Chief of Parks and Public Space

Downtown Dallas, Inc. (DDI) supports approximately 40 acres of public spaces and parks within the nearly 1.5 square miles inside the Downtown Improvement District (DID). DDI’s involvement in these places can range from clean and safe services to various levels of maintenance and landscape, to management of concessions and event activations and rentals.

The Chief of Parks and Public Space is a leadership position within DDI, responsible for overseeing any strategic planning, development, and management necessary for these public spaces to thrive. Advancing DDI’s mission and 2023 strategic plan, this important position will be the primary liaison with our collaborative partners at the City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department and Downtown Dallas Parks Conservancy. This role involves sophisticated relationship management with stakeholders city staff and officials, as well as managing vendors to DDI’s high standards of quality services.

This role demands a seasoned professional with a track record of successful executive leadership, strategic planning, and project management, and a deep commitment to fostering vibrant, sustainable, and inclusive public spaces within the community.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Planning:

  • Further DDI’s Strategic Plan relative to activating parks and public spaces in ways that respond to community needs, environmental sustainability, and social equity.
  • Collaborate with internal teams, government agencies, and community groups to ensure alignment with broader urban development plans.
  • Provide strategic direction to the department, ensuring all efforts contribute to the organization's overall mission and objectives.
  • Stay abreast of parks and public space industry trends and innovations, integrating them into DDI’s approach to public space development through policies and its program of work.
  • Provide executive oversight to the design and implementation of park and public space improvement, maintenance, or activation projects, ensuring they meet quality standards, timelines, and budgetary constraints.
  • Manage relationships with contractors, architects, and other relevant partners.

Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Working closely with DDI’s executive team, cultivate and maintain strategic relationships with government officials, community leaders, philanthropic organizations, corporate partners, and other municipalities such as the Parks and Recreation Department at the City of Dallas.
  • Collaborate with external stakeholders to secure funding, resources, and support for park development and maintenance.

Public Policy and Advocacy:

  • Working alongside the DDI executive team, collaborate with government agencies and other stakeholders to advocate for policies that support the development and maintenance of public spaces.
  • Stay informed on legislative and regulatory changes that may impact park management and advise advocacy for the organization's position.

Resource Management:

  • Develop and manage budgets for parks and public space initiatives, ensuring fiscal responsibility and resource optimization.
  • Seek and secure grants, donations, and partnerships to support ongoing projects and long-term sustainability.

Maintenance and Operations:

  • Establish and implement effective capital replacement, maintenance, and operational plans for existing parks and public spaces, ensuring they remain safe, clean, and attractive.
  • Working with the DDI team, develop and oversee volunteer programs and partnerships to support ongoing maintenance efforts.


  • Provide strategic direction for park and public space public free and ticketed programming and activations, driving revenue for the organization and anticipating any impacts to the maintenance of activated areas.

Data Analysis and Reporting:

  • Collect and analyze relevant data on park usage, community needs, and program effectiveness.
  • Prepare and present regular reports to the organization's leadership and stakeholders, highlighting achievements and areas for improvement.
  • Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure the success and impact of parks and public space initiatives.
  • Regularly report to the organization's board and stakeholders on progress, challenges, and opportunities.

Capital Improvements and Beautification:

  • Oversight of DDI capital improvement initiatives, focusing on pedestrian improvements, an annual matching grants program, and site-specific repair and improvement projects.



  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in urban planning, public administration, landscape architecture, environmental science, or a related field.Minimum of five years of executive leadership experience in a comparable role.
  • Proven experience in park management, urban planning, or a related field, with a focus on community engagement and project management.
  • Exceptional strategic thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong financial acumen, with experience in budget development and management
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage and influence stakeholders at all levels.