Executive Director

Urban Land Institute
Washington, DC
United States
Professional Areas: 
Community Development
Land-Use Management
Experience Level: 
AICP Certification: 
Not required
Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience in the mid six figures.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Washington seeks a dynamic Executive Director to grow and shape an influential regional membership organization. This is an exciting leadership opportunity to provide incredible programs and resources for ULI Washington members and impact local land use policy.

The Organization

The Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit organization, provides leadership in the responsible use of land and creates and sustains thriving communities worldwide. With a membership of 40,000 + members around the globe, ULI engages with professionals representing the spectrum of land use and real estate development across the private and public sectors. ULI’s members are leading property owners, investors, advisors, developers, policy makers, architects, lawyers, lenders, planners, regulators, contractors, engineers, university professors, librarians and students.

ULI Washington is ULI’s third largest district council in the US, with over 2,200 members. Our mission is to be the place where real estate industry professionals, the public sector, and other thought leaders engage in sharing ideas, promoting best practices, solving problems, learning, and educating to positively impact the built environment. We conduct research focusing on critical real estate issues, with the intent to promote best practices, and influence and develop new approaches to development in the region. Our vision is to be the most valued and respected real estate organization in the Washington region. In 2016, the district council leadership created a new strategic plan for ULI Washington prioritizing impact, member engagement and organizational strength. For 2017-2020, ULI Washington is exploring three themes: housing affordability, regional economic health and competitiveness, and disruption trends and technologies.

A major focus of our work is supporting our members. We offer extensive programming and opportunities in the region that support professionals as they learn and grow in their careers, and help members engage in meaningful discussion around hot topics in the region. These programs include Young Leaders Group (comprising 600 members), Women’s Leadership Initiative, The Regional Land Use Leadership Institute and NEXT Washington.

We also impact local communities through our signature Trends Event, Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs), Full Member Executive Conversations, Real Estates Case Studies and Urban Plan. ULI Washington has five different Initiative Councils that provide unique opportunities for our members to explore substantive real estate topics, including Regionalism, Housing, Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Sustainability, and Placemaking. 

ULI Washington has an annual budget of $1.34M and a six-person staff. Four member-led committees help to direct the work of ULI Washington: the Executive Committee, Governance Committee, Management Committee, and our Advisory Board. The Executive Director, while leading ULI Washington, is an employee of the Urban Land Institute and has a dual-reporting relationship to the ULI Washington District Council Chair and to ULI.  ULI Washington’s office is co-located in ULI’s global headquarters in downtown Washington, DC.

For more information, please visit our website at https://washington.uli.org/.


The Position

The Executive Director provides both strategic direction to the organization and manages the day-to-day operations, including overseeing a team of six staff. In this position, the Executive Director will work closely with member leaders and have an opportunity to facilitate and advance engaging content and programs for ULI Washington. The Executive Director will also engage deeply on local and national issues related to land use policies and promote expert-informed best practices around all aspects of the built environment in DC.

Leadership Outlook and Near-Term Priorities

Our near-term priorities for the next 12-18 months include:

Member Engagement & Retention

  • Connect with ULI Washington members and understand their interests and needs; identify ways to engage members and ensure that their concerns are heard in order to sustain professional development throughout their careers.
  • Identify which membership offerings provide the most value to members and adjust the programming, scheduling and priorities as needed; provide cutting edge programming.
  • Collect data and develop metrics to measure member engagement and collective impact of community-based initiatives to inform ULI Washington’s strategic focus.

Land Use/Planning and Community Impact

  • Establish and build rapport with public sector leaders in the District and surrounding jurisdictions, as well as real estate leaders.
  • Learn about relevant land use issues in the region and identify opportunities to engage in dialogue on behalf of ULI Washington.
  • Direct research, publications, and communications that further best land use practices within the scope of the strategic plan.
  • Partner and coordinate with other mission-aligned organizations who have similar goals.

Leadership & Operations

  • Partner with District Council leadership on the agenda and calendar for the upcoming year; ensure alignment with local committees around programming schedule.
  • Create a workplace in which staff can fully utilize their skills and talents; provide leadership development and direction to the staff.
  • Build strong relationships within the ULI Washington community, with ULI America and other district councils; understand changes at the national level and implications locally.
  • Establish a 5-year financial plan to sustain fiscal stability.
  • Establish a long-term strategy related to sponsorship that includes cultivating new sponsors, expanding relationships with existing sponsors, and working creatively to maximize opportunities for all sponsors. 

Key Responsibilities

The Executive Director’s primary responsibilities are:

  • Understand the needs of ULI Washington’s members and create engaging experiences that provide leadership, networking and career development for them.
  • Develop relationships with public sector leaders in the District and surrounding jurisdictions; understand the local issues around land use and tap into members for expert perspectives.
  • Work closely with district council leadership to maximize the effectiveness of the volunteer leadership structure.
  • Provide inspiring leadership and strategic direction to the ULI Washington staff.
  • Build funding relationships and strategic partnerships with existing sponsors, and expand the sponsor network.
  • Enhance ULI Washington’s reputation and identify ways to lead and contribute to the dialogue on land use policies within the region.
  • Oversee the development of thought leadership for the local real estate development industry and policies, including housing attainability and transportation.
  • Represent ULI Washington publicly, serving as a spokesperson and thought leader.
  • Manage ULI Washington’s day-to-day operations, including budget and financials.
  • Oversee the collection of data management across member programs and events, as well as community-based initiatives; liaise with ULI National on membership technology platforms.

Experience and Attributes

We are looking for someone who is highly collaborative and resourceful who can advance new ideas within the broader ULI structure. The Executive Director should be able to work with diverse groups of stakeholders (from members to officials) and feel comfortable speaking to the press or in front of large audiences. Ideal candidates for this position will share our commitment and passion for responsible land use in the region and will bring the following experiences and attributes:

  • Adept at building relationships across a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Experience managing teams and developing people at different stages of their career.
  • Prior success in cultivating and securing funding/sponsorships.
  • Experience with budget management.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • A sense of creativity, curiosity and open-mindedness; innovative mindset.
  • Superior organizational skills and technologically savvy. 
  • Strategic thinking; experience implementing a strategic plan is helpful.
  • Ability to balance strategic and tactical responsibilities, delegating or playing a hands-on role depending on the particular situation.
  • Knowledge of measuring impact and using data to make informed decisions.
  • At least 10 years of leadership experience in a for-profit or nonprofit, ideally with a strong membership component; brings executive presence.
  • Real estate, planning, and land use experience a plus.
  • Event planning experience a plus.

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.


Application Process

To apply, email resume, cover letter and salary requirements to ULIWashington@marcumllp.com. For other inquiries, please contact Adrienne O’Rourke at Adrienne.orourke@marcumllp.com.

ULI Washington is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.


About Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group

On behalf of ULI Washington, Raffa – Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group is working with a committee comprised of ULI Washington leadership and other members to advance the search. Founded in 1984 and recently merged with Marcum, Raffa is, and always has been, a mission-driven professional services firm seeking to do more for nonprofits and socially conscious organizations like ULI Washington.

Published on:
May 21, 2019 - 11:53am
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