FDR Park Executive Director

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

Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact. 

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What We Offer:

Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 

Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 

Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

Opportunities in Tech - Don’t wait for the future, shape it.

Benefits - We care about your well being.

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 www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Job Description

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Park is a 348-acre site located in South Philadelphia. The park provides the surrounding region with a range of amenities, including ballfields, tennis courts, the American Swedish Historical Museum, picnic sites, and a skate park.  Because of its diverse habitat, including several ponds and marshes, FDR Park is recognized as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society of Pennsylvania.  Those same waterways are also popular for fishing.

The FDR Park Executive Director is a grant-funded, pilot position that will serve as a model for others throughout the parks and recreation system. The person selected will be responsible for creating a park experience that is equitable, safe, fun, and accessible for all. The executive director will recognize the park’s role in the larger neighborhood and ensure park activities and amenities fill a need and are relevant to the extended community.

Essential Functions

  • Adherence to high maintenance standards:
    • The executive director will be responsible for creating a safe and welcoming experience for all park users.
    • They will follow established maintenance plans for the park and provide feedback on their effectiveness.
    • They will manage and coordinate the park’s partnerships with organizations like the First Tee, the Philadelphia Phillies, the American Swedish Historical Museum, and the Friends of FDR Park to ensure we offer just, safe, and accessible spaces for all park users. 
  • Staff coordination:
    • Ensure that Philadelphia Parks & Recreation staff (including Rangers, grounds maintenance workers, skilled trades staff, and ambassadors), police officers, coordinators from other city agencies, and other on-site park representatives are assigned appropriately, communicating effectively, behaving respectfully, and delivering high-quality experiences to park visitors.
    • Provide PPR leadership with insights into the park’s use, daily operations, developing challenges, and potential solutions.
  • Partnership cultivation:
    • The executive director will seek out unique, innovative partnerships to benefit the programming and maintenance of the park.
    • They will serve as liaison to existing partners, such as the Sports Complex Special Services District, and continue coordinating program plans and maintenance logistics, as well as exploring other opportunities for collaboration.
    • They will build working relationships with local community and civic organizations, attending community meetings to share programming and activities, develop shared goals, and design mutually beneficial events and initiatives. Likewise, they will consider opportunities to utilize the park as a space to showcase and elevate community leaders.
  • Revenue growth:
    • The executive director will explore and pursue earned revenue opportunities through sponsorships, concessions, and other means deemed appropriate for a shared public space while prioritizing economic opportunities for local residents
  • Development of inclusive programming:
    • The executive director will maximize the potential of the park’s footprint for programming.
    • They will develop a year-round calendar of innovative programs for traditional and non-traditional audiences.
    • They will turn the park into a hub for people who may not have access to other prominent spaces.
    • They will conduct program planning based on the potential for deepening connections to local communities.
  • Other related duties as assigned.


Qualifications (Education and Experience)

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with major coursework in Public Administration, Law, Parks & Recreation Management, Tourism & Hospitality Management, or closely related field.  Advanced degree preferred.
  • A minimum of 3 years relevant experience working in a public space and/or management position
  • Demonstrated interest and engagement in parks, youth programming, sustainability, athletics, or public administration
  • Experience with and knowledge of City government preferred
  • Valid Pennsylvania driver’s license and ability to travel locally.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with key stakeholders such as event partners and sponsors, the public, and local, civic and business officials.
  • Ability to handle simultaneous, complex, priority projects and meet established deadlines.
  • Highly organized and capable of tracking files, content, and projects in a systematic manner.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communications skills

Additional Information

Did you know?

  • 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: http://www.phila.gov/humanrelations/Pages/default.aspx