Director of Strategic Planning

Friends of the High Line Friends of the High Line Employer:
New York, NY, USLocation:
Thu, Mar 5 '20Posted on:

The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through our work with communities on and off the High Line, we’re devoted to reimagining public spaces to create connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities.

Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. You can walk through the gardens, view art, experience a performance, enjoy food or beverage, or connect with friends and neighbors—all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City.

Nearly 100% of our annual budget comes through donations. The High Line is owned by the City of New York and we operate under a license agreement with NYC Parks.

Arguably, over the last twenty years, the far west side of Manhattan has seen more physical evolution than any other area of Manhattan -- and there is still much growth to come. With the opening of the Spur, the High Line has completed its vision to save the original railyards and open the entire High Line to the public. The next vision for the High Line is to help ensure that it is a civic connector through both physical and non-physical connections. The strategic planning director will evaluate how the High Line’s visitation success can be addressed while still providing access for all and serve as an interpreter for additional urban planning, including long term, potential connections to the other public spaces.

Job description

The director of strategic planning at the High Line looks at new urban planning, including: how to improve its pedestrian connections, respond to overcrowding and visitation and develop points of view on adjacent developments. The strategic planning director is responsible for working with the High Line communities, design teams, government agencies, (City Planning, NYC Parks, Zoning, etc.) and property developers/owners to synergistically address urban planning efforts.

The director of strategic planning reports to the coo and works closely with the executive director, board of directors, and the planning and design department. The planning and design department is charged with the planning, design, and construction coordination for the High Line, offices, as well as strategic planning for future urban planning efforts.

This is a full-time, year-round, exempt position.

Primary responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with multiple constituencies ranging from the board of directors, staff, developers, multiple community groups and the staffs of elected officials
  • Project lead between design teams, the High Line and board of directors, regarding strategic planning initiatives for the High Line
  • Evaluate pedestrian connections to the north, as well as east/west connections as part of urban planning in the far west side
  • In partnership with associate director of government relations and associate director of community engagement, evaluate input from adjacent communities and elected officials on best avenues for High Line visitation, pedestrian connections, and adjacent developments, such as the Western Rail Yards
  • Provide guidance to outside entities and agencies on the High Line’s position regarding design and construction integration on future planning efforts for connections and other work that may impact the High Line
  • Ensure that project plans and visual materials are reflective of design intent and of a high caliber to present to board of trustees and outside entities
  • Ensure that High Line’s point of view is accurately reflected to all design teams and that their work product is reflective of that point of view
  • Create project plans and visual materials for prospective plans
  • Work collaboratively with associate director of government relations and associate director of community engagement to produce materials that reflect the High Line’s point of view on effect of adjacent connections, pedestrian connections, or work that may impact the High Line
  • Create inventory and relationships with adjacent property owners, private developers and agencies (e.g. Department of Transportation, Port Authority, Empire State Development, et. al.) regarding their next phase of development(s), to determine how
  • Follow up on statistics and ideas regarding visitation for the High Line and create project list and budget of scenarios to mitigate overcrowding. Work with outside experts on a variety of technological options that include better visitor tracking and create plan for discussion by community members and elected officials
  • Responsible for zoning and policy issues with Department of City Planning, the Mayor’s Office and the NYC Parks
  • Work with outside urban experts on trends in the far west side that speak to the influence of the High Line, including the development of businesses and properties
  • Solicit proposals and manage research on all future initiatives
  • Support the planning and design department in all other planning and design project work that may affect the High Line and incorporate such knowledge into strategic planning for future


  • Bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  • 5-7+ years working in urban planning, with progressive experience
  • A strong vision of urbanism in the 21st century
  • Demonstrated experience managing complex design and planning projects
  • Training in design, urban planning, public policy, or other related field
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing design intent and development processes
  • Demonstrated experience working with design teams
  • Experience working with government agencies
  • Strong quantitative, qualitative, and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team
  • Experience and skill in public presentation
  • Strong skills in negotiation and diplomacy
  • Proven experience in project management
  • Experience working with project management tools (e.g. Microsoft project, asana, etc.)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with private/public partnerships


  • Able to work select evenings, weekends as needed

To apply

Submit a completed application via our online portal:

Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please.

The High Line is a proud equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, familial or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected status.

Back to Job List...

  • ×Search in: