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 Employment Opportunities in Cambridge


POSTING DATE: November 22, 2017

Cambridge residents are especially encouraged to apply.

Department: Community Development Department
Job Title: Deputy Director for Community Development/Chief Planner
Job Code: M313-701
Civil Service Position: Non Civil Service position
Union Affiliation: None
Hours Per Week: 37.50 hour workweek, includes evening meetings


Under the direction of the Assistant City Manager, the Deputy Director/Chief Planner will be responsible for formulation, execution and completion of advanced, highly-complex professional planning activities, with a focus on multidisciplinary, long-range planning studies and initiatives. The City of Cambridge’s Community Development Department (CDD) is in charge of the City's physical and policy planning, affordable housing, economic development, zoning and land use, urban design, development review, neighborhood and open space planning, transportation, and environmental sustainability planning. The work of CDD involves engaging a broad range of the Cambridge community – residents, businesses, institutions, property owners, workers, and students. The city prizes the diversity of the community and works consistently to engage those who are difficult to reach. The position of Deputy Director/Chief Planner has been created in recognition of the expanding needs of the department and will be a senior leadership position within CDD. The job requires participation in a substantial number of evening meetings, and flexibility to attend on short notice, if needed. 

The ideal candidate must be deeply knowledgeable about planning disciplines. This is a highly visible position and the Chief Planner will be required to participate in many public meetings related to ongoing projects, make public presentations, and lead planning projects. The Deputy Director/Chief Planner is expected to possess experience and expertise in utilizing traditional and non-traditional strategies to engage a broad spectrum of constituents.

The Deputy Director/Chief Planner is required to have knowledge of the programs and services that CDD and other City departments provide to the Cambridge community and must be able to seamlessly manage a wide range of projects and disciplines within the department. Specific duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Assist the Assistant City Manager in overseeing the planning functions of the department, facilitate coordination within the department, collaborate with other city departments, and coordinate outreach to community, business and institutional groups.
  • Manage projects of varying scale and magnitude – both internal and external – and effectively coordinate multiple, high-priority assignments.
  • Create successful strategies, engage the community and other constituencies to solicit input and feedback, coordinate activities of all participants, manage consultants/ consulting teams, and represent CDD on broader City projects, as needed.  
  • As needed, represent CDD on committees and at public meetings of various elected and appointed bodies such as the City Council, Planning Board, City committees and other public forums
  • Perform other related duties as required



  • Seven to ten years of experience managing complex planning functions in a municipal or similar setting. Master’s degree in urban planning or related field.
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated experience in several of the following areas: zoning, land use, urban design, housing, transportation, environmental planning and sustainability and economic development. Prior experience and demonstrated success in working in a diverse community.
  • Experience managing multiple demands across many planning areas, in a highly-organized manner.
  • Strong strategic planning, community engagement, and public presentations skills
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and develop leadership in others.
  • Excellent writing, oral and communications skills.
  • Knowledge of the Cambridge community is preferred.


The successful candidate must be innovative, detail-oriented, and experienced in highly visible/controversial projects. They must possess:

  • Proven interpersonal skills to develop good working relationships at various levels with the ability to explain complex concepts to the general public and resolve issues with diverse and often opposing groups
  • Strong analytical skills to interpret research data for reports and apply the information to practical situations
  • Expertise in fostering civic engagement and public participation in a diverse community – ranging from an informed, engaged public with strong opinions to people living in public housing and recent immigrants
  • Ability to provide effective supervision and staff management
  • Good judgement, excellent interpersonal and customer service skills in dealing with the public, staff and elected and appointed officials.
  • Ability to handle a dynamic workload with constantly changing priorities
  • Background in the public sector in a local or regional setting, with demonstrated ability to understand and integrate multiple facets of local issues
  • Overall computer proficiency including general office applications (Microsoft Office suite) and advanced applications (e.g., Adobe Acrobat)


PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Ability to access, input and retrieve information from a computer. Must read and analyze large quantities of information.  Must have sufficient mobility to get back and forth from office to off-site meetings. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Work is conducted primarily in an office environment with fluorescent lighting, air conditioning, computers and other standard office equipment, but also involves meetings in other offices and facilities.

RATE: $107,195 to $124,363 + excellent benefits


Internal applicants submit a job bidding form and 2 copies of both your resume and letter of interest; external applicants submit both your resume and letter of interest via email to: or to Personnel Department, Room 309, City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139. Fax 617-349-4312. Resumes and Letters of Interest requested by 01/03/18. Position is considered open until filled.

The City of Cambridge is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


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