Managing Director. Just Cities, Berkeley, California


Posted: October 11, 2022

Capacity: Full time | Salary Range: $130,000~$150,000 DOE | Location: hybrid | Benefits (see COMPENSATION)

Application Deadline: November 18, 2022

The mission of Just Cities Institute is to advance racial and social justice through a radical transformation of urban planning and public policy structures and systems.  We tackle major urban issues with those directly impacted by structural injustice. We believe the people most impacted by structural oppression should have the power to define and create solutions — this is what we call Transformative Justice.

The founders of Just Cities, former Congressman Ron Dellums, Margaretta Lin, and Dan Lindheim, profoundly believe in the power of government to solve the big problems of our times.  However, from their decades of experience they also understand that it takes a great deal of perseverance, innovation, multi-racial solidarity and coalition building, and love of people to transform governmental systems that have been rooted in the legacy of racial capitalism.  The people of Just Cities and our partners are dreamers, innovators, teachers, government officials, policy wonks, grassroots leaders, artists, urban planners, legal and political strategists, organizers, and poets who center love for our communities and fellow human beings in our theory of change and on the ground practices.

Our current initiatives build upon our historic efforts (see our Infographic Report) that have led to national north star policies and plans, as summarized below:

  • Fair Chance Housing laws to address the twin injustices of mass incarceration and racialized displacement and homelessness, benefitting over 9,000 people locally.  These proven results have led us to our current work of supporting similar efforts in California and nationally, as well as the development of a comprehensive re-entry housing plan for Alameda County.

  • Comprehensive anti-displacement and homelessness prevention budget policies for Alameda County and the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, resulting in over $75 million, and prior leadership on creating the Oakland Housing Equity Roadmap, have led us to our current design of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing assessment and a future Housing Equity Roadmap for the City of Richmond, one of the last remaining working class cities in the Bay Area.

  • Anti-displacement and planning justice frameworks in transportation plans for transportation departments in the cities of Los Angeles and Oakland. These results have led us to co-lead the Deeply Rooted Collaborative’s Community Engagement process for the Oakland General Plan for the next 4 years and create a statewide Environmental, Housing, Transportation Racial Justice policy framework for California public agencies.

  • Co-creation of the East Oakland Black Cultural Zone Collaborative for Black-led and place-based people and community development have led to our  infrastructure support of the new East Oakland Air Quality planning and uplifting the East Oakland Building Healthy Communities Healthy Development Guidelines in all of our efforts.

  • Based upon prior efforts (Our Beloved Community Action Network, the Alameda County Fair Chance Housing Coalition, Black Cultural Zone Collaborative, and Beloved Oakland events), we continue to organize coalitions and collaborations of impacted residents and public agencies on housing and community development priorities.

  • Leadership development efforts of impacted residents for prior campaigns have led us to create resident councils and community scholars for our initiatives.


Just Cities seeks a compassionate leader with deep experience in directing organizations at the intersections of public policy, urban planning, and community development. Our new Managing Director also has demonstrated commitment to advancing racial and social justice.  They will be equipped to lead our nimble, yet mighty, team towards continuing to transform public policy and urban planning  in the Bay Area, California, and beyond.

Our new Managing Director is a thoughtful, creative, and extremely organized individual who loves to provide wise leadership and counsel, thrives on designing and managing organizational systems, and is passionate about the messy realities of urban planning and policy making.  Just Cities is rapidly expanding and we seek an experienced leader to help steward our transition to the next exciting phase.

The Managing Director (MD) will report directly to the Executive Director (ED).  The MD will supervise, support, guide, and counsel the Director of Finance and Operations (DFO), the Director of Policy Justice (DPJ), and the Associate Director of Urban Planning Justice (ADUPJ).


Organizational Leadership

  • Along with the ED, DPJ, and ADUPJ, represent and communicate Just Cities’ work and vision to the public, community and political leaders, partners, and funders.

