Director of Community and Environmental Planning

Firm: Houston-Galveston Area Council
Houston, TX

Payment: Paid
Start Date: Sep 5, 2022
Category: Environmental Planning
Contact: Lily Rivera
Posted: Jul 14, 2022

About the Houston-Galveston Area Council

The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) is a voluntary information, planning, and problem-solving forum for local governments in the Houston-Galveston region. H-GAC serves an area of 12,500 square miles and more than 7 million people in Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties. Our regional programs focus on community and environmental planning, data tools and resources, disaster planning and recovery, mobility, public safety, workforce development, and economic development.


H-GAC’s mission is to serve as the instrument of local government cooperation, promoting the region’s orderly development and the safety and welfare of its citizens.

Governance and Organization

The Houston-Galveston Area Council is one of the largest regional planning commissions in the country. Our service area spans 13 counties and includes 108 cities and 11 independent school districts. The 240-member staff of professionals and 36-member Board of Directors understand that a strong economy and rapid growth brings both opportunities and challenges. We meet these challenges in three key ways: providing a forum for jurisdictions of all sizes to come together to solve regional issues; identifying and prioritizing funding opportunities, and providing direct services.

About the Department

The Community and Environmental Planning Department is responsible for a wide range of programs that aim to create a more sustainable future for the fast-growing H-GAC region. These programs encompass community planning, environmental stewardship, resiliency, disaster recovery, criminal justice, and homeland security. The department has a multidisciplinary team and collaborative culture that prizes innovation and exceptional public service.

About the Position

The Director of Community and Environmental Planning will lead a diverse portfolio of initiatives. Livable Centers and Bringing Back Main Street are programs that provide resources to help communities create active, walkable places and thriving environments. Water Resources programs include maintaining a regional water quality monitoring network and developing stakeholder-driven watershed protection plans. The Solid Waste program provides grants for local projects that promote recycling and proper waste disposal. The Regional Conservation Initiative provides support and technical assistance to local partners in securing grant funding to support priority projects that conserve the region’s prime natural areas. Resiliency and recovery programs include developing methods of distribution to provide federal flood mitigation funds to local governments and assisting in the development of local hazard mitigation plans. Public Safety programs include assisting local law enforcement agencies with community planning, prioritizing criminal justice grants, and staffing a Regional Homeland Security Coordinating Council that advises elected officials on issues related to regional homeland security.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have the ability to motivate, coach, and grow professionals and leaders at all stages of their careers. The selected candidate will have a background and experience in strategic and tactical planning for large organizations and will be knowledgeable of planning at the community and regional level, environmental management, resiliency, and public safety. Additionally, the selected candidate will have proven experience in putting systems in place to ensure effective fiscal management. Attributes of a successful candidate include:

Strong public speaking and listening skills
Ability to communicate with people from all walks of life
Ability to articulate complex concepts in a clear and straightforward manner
Ability to achieve consensus across a spectrum of interests and priorities
Ability to lead, motivate individuals, and build relationships and alliances based on trust
Ability to plan, delegate, supervise, and achieve results across diverse programs
Ability to assemble agile, multidisciplinary project teams to address short-term challenges and opportunities
Adept at identifying opportunities to improve efficiency, timeliness, and quality across a variety of programs, personalities, and work styles
Leadership and Innovation

The next Director of Community and Planning will have the opportunity to:

Bring the department into a new era of cross-discipline collaboration and on-the-ground implementation in areas as diverse as regional broadband, healthy communities, housing, and main street revitalization
Support the H-GAC Board of Directors in implementing a regional method of distribution of federal regional flood mitigation funds to local governments
Build on the success of the Regional Conservation Initiative to further H-GAC’s long-range goals for conserving the region’s natural areas
Continue the evolution of longstanding department programs, such as Bringing Back Main Street, Livable Centers, Solid Waste, Clean Rivers, and Watershed Protection planning initiatives
Successfully integrate Public Safety programs into the department’s portfolio for responsibilities
Continue offering training and professional development opportunities for local governments in areas such as community planning and revitalization, housing, solid waste management, and water quality
Continue development of interactive web-based tools and other means of sharing the department’s information resources with the region’s decision-makers and residents
Identify and pursue alternative sources of grants and funding for H-GAC to expand the reach of community, environmental, and resiliency programs
Represent H-GAC in relations with elected officials, state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, and community stakeholders
Engage department staff in strategic budgeting and planning
Education and Experience

The position of Director of Community and Environmental Planning requires:

Bachelor’s degree in planning, environmental management, public administration, or related field
More than 10 years of professional experience in progressively responsible work directly related to regional planning, environmental management, and resiliency
Experience in a consensus-building environment with a track record of achieving results
Additional experience in the following is considered a plus:

Executive-level experience in public service or nonprofit organization
More than 10 years of management experience
Master’s degree in urban planning, environmental management, and/or advanced certifications (such as AICP), preferred
Experience with using scenarios in long-range and strategic planning
Understanding of federal and state funding compliance
Ability to work with a diverse population
Experience leading a large organization through transformation and/or recovering from natural disasters
Managing public safety programs
Compensation and Benefits

H-GAC is offering a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with qualifications and experience.