Now hiring: LOCUS Massachusetts Program Director

Smart Growth America (SGA) is a national nonprofit that empowers communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to create livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. Smart Growth America’s LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors coalition is a national group of forward-thinking real estate developers and investors based in Washington, DC, with a chapter in Boston, Massachusetts. The coalition’s mission is to accelerate the implementation of performance-based and community-driven land use and development practices that create environmentally responsible, socially inclusive, and economically walkable urban places.

SGA seeks a dynamic and passionate individual to support its LOCUS coalition of responsible real estate developers and investors in Massachusetts.

Job Description

LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors seeks an experienced Massachusetts-based program director to organize and build a state-wide network and voice of real estate developers and investors who advocate for policies to support the development of sustainable, walkable urban development in Massachusetts.

As a member of the LOCUS team, the state program director will lead the state implementation of a multi-year, member-driven advocacy and education campaign, including technical assistance, outreach, network building, grant administration, and deal-making.

Specifically, the Program Director will be responsible for developing partnerships, attracting and engaging new members across the real estate and smart growth sectors, and interfacing with community members, the local media, organization decision-makers, and government officials. The individual will also be responsible for leading a state-wide technical assistance program to assist a select number of walkable urban places to develop a placed based, private sector led strategy to manage it’s attainable housing and social equity outcomes.

The individual will be mission-driven and proactive, have the ability to work well with people and possess a deep understanding of and desire to create a new movement of purpose-driven real estate developers dedicated to inclusive communities in Massachusetts. In addition to being proficient in state real estate and housing policy analysis, community engagement and technical assistance, the ideal candidate will be an excellent manager, writer, creative thinker, resourceful problem solver and a highly productive worker.

The Program Director will work closely with the President of LOCUS Massachusetts and will report to Smart Growth America’s Vice President of Land Use and Development based in Washington, DC.


Program Management:

  • Work with the project team, including the President of LOCUS Massachusetts and a DC-based project manager, to develop and successfully implement the program goals.
  • Manage project timelines and effective completion of project deliverables, while ensuring timely reporting to DC office and partners.
  • Develop technical assistance program designed to assist local communities to develop to creating a place based, private –community sector led management organization to manage the sustainable, equitable redevelopment of walkable urban places.

Membership Recruitment and State Advocacy:

  • Grow and manage a network of real estate developers and investors in Massachusetts.
  • Manage the implementation and ongoing meetings of LOCUS Massachusetts, including identifying advocacy issues for the state and local governments.
  • Lead implementation of community, state and partner events, activities, meetings briefings, and webinars.
  • Organize networking and recruiting events, press conferences, and meetings with elected officials.
  • Advance statewide goals using a variety of proven research, advocacy, and program implementation techniques.

Fundraising and Grant Management:

  • Actively participates in and leads the development and implementation of a fundraising plan.
  • Identifies, cultivates, and secures funding sources including major donors.
  • Leads and facilitates professional development, coaching, and support of LOCUS staff.
  • Deepens and refines all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.

People Management:

  • Manage outside consultants and subcontractors, junior LOCUS interns and fellows, and other SGA staff on an as-needed and as-directed basis.
  • Serves as an ambassador for the team and Smart Growth America.


The ideal candidate for this position is a self-motivated and detail-oriented person with excellent communication, writing, research and organizing skills, and will possess many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications, competencies, and personal qualities:

  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant area and minimum of 5-7 years in a related field or a Graduate degree in a relevant area and minimum of 3-5 years in a related field.
  • Proven expertise in coalition building and policy advocacy, as well as non-partisan issue based organizing; specific skills should include grass-tops and grassroots activism.
  • Strong interpersonal and stakeholder relation skills with an ability to identify new strategic partnership and/or client opportunities.
  • Deep understanding of real estate, housing, and smart growth issues in Massachusetts.
  • Solid interpersonal skills and ability to operate confidentially.
  • Exemplary time management skills; ability to work under pressure and meet urgent deadlines without compromising the quality of the finished product.

Other requirements include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships with grasstops—leaders in the private sector, elected officials and directors of community organizations.
  • Experience with advocacy, at either the federal or state levels, to secure policy changes.
  • Capacity and willingness to travel frequently.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to prioritize assignments and demonstrate a high degree of initiative.
  • A working understanding of Smart Growth America and LOCUS structure, policy, procedures and goals.
  • Flexibility to work beyond regular core business hours as needed.
  • Strong commitment to diversity and equity.
  • Contribute to the development of grant proposal.
  • Contribute to LOCUS’s blog/submit public opinions editorials on behalf of the organization.


Salary commensurate with experience and will range between $55,000 – $65,000. Benefits include health insurance, 401(k), and paid vacation and paid sick time.

How to apply

Please send a resume, cover letter summarizing your relevant skills and experience, and a short writing sample to locus [at] locusdevelopers [dot] org with “LOCUS Massachusetts Program Director” in the subject line. Questions may also be directed to the same e-mail address. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled and early submissions are strongly encouraged. In your cover letter, please indicate how you learned of this job opportunity.


This position is located in Boston, MA.

Equal Opportunity Employment

Equal opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at Smart Growth America. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/ preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

Smart Growth America is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from candidates of color.