Washington, DC or New York, NY

Managing Director of Programs, Living Cities

The Organization

Living Cities seeks nominations and applications for the Managing Director of Programs. Reporting directly to the President & CEO, Joe Scantlebury, the Managing Director (MD) will lead a strong team in next level strategy and implementation of Living Cities’ work in cities to identify and advance innovative policy and practices that support economic mobility and wealth building, including through entrepreneurship, and homeownership, to close racial wealth gaps in cities across the country.

Living Cities is a collaborative of our nation’s most prominent foundations and financial institutions that exists to close the racial income and wealth gaps in American cities. The organization aims to connect leaders within local government with philanthropy, financial institutions, business, and community organizations by helping them to identify opportunities to establish and increase equitable economic opportunity as a model response to racialized economic inequities.

Position Overview

The Managing Director will lead a team that will help city government, capital provider, and nonprofit leaders bridge gaps in access to public and private capital and shift the practices, policies, and mindsets of private and public sector organizations and leaders to remove obstacles to access to capital and redress the effects of systemic barriers to equitable economic opportunity with a distinctive focus on access capital. The MD will lead a team that helps the organization leverage its voice and influence to foster hope that a fair and equitable economy is possible and that shared prosperity in American cities begins by including all its people in all levels of its economy. Cities served by Living Cities under the leadership of the MD will specifically increase the number of people of color who start, preserve, and grow businesses. In partnership with the Managing Director for Capital for the New Majority, this role will influence private capital to invest in BIPOC managers, hire BIPOC senior and mid-level staff, and influence investors in private equity and related organizations. The new MD will oversee Living Cities’ strategic approach to engaging and sharing information about the efforts and innovations across a growing network of cities seeking to advance equitable economic opportunity, including, but not limited to, the 21 geographically dispersed cities in the Closing the Gap Network and the Truist Foundation Equitable Economic Ecosystem cities. The MD will also share leadership and partnership with cities that expand the rate of homeownership among Blacks, Latinos, and other racial and ethnic groups who have faced historical and persistent exclusion from access to equitable homeownership and housing. Under the MD’s leadership, the City team will ensure that each city has access to cross-city learning opportunities, collaboration opportunities, technical assistance, and other support. Finally, the MD will lead future strategic initiatives with public, private, civic, philanthropic, and financial sector leaders in select cities committed to equitable economic opportunity.

The ideal candidate will be a seasoned and agile leader who is an expert in strategy, has prior national community development experience, and/or has the economic policy influence experience needed to close racial wealth gaps in American cities. They will bring 10+ years of leadership experience in municipal systems, public-private partnerships, entrepreneurship, housing, and/or other relevant fields. They will have demonstrated the ability to collaboratively develop, manage, evaluate, and adjust strategies that advance innovation and systemic support for wealth generation in underserved communities while also advancing internal team cohesion and support. They will also bring significant organizational management and leadership experience relevant to supporting a high performing team to achieve measurable results.


The Managing Director of Programs will be a national leader and current contributor to public-private partnerships, policy, and systems change advancing the health of cities economics across the country and will manage both team and stakeholders to achieve progress and innovation on behalf of communities. The MD will engage immediately in the following opportunities for impact:

Forge and implement next level vision and strategy for Living Cities’ work with city partners to advance innovative practice and policy that supports the conditions for a thriving, multiracial economy.

The new MD will identify, incubate, and scale innovative solutions in collaboration with cities across the country to close the racial wealth gap. They will understand the power of philanthropy, stakeholder alignment, and public resourcing and will advance Living Cities’ cohort-based work at the municipal level to support the public sector to embrace effective, collective impact strategies that center racial equity in governance.

Represent Living Cities’ work at city, regional, and national events and evolve the organization’s platform and influence through building and nurturing relationships with key stakeholders, including funders, to ensure innovation, best practices, and learning are both shared from the team and brought to the team from the field.

