Who We Are
Founded in 1997, the DowntownDC BID is a private nonprofit organization that leverages private- and public-sector resources and leadership to drive initiatives, partner with the district and federal governments, and convene stakeholders to ensure that D.C.’s downtown is clean, safe, economically strong, and welcoming.
When the BID was established as the city’s first, and largest, place-management organization, downtown D.C.’s-built environment, public spaces, and economy lagged in comparison with its suburban counterparts. Facing a fiscal crisis, the district government passed legislation to allow the creation of business improvement districts to complement and enhance government services.
By focusing on the quality of place, improving the public environment, and creating welcoming spaces, the BID helped set the stage for economic growth, attracting new investments, development, and jobs into the downtown area. In 1995, downtown D.C. was littered with 125 vacant lots; today, only seven development sites remain.
During the 25 years that the BID has been in existence, the District’s downtown has seen an immense transformation, becoming a fully built-out neighborhood with world-class, welcoming public spaces, office buildings and hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, improved connectivity, growing residential options, and a thriving cultural and entertainment scene. The DowntownDC BID has been a significant catalyst in this change.
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) is searching for a VP of Planning. Reporting to the President/CEO, this position is responsible for improving, activating, and reimagining the public realm throughout the BID’s square mile of downtown D.C., including its 24 acres of parks and plazas, sidewalks, streets, alleys, gateways, and other open spaces.
The VP of Planning will lead new business efforts, from capture planning to proposal submission for opportunities within the environment & infrastructure, and economic growth technical areas.
This position is responsible for the strategic deployment and other resources in both direct and indirect support of advocacy, business attraction/expansion/retention. This is accomplished through creating and leveraging both private- and public-sector funding, leadership skills, and relationships.
The VP of Planning plays a vital, highly visible role as the BID’s primary liaison to the executive and legislative branches of the District of Columbia government, the federal government, property owners, businesses, residents, and other stakeholders on all matters related to public space beautification and activation, transportation/mobility, and infrastructure.
The candidate will lead a team of BID staff to fulfill all its goals of making downtown D.C. a vibrant, thriving space by conducting relevant studies, developing and disseminating planning documents, designing and implementing plans to improve public spaces, and regularly engaging the community and BID stakeholders for input.
This important role comes online during a pivotal moment as downtown D.C. and other urban central business districts adapt to a “new normal” due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and develop strategies to thrive. The ideal candidate must be a visionary, future-forward leader who is prepared to offer policy and planning guidance that will shape the public realm and economic viability of downtown D.C. for years to come.
- Works with President & CEO to drive the development of the DowntownDC BID, including program creation and partner attainment.
- Assists in developing and implementing economic development strategies and tools in alignment with the BID’s strategic plan; conducts and oversees research studies; analyzes demographic data; makes conclusions and recommendations; identifies paths for implementation.
- Identifies critical issues that may impact the growth and sustainability of existing companies within the BID boundaries and creates and executes strategic measures to address all challenges for business retention.
- Works with the DC government on transportation projects and engages BID stakeholders in transportation planning efforts; initiates, develops, and implements projects that improve the public realm and enhance downtown D.C.; manages infrastructure projects, including stakeholder outreach, budgeting, permitting, and contract management.
- Develops activation concepts, identifies partners, develops detailed project plans, implements concepts, and manages designers and contractors.
- Establishes and fosters relationships with artists, designers, architects, property owners, businesses, and other stakeholders.
- Plans and designs for various urban interventions, public activation strategies, and capital improvement initiatives throughout downtown D.C.
- Manages and directs program staff in transportation, capital projects, and public space to ensure the effective development of program plans and timely implementation within budget guidelines.
- Represents DowntownDC in regular dealings with board members, government agencies, and the public to answer questions and to develop additional and developing cooperative program initiatives to serve the BID’s mission.
- Keeps up to date on trends and opportunities in placemaking and public space activation.
- Executes community outreach and consensus-building regarding urban planning initiatives impacting downtown D.C.
- Becomes a trusted source and expert on all mobility, placemaking, and economic development issues and trends.
- Bachelor’s degree is required; urban planning, architecture, economic development, real estate, or similar. Master’s degree or additional relevant experience in urban planning and economic development is desirable. An equivalent combination of education, training, and experience may be considered when competency is demonstrated.
- Certification in the field of Economic Development or Planning.
- Five to seven years of progressively more responsible experience in economic development and/or planning.
- Proven track record leading economic development and/or planning initiatives at the local level.
- Proven track record of retaining and attracting businesses to a location.
- Previous management experience and nonprofit leadership.
- Management experience in the development and coaching of staff.
- Proven experience in developing and maintaining strategic relationships with elected and appointed officials, state and federal resource partners, and local development groups.
- Experience in resource planning, including budgeting and program development.
- Thorough knowledge and understanding of economic development practices and principles.
- Expertise in the use of data to analyze demographics and industry-related information to understand local economic conditions and forecasting.
- Strong understanding of public policy process and how government operates on local, state, and federal levels.
- Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on complex topics to senior management, the BID Board of Directors, government officials, business executives, and outside funders.
- Highly motivated self-starter who possesses strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills to be able to handle multiple projects and priorities, anticipate the needs of prospects and exhibit good follow-through skills.
How to apply
To apply, please email a copy of your resume to email@example.com with the subject line “VP of Planning.” We look forward to hearing from you!
BID Employment Conditions
DowntownDC BID employees must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by the date of the hire to be considered. Proof of vaccination is required. Employment offers are conditional upon successful references, criminal background check, and screening for illegal substances.
Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity
As an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer, DowntownDC is committed to excellence through diversity; DowntownDC BID recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected statuses as required by applicable law. Please note all new DowntownDC BID employees must have permission to work in the U.S.; therefore, employment eligibility verification is required.