Now Hiring: Thriving Communities Program Manager

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.

Thriving Communities

SGA seeks a dynamic and passionate individual to join its newest team—Thriving Communities. The Thriving Communities team weaves together complementary disciplines to partner with diverse local leaders to create healthy places where people can prosper. Thriving Communities leverages SGA’s multidisciplinary skill sets and experiences to partner with communities of all sizes throughout the country with comprehensive, on-the-ground technical assistance. Our programming spans transportation, economic development, fiscal health, land use, arts and culture, public health, resilience, community design, and Complete Streets. Through our work, we serve as a portal to connect communities to each other and to programs across Smart Growth America.

Job Description

The Thriving Communities Program Manager will have an integral role in shaping the direction of this new team. The Program Manager will report directly to the Vice President of Thriving Communities and have a key role in developing and executing the the team’s programs. This position will work closely with the Vice President to help develop reports, technical assistance, and other programs to advance smart growth in the areas of transportation, racial equity, public health, rural community, arts/culture, and community development. The ideal candidate will have analytic and strategic thinking skills, policy development and analysis skills, project management expertise, and communication skills and experience.


Project Management: Provide project management for interdisciplinary collaboration on major projects.

  • Manage high-profile research projects for Thriving Communities team, including oversight of the project’s budget, timeline, deliverables, and rollout.
  • Manage or oversee project-related grant management, administration, and reporting.
  • Manage technical assistance projects, such as the Safe Streets Academy and the Complete Streets Consortium Series. This will include developing the schedule, event logistics, external and internal communications, budget, and evaluation.

Research and Analysis: Collaborate with SGA staff and external stakeholders to conceptualize, design, and manage short and long-term research projects in support of policy initiatives.

  • Conduct related policy research and analysis to advance programmatic and project goals. This will include working with SGA’s Director of Research to develop the methodology, conduct the research, and translate it into a format that is accessible for the target audience. In addition, it will include management of the project’s methodology timeline, deliverables, and budget.

Communications and Writing: Communicate programs and policy initiatives to advance smart growth and elevate the position of SGA.

Technical Assistance: Support SGA’s technical assistance through research and facilitation.

  • Support the design and implementation of technical assistance trainings, where appropriate, and support the leadership development and capacity building strategies by providing policy research and interventions.
  • Facilitate workshops and convenings with clients, stakeholders, and communities.

People Management: Support SGA’s programmatic work through managing people.

  • Manage outside consultants and subcontractors, junior SGA interns and fellows, and more junior SGA staff, on an as-needed and as-directed basis.


The ideal candidate will have a four-year college degree or higher educational attainment, and a minimum of 4 to 5 years of experience in:

  • Research and analysis, including familiarity and experience with developing and using different research methods, data analysis statistics, and Graphic Map Systems (GIS). This should also include the ability to gather, organize, analyze, edit and report policy related and quantitative and qualitative data to supervisors, organizational partners and funders.
  • Project management, with a track record of oversight of multiple project timelines, budgets, and deliverables.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, with the ability to facilitate public workshops or meetings, make public presentations and prepare communication materials based on research findings to further identified policy objectives. These skills should be demonstrated by previous public presentations, research reports or papers, or print/online materials, such as blogs, newsletters, or opinion pieces.
  • Working to advance smart growth, with subject matter expertise in the built environment, transportation, public health, housing, economic development, arts and culture, and/or community development.
  • Ability to work independently and work effectively in a team.


Salary is commensurate with experience. This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. Benefits include health insurance, 401(k), paid vacation and sick time.

How to apply

Please send a resume, cover letter, and a portfolio or links to relevant work samples to [email protected] with “Thriving Communities Program Manager” in the subject line.

In your cover letter, please indicate how you learned of this job opportunity. Applications will be accepted immediately on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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.