Director of Program Design and Development

  • 1515 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and opportunities in more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia is the sixth largest city in the United States and one of the largest employers in Southeastern Pennsylvania. As an employer, the City of Philadelphia operates through the guiding principles of service, integrity, respect, accountability, collaboration, diversity and inclusion. Through these principles, we strive to effectively deliver services, to resolve the challenges facing our city, and to make Philadelphia a place where all of our residents have the opportunity to reach their potential. 

Agency Description

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of over 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental, and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the City’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other, and to fun, physical, and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr.

Job Description

The Director of Program Design and Development will provide strategic direction and capacity building to PPR, with a focus on building the systems to guide highest-quality program growth and development, best practice implementation, quality improvement, and impact measurement.  As a foundation for this work, the Director will inform a broader effort to ensure division-wide commitment to growth, innovation and continuous improvement. The Director of Program Design and Development will report to the First Deputy Commissioner, Strategy and Engagement.

Essential Functions

  • Assess and Evaluate:
    • Provide continuing quality improvement through assessments of PPR’s behaviors, systems, policies and processes and develop strategies to assure they are consistent with PPR’s mission and values as an organization.
    • Assess and establish a baseline for current goals, objectives, outcomes and data collection practices across all PPR programs; build, implement and continuously evaluate training, assessment and data collection practices to support established standards.
    • Conduct a needs assessment to identify gaps in programming and training.
  • Analyze:
    • Generate, analyze and interpret internal and external data to create institutional knowledge about disparities in recreational programming that can be used to inform programming for people of color, citizens with intellectual and physical disabilities; and for girls and women.
    • Work within all content areas to ensure that quality data is driving program decisions; assist staff in identifying and implementing appropriate data to be collected and how it is incorporated into each content area. 
  • Develop and Coordinate:
    • Guide the development of PPR program standards and systems to ensure transformational programs in every neighborhood.
    • Establish an overarching vision and mission for PPR programs, support brand-building, and ensure alignment to shared goals of the City and School District of Philadelphia.
    • Establish program standards aligned to best practices in youth development specific to individual program areas, including athletics, out-of-school time, workforce development, environmental stewardship, and the arts.
    • Develop and implement strategies to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion within PPR’s programming. 
    • Support PPR’s engagement in Citywide strategic policy initiatives, including Fueling Philadelphia’s Talent Engine, Roadmap to Safer Communities, Inclusive Growth, Out-of-School Time, Greenworks 2.0, Green City Clean Waters, and Zero Waste and Litter.
    • Align efforts to support implementation of PPR’s first Strategic Plan, “Path to 2020.”
  • Business Development:
    • Develop individual and place-based partnerships to enhance PPR’s ability to engage with individual and organizational subject matter experts, civic and nonprofit groups, and businesses to support development of more robust programs and opportunities.
    • Develop strategies to leverage increased local and national funding for new and enhanced programs aligned to the priorities of PPR and the Administration.


Qualifications (Education and Experience)

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university with a major in Public Administration, Education, Organization Development or a closely related field; advanced degree preferred.
  • 5 to 7 years of leadership experience in program development, implementation and evaluation.
  • 3 to 5 years of experience working in local government or a non-profit environment preferred but not required.
  • Experience creating surveys and interpreting data.
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and support for, key precepts in diversity, equity and inclusion and an ability to support others in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive work environments and programs
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and fair treatment.
  • Proficient in computer software applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Program Management Software, etc.).
  • Any equivalent combination of education and experience determined to be acceptable by PPR Human Resources.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong customer and personal service skills, including customer (or employer) needs assessment, evaluation of satisfaction and ensuring quality standards of service.
  • Ability to assess training needs and develop and implement programs to support company growth objectives, operational excellence and workforce, and succession planning initiatives.
  • Thorough understanding of performance improvement methodologies, frameworks, and approaches.
  • Excellent critical and strategic thinking skills; can exercise decision making tactically with the ability to appropriately handle sensitive and confidential information.
  • Ability to apply creative thinking and sound judgment to the formulation and execution of division-wide program strategy, vision and direction.
  • Knowledge of youth development principles, including best practices in out-of-school time and career readiness programming
  • Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills
  • Knowledge of best practices in leading and developing high-performing teams
  • Knowledge of Coaching best practices
  • Ability to develop others and encourage their willingness to engage in one’s own learning and knowledge development
  • Ability to work effectively within a local government environment and with multiple stakeholders and partner organizations; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with PPR colleagues, City government partners, outside consultants and vendors, local and national subject matter experts, community groups, and individual Philadelphia residents.
  • Ability to address challenges and drive innovation.
  • Ability to handle a complex and varied workload and manage internal and external deadlines across a multitude of projects.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities and exhibit flexibility.

Additional Information

What We Offer:

  • We are a Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program qualified employer
  • 25% tuition discount program for City employees (and sometimes spouses and dependents as well) in partnership with area colleges and universities
  • Comprehensive health coverage for employees and their eligible dependents
  • A wellness program that offers eligibility into the discounted medical plan
  • Paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays
  • Generous retirement savings options

Successful candidate must be a city of Philadelphia resident within six months of hire

The City of Philadelphia is an Equal Opportunity employer and does not permit discrimination based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, source of income, familial status, genetic information or domestic or sexual violence victim status. If you believe you were discriminated against, call the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations at 215-686-4670 or send an email to [email protected] For more information, go to: Human Relations Website: