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Employment

MPC is currently accepting applications for an Executive Assistant and for Research Assistants. In addition, we offer two paid fellowships, The Allard and Wayfinding Fellowships (details below). We are currently seeking candidates for the Wayfinding Fellowship.

  • Applications and nominations for the Wayfinding Fellowship are due March 31 (for a May 1-October 31 fellowship period) and September 30 (for a November 1-April 30 fellowship period). While there are two application cycles, please note there will only be one Wayfinding Fellow selected in any calendar year, and only current or former Research Assistants are eligible. 

Executive Assistant

The Opportunity

MPC seeks a detail-minded Executive Assistant who possesses enthusiasm for the Council’s agenda and an eagerness to assist our leaders in furthering our mission. The Executive Assistant provides administrative, programmatic and organizational support and reports directly to the President and Executive Vice President.

The Position

The Executive Assistant is responsible for:

  • scheduling, coordinating, and handling meeting preparation and follow-up and occasional travel arrangements for meetings of the President and Executive Vice President;
  • coordinating Board and Executive Committee meetings, including drafting agendas and correspondence, communicating needs and deadlines to relevant staff member and preparing meeting minutes;
  • managing logistics for board meetings, committee meetings, roundtables and other events;
  • daily monitoring of and handling responses to emails directed to the President and initiating social media posts;
  • researching, drafting and producing memos, correspondence, and blog posts for a diverse set of clients and constituents;
  • fielding phone calls and emails, managing mass mailings, assisting with hospitality needs in common office spaces and other general administrative tasks;
  • providing program support to the transportation and regional investments teams;
  • facilitating internal communication between program, communications and development staff and the President and Executive Vice President; and
  • updating MPC’s Raiser’s Edge constituent database and mailing lists.

MPC is looking for an intelligent, highly organized, personable individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The preferred candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and at least 2 years of work experience. Prior administrative experience and policy interest/experience is strongly preferred. The ideal candidate will have the following core competencies of highly successful MPC employees:

  • Entrepreneurial: a self-starter, able to proactively identify, prioritize and complete tasks, handle multiple projects and deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment, able to chart a course and map out the path to a problem solution and extremely detail-oriented
  • Relationship Builder: able to develop sincere connections and establish rapport with diverse groups and individuals, able to maintain and cultivate relationships even during conflict
  • Passionate, Eager and Positive: passionate about the issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission, able to contribute positively to group problem solving, always seeking solutions, volunteering and taking initiative
  • Curious: demonstrates desire for lifelong learning and self-improvement, engaged in the news and current events, not afraid to ask why and seek to understand context
  • Team Player: capable and willing to work collaboratively with staff and volunteers, consult the team for guidance, value positive contributions, tap strengths of all staff and ask for help when needed
  • Strong Communicator: an excellent writer and communicator who can competently represent the organization and its work to the public, board members, donors and audiences of all kinds
  • Analytical Thinker: able to identify root causes and causal relationships, challenge assumptions, and identify pros and cons of possible paths forward
  • Socially and Emotionally Intelligent: able to read people and situations, anticipate reactions, read between the lines, and be aware of emotional reactions

Since 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has been dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail or mail:

  1. A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job description 
  2. Your résumé and salary history
  3. A brief writing sample 
  4. Three references

Madeline Shepherd
Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
MShepherd@metroplanning.org

No phone calls please.  For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org. MPC is an equal opportunity employer.


Associate

We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

The Opportunity
Since 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has been dedicated to shaping a more sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth. 

Over the past decade, MPC’s sustainable water resources agenda has greatly evolved and expanded.  Some of our initiatives, such as modernizing Illinois’ water infrastructure financing programs and the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, are in full stride. A new initiative, Great Rivers Chicago, is launching now. The full spectrum of our work requires policy and programmatic coordination by multiple partners across municipal, county and state borders, as well as the communication of complex technical issues through stores and visually engaging data. The ideal candidate will be equally adept at understanding and communicating state, city and suburban policies and concerns. MPC is increasingly called upon to share the lessons of our work nationally, and throughout the Great Lakes.

The Position
MPC is hiring a full-time associate to support the current and future projects that deepen the organization’s environmental policy, community development and economic development impact.   MPC is seeking a highly motivated individual with a background in urban planning, sustainable development, engineering, marketing, finance and/or environmental policy. Strong relationship and project management skills and versatility are absolutely essential.  At the outset, this associate will support MPC’s programming in sustainable water resources management and Great Rivers Chicago, and be a part of developing new and innovative initiatives.

The position will report directly to MPC’s director for these programs and projects, Josh Ellis. 

Duties may include:

  • Supporting the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, which includes 25+ local, county, state and federal government agencies, as well as several non-governmental stakeholders, in the development, execution and communication of a joint work plan for systemic stormwater improvements
  • Engaging the greater Chicago area in creative neighborhood and stakeholder outreach in support of Great Rivers Chicago.
  • Supporting MPC’s legislative and administrative work to modernize Illinois’ water management policies.
  • Conducting research that informs communications materials which share MPC’s work through a variety of platforms and to a variety of audiences, including elected officials and the media.
  • Translating lessons learned into policy reform recommendations, to be communicated through original reports, policy briefings, and dialogue with elected officials.
  • Assisting one or more on-the-ground stormwater management initiatives, including local stakeholder engagement, cultivation of private sector partners, and reporting to government agencies.
  • Researching best practices in water resources management for white papers and policy briefs, while also writing original content for a lay audience through newsletters, blog posts, and social media feeds.
  • Coordinating public roundtable events and workshops to further MPC’s initiatives.

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The ideal candidate holds a masters degree in Urban Planning, Environmental Policy or other relevant field, has at least two years or relevant work experience and:

is a creative thinker able to help build MPC’s environmental programming, and integrate it with other emerging MPC initiatives;

  • is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle concurrent tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
  • is able to communicate directly and work collaboratively with staff colleagues and external partners;
  • desires to make a positive impact on the greater Chicago region;
  • is patient and eager to learn;
  • is passionate about the body of issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission;
  • has a sense of humor;
  • is an excellent writer and an articulate speaker;
  • is both entrepreneurial and executes skillfully on assigned work;
  • has a working knowledge of regional actors and institutions in Illinois and Indiana;
  • is familiar with ArcGIS software and geospatial analysis, statistical analysis, and basic graphic design software; and,
  • has experience communicating complex ideas to a diverse, public audience.
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred.

Please send: 

1) A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job being filled;

2) Your résumé and salary history; and

3) A short writing sample (2-3 pages) to:

Angie Leyva
Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60603
or ALeyva@metroplanning.org    

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org
MPC is an equal opportunity employer.


Allard and Wayfinding Fellowships

The Allard Fellowship, named for longtime MPC President Jean Allard and generously seeded by Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in her honor before Allard passed away in 2012, is designed to attract young talent not currently in a position to volunteer at MPC. The most competitive candidates will submit applications and nomination letters that establish why they deserve and need a paid fellowship at MPC. This fellowship will help the organization achieve economic and racial diversity goals.

The Wayfinding Fellowship, supported by a fund generously seeded by longtime MPC Board member James Mann, is designed to cultivate and retain an established, well-regarded MPC Research Assistant. Current MPC Research Assistants who have been with the organization for a minimum of two months, as well as those whose tenure with MPC ended within ten months of the application deadline, are eligible; all applicants must be nominated by an MPC Board, committee or staff member. Because the Wayfinding Fellow must have proven high performance at MPC, the most competitive candidates will identify how they plan to lead a discrete project articulated in MPC’s work plan.

Fellows will work three to four days per week for six months, compensated by a $10,000 stipend. Fellows also will benefit from structured and informal networking and mentorship opportunities with MPC staff and volunteers, as well as recognition on MPC’s web site.

There are different deadlines for applications and nominations for these fellowships:

  • Applications and nominations for the Allard Fellowship are due May 30 (for a July 1 - December 31 fellowship period) and October 31 (for a December 1 - May 31 fellowship period). While there are two application cycles, please note there will only be one Allard Fellow selected in any calendar year - our 2015 Allard Fellow is Jose Requena.
  • Applications and nominations for the Wayfinding Fellowship are due March 31 (for a May 1-October 31 fellowship period) and September 30 (for a November 1-April 30 fellowship period). While there are two application cycles, please note there will only be one Allard Fellow selected in any calendar year.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail to Josh Ellis, program director and research assistant coordinator, at jellis@metroplanning.org:

  • For the Allard Fellowship, the applicant must submit a current CV, a writing sample of no more than 5 typed pages, and other supporting evidence as the applicant sees fit (e.g. evidence of quantiative analysis, GIS work, renderings, articles, etc.). The applicant must also submit a cover letter that articulates specific interest in MPC, how this Fellowship opportunity will position the applicant for professional growth, and why, but for this Fellowship, the applicant would not be in a position to volunteer at MPC. Finally, the applicant must also be nominated by a non-family member. The nomination letter should be included in the application materials, should articulate the nominee's potential for a career in urban and regional development policy, and should establish why the nominee deserves and needs a paid fellowship at MPC.
  • For the Wayfinding Fellowship, an MPC Board, committee, or staff member must nominate a current MPC Research Assistant who has been with the organization for a minimum of two months, as well as those whose tenure with MPC ended within ten months of the nomination deadline. Both the nomination letter and a cover letter by the nominee should articulate how the nominee's work at MPC has contributed substantively to MPC's mission, and how a paid fellowship would foster that nominee's professional growth and further MPC's work plan. The nominee must also submit a current CV.

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.


Research Assistant

Starting Date: Rolling start dates

We are no longer seeking applications for summer research assistants. If you would like to apply for Fall 2015, please follow the instructions below, and clearly designate Fall 2015 in the subject line of your e-mail.

Overall program

MPC’s volunteer research assistants are a vital part of the organization’s success. Depending on the project at hand, RAs conduct original research, write blog posts and case studies, organize community meetings, perform GIS and quantitative analysis, and a range of other work.

You may apply for an RA position at any time, but as a general guideline new RAs start around May 1, September 1, and January 1. Candidates receiving school credit or compensation through a fellowship program will receive preference in staffing decisions, but all are welcome to apply. As a general rule of thumb, fall and winter RAs are expected to commit at least two full days of work per week, and summer RAs at least three.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials by e-mail to Josh Ellis, program director and research assistant coordinator, at jellis@metroplanning.org:

  • a current resume;
  • a cover letter articulating your specific interest in MPC, the current projects you have the most interest in and what you believe you can add to them, and a proposed schedule;
  • and a short (3-4 page) writing sample.

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Notices for available positions at MPC are posted here.

Submit applications by e-mail or mail only; no phone calls please.

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
P 312 922 5616 F 312 922 5619 info@metroplanning.org
Helping create competitive, equitable, and sustainable communities

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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