Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Its pioneering, multi-faceted approach to the planning, design, management and use of public spaces branded as “Placemaking” helps citizens transform their communities into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve the common good.
PPS was founded by Fred Kent in 1975 to expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, PPS has completed projects in more than 3000-plus communities in 47 countries and all 50 U.S. states and is the premier center for best practices, information, and resources on placemaking. Formed in 2013, over 1800 people from 83+ counties worldwide are members of PPS’ Placemaking Leadership Council.
In recent years, Placemaking has become a global movement as “Public Space” and “Placemaking” are now being understood as a means to address the global challenge cities and communities face today. As a result of these developments, PPS is evolving into a very different organization than it has been in the past, and is seeking to expand and grow its impact. PPS has been working on city, state, and global projects for many years and strong leadership of the organization at the management, staff, and board levels will be needed to continue to advance the organization’s progress. Partnerships with major national and international organizations offer much potential as well. PPS already has innovative and high-profile programs partnering with Southwest Airlines, The Brookings Institution and the Bass Family Foundations. Those relationships need to be strengthened and built upon.
PPS’ founder and longtime leader is retiring from the day-to-day management of the organization. As a result, the Board of Directors is seeking an exceptional leader with experience in and a passion for building communities as PPS’ next Chief Executive Officer.
The CEO of Project for Public Spaces is the leader of the organization and is responsible for the overall direction and management of the organization. The CEO reports to the Board of Directors and the ability to work closely with and be responsive to the Board is critical.
The CEO must be dynamic and entrepreneurial about developing opportunities for PPS, and will have the power and presence to advocate successfully and passionately on behalf of PPS in the public and private sectors. The position is a critical, highly visible one requiring a demonstrated ability to work with other non-profits, local community organizations, city and state governments, regulatory and NGO’s, as well private sector entities in the United States and internationally. While working collaboratively with staff across the organization to ensure success, the CEO is ultimately responsible for the business development, growth, stature, financial health, and image of PPS locally, nationally, and internationally.
Desired Skills and Experiences:
There is no perfect candidate. No candidate will have mastered or possess all of the skills, characteristics, and attributes described herein; rather, the ideal candidate will bring a mix of experience, qualities, and established track record in order to deftly lead strategic planning and change efforts in an organization operating in a dynamic environment:
Leadership and Management
Legal and Financial Oversight
Compensation is commensurate with experience.
PPS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
PPS has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Jack Lusk, CEO & Managing Partner, or Anne McCarthy, COO & Senior Director
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168
Please put the phrase “PPS CEO” in the subject line of your email.