  • Foster a collaborative working environment, encourage professional development, and champion accountability amongst staff.

  • Role model the change we want to see in the world.

Program Leadership

  • Envision and lead strategic development of future projects and initiatives.

  • Provide effective supervision and support of the DPJ and ADUPJ in urban planning and policy justice projects and initiatives, including engaging in creative problem solving.

  • Oversee the production of high quality plans and reports for public agencies, working with project directors and managers.

  • If interested, create and direct your own urban planning/policy change initiatives.

Fundraising and Grant Management

  • Work with the ED, Board Members, fund development consultant, and Just Cities staff and partners, to identify and pursue funding opportunities.

  • Manage the fundraising systems, including grant application and report writers (staff and consultants).

Healthy Organizational Systems 

  • Provide effective supervision and support of the DFO who directs compliance, fiscal, operations, HR programs and functions and who works with the outside Accountant and outside CPA.

  • Ensure effective professional development plans for all staff and that supervisors are providing constructive and timely performance evaluations.

  • Work with the DFO to oversee the hiring of staff, consultants, and student interns.

  • Work with the DFO and staff/board committee to develop a racial healing HR program for staff.

  • Direct financial planning and strategy including working with the ED, DFO, and Board Members.

  • Supervise the DFO’s work to coordinate and lead annual budget reviews, monthly and quarterly reviews, and periodic financial forecast updates.


Professional Experience

  • Masters in related graduate school degree.

  • Proven leader known for integrity, commitment to low income communities of color, and advancing racial and social justice.

  • 15+ years urban planning and policy work experience.  Preference for urban policy justice experience in housing, environmental, and/or transportation policies.

  • 10+ years managing people, projects, initiatives, and organizational budgets.

  • Deep experience directly managing the production of high quality reports and plans for public agencies.

  • Experience working effectively with government agencies, including navigating politics.

  • Experience developing strong collaborative relationships with grassroots community leaders.

  • Extremely strong project management skills managing complex, multifaceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth.

  • Successful track record managing and working productively with high-performing, collaborative, innovative teams.

  • Demonstrated results managing complex systems in urban planning/policy and proven experience as a creative problem solver.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Exceptional attention to details.

Interpersonal & Team Building Skills

  • Works well with grassroots community members and leaders–deeply appreciates, values, and respects their expertise, knowledge and leadership roles.

  • Loves building and working with a team to accomplish common goals.

  • Able to lead/drive specific duties and responsibilities while honoring/incorporating the different roles that other team members play.

  • Good at knowing when to lead and when to empower the leadership of others.

  • Takes joy in and actively promotes the success and visibility of colleagues and partners.

  • Adept at  resolving inevitable conflicts and misunderstandings in healthy and affirming ways.

  • Experienced in deep listening and communicating with others from that listening.

Personal Qualities 

  • Integrity, credibility, and a commitment to and passion for Just Cities’ mission and its people (staff, community leaders, core collaboration partners).

  • Humble and also confident and secure.

  • Persistent and delivers high quality results.

  • Embraces a growth mindset.

  • Able to ask for help and advice when needed.

  • Committed to continuous improvement.

  • High emotional intelligence.

  • Patient, calm, and compassionate.

  • Excels at leaving individual ego at the workplace door.


Just Cities benchmarks its salaries against comparable positions in the Bay Area to ensure that they are equitable. The salary range for this position is $130,000 to $150,000 and the negotiated salary will be based upon experience.  Comprehensive benefits include medical, dental/vision, retirement, vacation, holidays, and generous family leave.


The Managing Director will work in person at Just Cities’ Berkeley, California office.  Just Cities’ work from home policy allows staff to work remotely two days a week.


Application deadline of November 18, 2022 with rolling review of applicants.  Please submit a cover letter and resume to with subject line:  Just Cities Managing Director.

Just Cities Institute values a diverse workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBQT+ individuals, people who have been systems impacted, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply.  Just Cities Institute is an equal opportunity employer.  Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, criminal history, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.

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