Director of Strategic Initiatives

Cities United | Telecommute, Other


Cities United supports a national network of mayors committed to creating safe, healthy and hopeful communities by reducing the epidemic of homicides and shootings among young Black men and boys ages 14-24 by 50% by 2025. We are committed to working alongside mayors and representatives from their communities to develop comprehensive and equitable strategies; implement healing centered solutions using a public health approach; promote cultural specific evaluation methodology and; plan for long-term sustainability. Since 2011, Cities United has provided training and technical assistance to an increasing network of cities and continues to serve as a valuable resource. We offer a number of programs, services and guides to our partner cities in-kind or at a reduced rate with an ultimate goal of increasing the number of cities implementing comprehensive public safety plans rooted in social justice, equity, youth voice, collaboration and innovation. Cities United is a project of Tides Center.

Job Summary

The Director of Strategic Initiatives is responsible for designing, strengthening and implementing Cities United’s strategic vision related to national programming and partner city engagement. The Director of Strategic Initiatives will lead and coach the team responsible for executing initiatives and projects in accordance with key stakeholder needs, current events and in alignment with Cities United’s mission, vision and goals. 

This includes identifying, monitoring and advocating for resources to fully implement strategic vision as well as collaborating across Cities United’s departments to maximize overall impact. The Director  will work with the Executive Leadership Team to track, monitor and analyze progress of all strategic initiatives and special projects. These functions as well as the duties and responsibilities listed below are essential to positively impacting violence reduction and prevention in the communities Cities United partners alongside.

Reports To

Deputy Director


Leadership, Administration & Management

  • Lead the strategic initiatives team with inspiring, empowering leadership that guides the sometimes competing priorities and removes roadblocks so that program and project management team members can work effectively and efficiently to achieve goals 
  • Ensures that the best combination of work is initiated to meet the mission and achieve the vision
  • Members of the leadership team are responsible for supporting the organization in reaching its annual fund development goals

Strategy & Data Management

  • Develops, manages and updates departmental portfolio/scope of work
  • Designs, Implements and Manages Cities United's National Initiatives and City Engagement Strategy
  • Provides Sr. Leadership representation within national programs and city support 
  • Provides direct coaching and capacity building support to partner cities, as needed

Growth & Development

  • Ensures that the work is right, on schedule, within budget and scope (including quality)
  • Develops and monitors departmental budget (includes program and project budgets); approves team member expenditures 
  • Monitors and analyzes departmental capacities; advocates for resource needs
  • Identifies opportunities for fee for service contract-based city consultation


  • Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 5 years of work experience developing and implementing solutions with a focus in strategy or operations.
  • 5 or more years experience leading or managing a team
  • 5 or more years experience in project development, management or coordination
  • 5 or more years experience working alongside community, local government and/or youth or young adults


  • Supports special projects including the Cities United Annual Convening, Data Cohort Project, National Youth Violence Prevention Week, Crime Prevention Month and more.
  • Monitors current events and works with Leadership Team to identify Cities United’s response and/or make recommendations for new projects based on needs of network
  • Meets regularly with Director of Innovation and the Director of Storytelling to share learnings and activities as well as identify opportunities for collaboration
  • Authors and/or Co-Authors written pieces highlighting activities and experiences related to Cities United’s approach to safe, healthy and hopeful communities

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Organization: Nonprofit organizations