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Director of Community Engagement

Friends of the High Line
New York, NY
United States
Experience Level: 

The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.


Job description

The director of community engagement will lead to the development and execution of a comprehensive community engagement strategy that furthers the High Line’s vision to be an active and responsive civic connector. The director of community engagement will build and maintain long-term relationships with a wide range of community stakeholders, including but not limited to local residents, community-based organizations, and businesses, and help link them to the social, environmental, cultural and economic resources on and off the High Line. 

This position will report to the chief program and engagement officer, work closely with the associate director of government affairs, and work across and support multiple High Line departments, including but not limited to art, education, planning and design, communications, visitor services, and horticulture.

The director of community engagement is a full-time, year-round non-exempt employee.


Primary responsibilities

  • Develop and lead the creation of a comprehensive community engagement strategy to raise awareness about the organization and to develop engagement and partnership pathways for community stakeholders that align with our mission and vision

  • Develop and maintain relationships with community stakeholders, including local residents, community-based organizations, tenant and neighborhood associations, block clubs, faith-based institutions, schools, cultural organizations, business improvement districts (BIDs), and small and large businesses 

  • Maintain an active registry of key cultural and social service organizations and their program offerings

  • Develop, implement, and lead a Neighborhood Council made up of local residents and other community stakeholders 

  • Share information with and elicit input from community stakeholders, including residents and local elected officials, on High Line priorities, programs, operations, and engagement opportunities

  • Establish ongoing community feedback mechanisms to increase responsiveness to community stakeholder needs and to build trust

  • Attend and convene other community stakeholder meetings and participate in relevant commissions, advisory groups, and networks

  • Work collaboratively across departments to align engagement and communications strategies with organizational priorities and opportunities for engagement

  • Lead the development of assessment tools and systems to track the impact of community engagement activities

  • Help plan and execute High Line convenings, conferences, webinars, and other related events, including but not limited to facilitating training sessions, drafting content, and securing speakers 

  • Support the development of volunteer and partnership opportunities for local residents and other community stakeholders in coordination with other High Line departments

  • Support special projects where necessary, including but not limited to events, board activities, etc.




  • 5-7 years’ work experience in nonprofit and/or public sector

  • Experience in community engagement, community organizing, and/or participatory design

  • Experience applying a range of community engagement and facilitation techniques

  • Experience with data assessment tools and systems to track the impact of community engagement activities and assessing data 

  • Understanding of social media and other digital tools that support and enhance community engagement 



  • Bachelor’s degree 

  • Experience utilizing social media and other digital that support and enhance community engagement 

  • Experience supervising and motivating staff

  • Proficient in verbal and written Spanish

  • Familiarity with neighborhoods on the west side of Manhattan



  • Excellent organizational skills with a high-level of attention to detail and ability to support and manage multiple stakeholders and projects

  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong public speaking and training skills

  • Politically and culturally savvy

  • Self-starter, able to work independently, team player and creative thinker

  • Ability to work collaboratively, but know when/how to step in and lead

  • Sense of humor and ability to work in a fast-paced environment

  • Willingness and ability to work weekends and weeknights, as needed

  • Willingness and ability to travel locally and, as needed, nationally



  • 20 vacation days, 6 sick days, and 9 paid holidays
  • Paid primary and secondary caregiver leave
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Supplemental short-term disability insurance and paid life insurance
  • Commuter benefits
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Contribution in a 403(b) retirement plan
  • Discounted Citi Bike membership
  • Discount on High Line merchandise
  • Employee Assistance Program
Published on:
July 16, 2020 - 11:00am
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