Programs Associate

January 12, 2023

For immediate hire. Van Alen seeks a full-time Programs Associate to join the team focused on Van Alen’s core work of public realm projects, urbanism initiatives, and ongoing stakeholder engagement.

About Van Alen

Van Alen Institute is a 128-year-old design nonprofit that creates more equitable cities through community-led inclusive design. We partner with leaders of historically disinvested communities to support their immediate needs and long term visions with our network, knowledge, and resources. We shape diverse interdisciplinary teams, build cross-sector public/private coalitions, and invest our own funds to support neighborhood priorities. By centering community in everything we do, our inclusive design method responds to the urgent need for social justice in citymaking.

Role Description

Van Alen seeks a full-time Programs Associate to join the team focused on Van Alen’s core work of public realm projects, urbanism initiatives, and ongoing stakeholder engagement. The Program Associate will support the administration of the Programs team and manage assigned projects, including program strategy, budgeting, timelines, and stewardship of stakeholder relationships. 

Reporting to the Director of Programs, the Programs Associate will work closely with communities and Van Alen’s interdisciplinary network to build strong partnerships, help frame local issues, support and lead community engagement activities, and create public spaces that support social cohesion in New York City and the region at large. In addition to providing administrative support for all Van Alen programs, the Programs Associate will lead their own initiatives. The Programs Associate should be a great problem solver with experience supporting and guiding community-focused initiatives that engage diverse stakeholders.

Van Alen is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are committed to reflecting the communities in which we work and encourage members of traditionally underrepresented populations to apply, including people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and disabled people.



Specific duties include but are not limited to:

  • In collaboration with the Director of Programs and Programs team members, develop and implement projects in the public realm that address pressing issues affecting historically under-resourced communities
  • Manage public realm projects from start to completion, including oversight of project scope, timeline, budgets, contracts, event management, vendor management, meeting management, community outreach, and project evaluation and reporting
  • Engage with community based organizations, designers, elected officials, philanthropic organizations, and other members of Van Alen’s network as programs develop
  • Manage administrative and organizational tasks for all Van Alen programs, such as maintaining departmental calendars, arranging travel and accommodation, taking minutes, preparing research and documents, and maintaining records
  • Support implementation of community engagement, user research, and/or participatory research strategies, including data collection and analysis and communication of related information
  • Draft RFQs, reports, scopes of work, and other communications materials for diverse audiences
  • Act as point person for Programs-led events held in Van Alen’s space
  • Collaborate with internal communications and development teams on external materials and project development

Qualifications and Skills

  • Collaborative and adaptive mindset; comfort with and interest in iterative and learning-focused processes
  • Minimum two years professional experience in community engagement, user/participatory research, participatory design, strategic design, urban planning, urban design, architecture, public art, policy, or related field
  • A commitment to community-led inclusive design and spatial justice
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and experience engaging diverse groups including community members, municipalities, philanthropies, and designers
  • Experience supporting and facilitating interdisciplinary design teams to develop innovative and compelling solutions
  • Experience drafting content for a wide audience including reports, key findings, briefs, and web materials
  • Highly organized and detail oriented, with a demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities and projects, meet deadlines, and produce quality work within tight budget and time constraints
  • Proficiency in Google Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, and AirTable

How to Apply

Please send your application to with cover letter, resume, and writing sample in a single PDF with subject line “Programs Associate: [Name].”

The salary for this position is $60,000 annually. Generous benefits are provided at no extra cost to employee. Contribution is required for dependents.Van Alen offers remote work opportunities on Monday and Friday. Van Alen is an equal opportunity employer.