Director of Planning & Community & Economic Development

City of Madison
Madison, WI
United States
AICP Certification: 
Not required
$126,155.00 - $170,309.00

The City of Madison is searching for a creative, collaborative leader who knows how to center equity and lead a strong team to accomplish great things. This is an opportunity to lead a critical department in a growing city and to work with a new and innovative mayor. The Department consists of the Planning Division, the Community Development Division, the Economic Development Division, the Building Inspection Division, and the Community Development Authority (CDA) Executive Director, who oversees Housing Operations. The successful applicant will be in a position to influence the built environment of Madison for years to come, by implementing transit-oriented development that is equitable and avoids displacement. This position will play a significant role in community economic development, focusing on building community wealth via a diverse and thriving business community. This work is characterized by considerable judgment and discretion in leading, managing, planning, coordinating and implementing diverse programs. Work is performed under the general direction of the Mayor, and within public policy parameters.

Our Community
Madison is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the country. A flourishing restaurant scene, more than 200 miles of bike paths and trails, excellent healthcare, a world renowned research university, and five beautiful lakes make our community a thriving, vibrant place to call home.

But don't just take our word for it...

  • Top 10 Happiest Cities in the World, National Geographic 2015
  • Top 10 Best Small Cities in America, National Geographic Traveler 2018
  • Top 10 Best Places to Live, 2018
  • #1 Best City for an Active Lifestyle, Wallethub 2017
  • #3 America's Friendliest Cities, Travel & Leisure 2016
  • #1 Fittest Cities in America, Fitbit 2016

(To view the questions, see more details, and apply visit


Examples of Duties and Responsibilities

Direct diverse operating divisions engaged in:

  • Preparing and implementing the Comprehensive Plan for the City, regulating land use, and related planning activities.
  • Promoting community and economic development through a variety of loan, grant, public finance programs and contracts for service, and purchasing, leasing and selling real estate on behalf of the City.
  • Planning for and assisting private entities in the revitalization of target areas.
  • Enforcing the building, housing, and zoning codes.
  • Administering the Community Development Block Grant, Home, Community Resources, Senior Center, and Child Care Programs.
  • Providing public affordable housing and rental assistance for low and moderate income households through the administration of federal housing programs, and managing and maintaining related CDA facilities.

Provide direction, leadership, information and recommendations to department staff on diverse programs, projects and improvements to services/procedures, new prototypes and updated Federal and State legislation and regulations.

  • Establish and monitor annual performance objectives and work plans with Division Directors and establish annual objectives for the Department with the Mayor.
  • Prioritize the Department's Action Plan items.
  • Develop and administer operating and capital budgets and fund accounts in conformance with diverse budgeting and reporting criteria and department information systems.
  • Organize and delegate preparation of issue papers, policies, programs, strategies and plans.
  • Facilitate the accomplishment of multiple and diverse departmental assignments.
  • Hire, train, supervise, coordinate, coach and discipline a diverse staff.
  • Conduct regular performance check-ins with Division heads and perform related management functions in the areas of personnel, affirmative action, labor relations, etc. 
  • Effectively respond to all resident, alder, and business/developer inquiries.
  • Serve on the Mayor's Management Team and related interdepartmental committees.
  • Serve as project manager for special projects at the direction of the Mayor.
  • Provide advice, counsel and staff services to the Common Council, boards and committees, and other agencies and groups as appropriate.

Conceptualize, plan, coordinate, implement and manage development, public/private redevelopment, and master planning strategies and programs.

  • Set standards and guidelines for providing various forms of assistance to businesses, individuals and community groups and make policy level decisions as appropriate.
  • With the advice of the City Attorney, interpret ordinances regarding the physical development of land and buildings.
  • Consult with alders, property owners, developers, neighborhood and community groups, and other governmental jurisdictions on City programs, projects, and issues.
  • Under the direction of the Mayor, work with alders and other City departments, negotiate with neighborhood/community groups, developers, property owners, and other jurisdictions on land use, housing and development issues.
  • Negotiate major real estate, financial packages and development deals on behalf of the City.
  • Assume lead management of priority projects that cross division responsibilities within the department as needed.
  • Assume lead management of priority projects that cross department responsibilities as assigned by the Mayor.

Maintain respectful and effective relationships with all elected officials, and Local, State, and Federal agencies.

  • Represent the Department and City with the press and the public.
  • Maintain close working relationships with other City agencies in achieving mutual goals.
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the Mayor's Office, Alders, and other City agencies on DPCED related matters.
  • Serve as the Secretary of the Plan Commission to provide direct staff support and/or delegate staffing needs as appropriate.
  • Serve as the Executive Director of the CDA and/or delegate staffing needs as appropriate.
  • Perform related work as required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Three (3) years of responsible managerial experience in directing the staff and programs of a complex governmental unit, such as a department or division primarily engaged in a combination of land use planning and community development, real estate and development, and economic development.
  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration or City Management, Planning and Community Development, Real Estate and Development, Economic Development, or a related field. 

If an applicant does not possess the specific requirements outlined above, HR will review the application materials to determine if the applicant possesses the following equivalent experience:
Four (4) years experience in applying the following:

  • Principles and practices of planning and community development, real estate development, and economic development.
  • Principles and practices of public administration consistent with the management of a diverse and complex City department.
  • Principles and practices of project management.
  • Full range of leadership and supervisory principles and practices, labor relations and personnel management.
  • Computers and ability to use computer software applicable to the duties of the position.

 Two (2) years experience in applying the following:

  • Budgeting and program administration principles and practices.

Familiarity with the following:

  • Land use, building, zoning and housing regulations and related sustainability practices. 
  • Federal, state and local programs that support economic, community and affordable housing development.
  • Racial equity principles and the ability to apply those principles to local government. 

The City of Madison strives to provide exceptional customer service to all its residents and visitors. Therefore successful candidates will have demonstrated ability to effectively work with multicultural communities.
For the complete list of the knowledge, skills, and abilities, please reference the classification specification online.

Special Requirements

Possession of a valid driver's license.

The incumbent will be expected to attend meetings and provide presentations outside the normal work schedule, including evenings and weekends.

This position will work under a 5 year employment contract and a term of the contract will require residency in the City of Madison.

Published on:
June 28, 2019 - 11:46am
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