The MD will serve as a strong and visible leader for Living Cities, representing the organization and building relationships with funders, partners, and other external stakeholders. The MD will bring learning, perspective, and next-level analysis of opportunities to relationships and networks, translating data and outcomes that inform problem identification and strategic and innovative solutions for cities. The MD will also be a critical field connector, brokering relevant sector partnerships to advance the success of cities by connecting them to needed supports outside of Living Cities (e.g., NAARC, MORE Coalition, GARE, PolicyLink, African American Mayors Association, IEDC, etc.).

Provide executive leadership to Living Cities as a member of the Leadership Team, identifying opportunities for collaboration across programs and evaluating and advancing both existing and new strategies in alignment with budgetary and operational priorities.

The MD will be an internal leader, effective manager, and natural collaborator in service to cross-organizational synergies in the organization’s programmatic and investment portfolios supporting cities. The MD will partner with the Chief Investment Officer to co-identify opportunities for the Capital Investment team to collaborate with the Cities team and will co-develop methods to integrate lessons from the Capital for a New Majority (CNM) team on capital strategies into the Closing the Gaps (CTG) network team’s own strategy, whilst ensuring that the CTG portfolio aligns with the organization’s budgetary and operational framework.

Lead and manage a team of committed professionals skilled in systems, policy, and community organizing principles, developing a culture of learning and accountability that supports innovation and drives impact.

The MD will provide strategic direction and management for a diverse and talented team in a manner that upholds Living Cities’ core values of collaboration, innovation, leadership, impact, and racial equity and inclusion. The MD will track and manage existing activities as well as incubate new opportunities for the CTG Network team members based on each member’s unique strengths and perspectives. They will strongly advocate for internal policies and systems that support CTG Network team success, e.g., staffing and retention policies, compensation ratio and pay equity, team charter development, and performance management.


The Managing Director of Programs will be a seasoned leader committed to closing racial wealth gaps and working collaboratively to operationalize equity values in context. While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

Strategic Vision

  • A strategist and visionary with demonstrated cross-sectoral experience at the nexus of private-sector investment, philanthropy, and public sector practice (particularly at the municipal level) through the lens of anti-racist practices and policies.
  • A tactical leader who can analyze and identify opportunities to scale the portfolio’s impact through cross-portfolio alignment and/or the development of strong external partnerships with an orientation towards systems change.
  • An expert in the history and structure of systems that have created and perpetuate racial wealth gaps in America, and a leader in dialogue locally, regionally, and/or nationally about effective strategies to bring about change that closes racial wealth gaps.
  • Experience analyzing domestic, state, municipal and private sector policies and/or implementing and operating within such policies, especially through the lens of anti-racist practices and policies.
  • Training in anti-racist, results-based accountability, and results-based facilitation a plus.

Leadership and Management

  • An agile, mindful, and effective people leader who attracts and retains great talent by building a positive, trusting, and inclusive team culture that inspires all to achieve excellence.
  • A skilled facilitator and sector leader who can activate, unite, and build trust and shared understanding across a variety of stakeholders while nurturing a culture of accountability to impact.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaboratively establish and manage toward the progress of end goals while remaining adaptive to changing circumstances and competing priorities.
  • A lifelong learner and natural educator with a growth mindset who integrates the best ideas no matter the source and supports others to do the same.
  • Deep awareness of systemic inequity and knowledge of methods for embedding equity broadly construed into strategy, grantmaking, and relationships with staff and community, as well as a commitment to intercultural understanding and sensitivity.
  • Great performance manager with ability to coach, lead, be open to feedback, be trustworthy, and be a good advisor.

External Representation

  • Experience leveraging local and national networks to achieve outcomes and initiating and fostering strategic partnerships with key leaders from the community, government, private sector, and philanthropy.
  • Proven relationship building and communication skills with the ability to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues.
  • Exemplary public speaking communication skills and experience participating in national and regional convenings as a panelist or keynote speaker.
  • Thought leader with experience contributing knowledge that shows quantitative and qualitative understanding and resonates across diverse audiences and stakeholders.

The compensation range for this position has been set at $175 – $225K and is commensurate with candidate experience.

How To Apply

More information about Living Cities may be found at:  livingcities.org

This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

If you would like to submit a nomination for this role, please email sharon@npag.com.

Living Cities is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Applicants with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

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