WANTED: Director of Urban Programs, National Main Street Center (Chicago)

The National Main Street Center seeks a Director of Urban Programs for its Chicago, Illinois headquarters.

Over the past 36 years, the National Main Street Center (NMSC) – a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation – has led a transformational movement, working with 2,000+ communities around the country to revitalize and re-energize their older and historic downtown commercial districts. We are passionate about helping communities understand the connection between creating quality urban places and economic competitiveness, and equipping them with the tools to make that connection a reality. Since its inception, the NMSC’s approach has earned a reputation as one of the most powerful community based economic development tools in the nation, generating over $65 billion in reinvestment in downtown areas.

NMSC is looking to broaden its offerings and engagement in urban neighborhood commercial districts, and seeks an experienced and dynamic professional to lead this new initiative. The Director of Urban Programs, working closely with and reporting to the President and CEO and the Vice President of Revitalization Programs, will lead new programmatic development, cultivate new partnerships, support fundraising efforts, and develop new technical services targeted to urban neighborhood commercial districts.

This position presents a unique opportunity to join a growing Chicago-based team and lead efforts to spearhead a major new national initiative. The ideal candidate will be an effective and inspiring leader and have a demonstrated track record of work in community development, with an emphasis on inclusive engagement in urban areas.


  • Direct the day-to-day implementation for new urban-focused program in close coordination with the NMSC President and Vice President of Revitalization Programs;
  • Build partnerships with organizations engaged in urban revitalization and development, and cultivate relationships with key urban district leaders;
  • Through internal and external communications, speeches, articles, and related work, serve as a representative of NMSC to high-level contacts in the public and private sectors on commercial revitalization issues, including: elected and appointed officials; local and state government; leaders in preservation and commercial district revitalization; corporations and foundations; and representatives of the media.
  • Identify training needs and opportunities in the field, and work with other NMSC staff to develop enhanced educational materials and resources;
  • Work with Vice President and other key NMSC staff to develop and conduct trainings, technical services, and workshops on urban revitalization and development; and
  • Achieve budget goals through management and delivery of technical services for clients, earn revenue for NMSC in the amount specified in the annual work plan.
  • Develop comprehensive fundraising strategies to support development of new urban-focused programming and services.

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