportunities, power and resources so all people may thrive and prosper regardless of demographics. Equity is embedded in all of CPA’s work, from our approach to curating our conferences and selection of speakers and community based stories, to our research focus on creating more equitable city-wide systems, to our advocacy efforts to increase investment in urban parks and recreation in neighborhoods of greatest need.  We continue to learn and grow as an organization to broaden cultural, racial, and ethnic perspectives on our board and staff.  See our organizational values and statement on racial equity and justice for more about our commitment to advance these principles.

Position Description:

City Parks Alliance seeks a Program Manager to support development of program content, primarily the biennial Greater & Greener international urban parks conference and biennial park study tour.  The Program Specialist will also support member capacity building programs including webinars and other virtual and in-person learning opportunities. The position offers an opportunity to join a growing and dynamic organization of urban park leaders in North America.

Greater & Greener is the leading international conference for urban park leaders, city planning and design professionals, public officials, advocates, funders, and local change-makers to explore the role of parks and recreation in addressing some of the biggest equity challenges facing 21st century cities. The highly curated and interactive program offers indoor and outdoor sessions, workshops, and tours that facilitate an honest dialogue around community-based solutions, opportunities for cross-sector and peer-to-peer networking, and tools for building successful park partnerships.  The biennial conference will take place in Philadelphia in July 2022, and Seattle in 2024.  See for more information.

CPA’s Park Study Tours are offered every other year.  The three-day tour, limited to 30 people, highlights public private partnership models, cross-sector management of parks and public spaces, and community based innovation. Past tours have taken place in Cleveland, Toronto, Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago. The next ones will take place in Austin in 2021 and St. Louis in 2022. These tours offer a unique approach to learning, highlighting local stories and leadership as well as the economic, social and environmental contexts for creating stronger more equitable urban infrastructure systems. We are exploring options to pair this program with a virtual component for broader access.

CPA also offers a portfolio of programs that includes a ladder of engagement, from online tools to intensive place-based workshops, meant to foster stronger cross-sector partnerships that use parks and recreation to address pressing urban issues, from resiliency to workforce development.

Key responsibilities:

Greater & Greener Conference (65%)

  • Provide support for a curated five-day international event
  • Manage proposal solicitation, review and curation processes, and support conference committee and review teams to ensure diverse voices and perspectives are included in the final program
  • Write session descriptions
  • Manage speaker and session preparation process
  • Manage speaker communications and logistics before, during, and after the conference
  • Manage CEU application and approval processes
  • Collaborate with communications team and provide content to support conference promotion
  • Work closely with conference organizer to plan and support logistics

Park Study Tours (10%)

  • Work with local host committee to plan and develop program content for educationally rich three-day tour program that includes local stories and leadership
  • Plan and implement tour logistics in partnership with local host team
  • Oversee city selection process for future tours

Other (25%)

  • Manage on-line agreements bank, including identifying needs and gaps, soliciting materials from members, speakers and others, uploading and tagging in system
  • Support other CPA programs, such as workshops, webinars, peer-to-peers, with event planning, CEU application and approval processes, and logistics

Qualifications and Skills:

  • Event/conference planning experience, especially on speaker coordination
  • Excellent planning and process management skills
  • Excellent project management skills to meet tight deadlines; detail oriented
  • Knowledge of or background working with communities on urban parks and recreation, urban design/planning, community development, environmental justice, or in the urban environmental field
  • Commitment to equity
  • Excellent writing and communications skills
  • Friendly and professional demeanor; excellent interpersonal skills; flexibility; sense of humor; team player with ability to work independently and in a small office setting
  • Strong Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Dropbox skills and comfort learning new software; Salesforce a plus
  • Experience with event and project management software; knowledge of online learning platforms a plus
  • Ability to travel
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience
  • Bachelor’s degree

City Parks Alliance is committed to building a culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse staff and is an equal opportunity employer.  We strongly urge people of color to apply.

Application Process:

Please submit resume, cover letter, and three references in one pdf with subject line “Program Manager Application” to [email protected]


Applications considered on a rolling basis


  • 15 days/year of paid vacation
  • 10 paid holidays annually
  • Up to 12 days of paid sick leave per year
  • Health/vision/dental insurance
  • Short term disability
  • Workers compensation
  • Tax deferred annuity plan: Eligibility to join CPA plan with employee contributions upon hire, employer contribution begins after two years of full-time employment
  • Flexible schedule
  • City Parks Alliance is located at 1777 Church Street, NW, Washington, DC, but work continues to be conducted remotely during the pandemic. We offer options for a combined remote and in-person balance.