Director, Parks & Public Space

Director, Parks & Public Space

Public Area Management

Reporting Relationship:
VP, Public Realm and Ambassador Operations

Full-time; Exempt, 40 hours a week – varied work schedule

The Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) is a non-profit business improvement association located in downtown Seattle. In the past several years, the DSA has increased their focus on public space activation and have a contract in place with Seattle Parks and Recreation to manage the staffing, activation, permitting, and sponsorship of Westlake Park and Occidental Square. Additionally, the DSA has taken on various levels of responsibilities in other parks and public spaces around downtown. The Director, Parks & Public Space is responsible for the supervision, planning and oversight of the Parks & Public Space program.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Lead and manage Parks & Public Space programming & operations.
  • Oversee the selection and training of Parks & Public Space staff.
  • Oversee and support all operational staff and services provided by the Park Ambassador team.
  • Directly supervise Parks & Public Space programming and operations staff including management of the employment process including recruiting, hiring, terminations, payroll processing, providing support and mentoring, complete employee performance evaluations.
  • Manage all Park Ambassador program operational needs (supplies, uniforms, devices, etc.).
  • Oversee activation and program planning and implementation in managed public spaces.
  • Plan and execute operational and programming budgets; reforecast quarterly or as necessary.
  • Manage direction of SPD off-duty emphasis and third-party security contracts and officers, in coordination with other DSA/MID staff, to strategically improve the overall experience within the MID program area.
  • Assist in negotiation of contracts with private and public partners for more public realm activation services.
  • Coordinate with Seattle Parks & Recreation, Seattle Department of Transportation (and other organizations and agencies as needed) as direct liaison to confirm that city agency scope of services/work is met in managed parks and public spaces.
  • Maintain up-to-date internal and external contact lists, communication information and processes for the team.
  • Ensure that managed parks and public spaces are activated and programmed on a year-round basis as feasible per season, with a variety of offerings, serving a diverse population.
  • Coordinate with the entire Parks & Public Space team to ensure programming, staffing and supply needs are communicated in an efficient manner, supported by on-site staff, and implemented in a coordinated and seamless way.
  • Oversee the coordination and support the DSA Parks & Public Space Committee.
  • Participate on various Boards and committees on behalf of the organization.
  • Manage special events and/or organization-wide events and priority initiatives as needed.
  • Ensure that staffing is adequate for onsite staff needs to successfully support all events, programming, and activations.
  • Assist with identifying, stewarding parks and public space sponsorship development and relations.
  • Develop and maintain relationships by meeting with ratepayers, businesses and residents for education, problem solving, information sharing and developing vision for current and future projects.
  • Work closely with internal and external partners to use technology, innovation, and best practices to develop and continue to maintain parks and public spaces and able to create business case/budgets for additional spaces.
  • Assist VP, Public Realm and Ambassador Operations with projects and priorities as needed.

General DSA Support:

  • Facilitate coordinating content for event web pages, collateral and appropriate outreach for programming and events.
  • Perform other event-related tasks as needed, including pulling event data for staffing reports, staffing company events, helping to organize supplies, assisting in running supplies out to the park, and other tasks as assigned.
  • Oversee on-site event volunteers and volunteer recognition as needed.
  • Establish program schedules and standards of excellence.
    Other commensurate duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Program Management, Operations (or related) and/or 5-7 years’ progressive supervisory experience in operations or project management.
  • Able to work effectively in a team setting with a variety of stakeholders and participants.
  • Experience implementing change and actions to support DEI related work in environment and culture.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficient in Windows, MS Word, Excel and Outlook, CRM systems and data analysis skills.
  • Able to create, track, and adhere to multiple budgets.
  • Highly organized with the ability to meet tight deadlines.
  • Self-motivated, an innovative and analytical thinker with exemplary problem-solving skills.
  • Energetic learner with a healthy sense of humor and ability to react to situations in real time.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and self-awareness and ability to work well with diverse groups.
  • Knowledge of downtown Seattle, its neighborhoods and business community preferred.
  • Ability to work early morning, evenings, weekends and holidays.

Salary range $75K-90K/annually DOE, plus competitive benefits packaging including $75 cell phone stipend per month, plus full medical, dental vision benefits, paid time off, short and long-term disability, 401K retirement plan and annual ORCA Pass.

To Apply:
Please send cover letter and resume to
The Downtown Seattle Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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