Planning Principal Planner

Posted on February 25, 2019

Planning Principal Planner (PP219) February 14, 2019

Job Category: Principal
Experience Required: Minimum 10 years
Salary Range: $86,200 to $106,850

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is hiring a Principal Planner in the Planning Department. Highly qualified candidates will have experience in one or all of the following areas: long or short range planning at a municipal or county government level; multimodal transportation planning; market analysis and economic development.

CMAP is our region’s official comprehensive planning organization. The agency and its partners are implementing ON TO 2050, a new long-range comprehensive regional plan to help the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other qualityof-life issues through inclusive growth, resilience, and prioritized investment. At CMAP we recognize that one of our greatest assets is our people. A rich diversity of cultural backgrounds, life experiences, ideas, and lifestyles represented by CMAP employees will allow us to provide the best possible service to our region. See for more information, and details regarding benefits are at

Position Purpose
Successful candidate will be part of a large department and will provide advanced technical, professional and managerial support for implementation of CMAP’s long-range comprehensive regional plan, collaborating with multi-disciplinary teams across departments in project work for the agency.

The individual in this position will help to lead and manage the agency’s award-winning Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program and assist with the development of the agency’s new Local Capacity Building initiatives. CMAP is in the process of developing a set of targeted technical assistance services designed to build the capacity of local governments to resolve the increasingly complex issues they face in their communities. Initially the program will consist of four new or enhanced major components that support capacity building: the Agency’s existing Local Technical Assistance Program, Comprehensive Professional Development in the form of a Regional Leadership Academy, Coordinated Investment Studies similar to work currently being done in McHenry County, and a demonstration project for embedding staff as planners in local communities.

Principals primarily provide leadership to numerous projects, supervising the work of other staff; directly manage a small number of projects, with support from a team of staff; ensure a high quality of products across the program; assist in the selection of new projects; identify new strategic directions for the program, based on local interest and regional priorities; and many other activities. Overall, the position will have a high level of responsibility for the success of the Planning department, and will work collaboratively with other senior staff and agency leadership to manage and continually improve it. The position reports to the Deputy Executive Director of Planning. This position requires travel throughout the region and candidates must have the ability and willingness to work with communities across the region.

Essential Functions

  • Staff Management including: assigns, directs, trains, and reviews the work of staff; coaches, counsels, and evaluates staff performance; develops, coordinates, and ensures compliance with detailed staff work programs; coordinates staff schedules and priorities; recommends hiring and disciplinary actions.
  • Manages a portion of the Planning Department including oversight of multiple staff-led and/or consultant-led projects which includes the management of contracts and the work of external contractors or consultants.
  • Assists with the development of the annual work plan, the long-term vision for the Planning Department, and strategic vision for planning throughout the agency.
  • Identifies critical budget needs, develops business case for budget, and prepares cost estimates to support budget appropriation. Manages project budgets to ensure appropriate expenditures for timely completed work and services rendered.
  • Develops working relationships with partner agencies, regional organizations, other MPOs, stakeholders, community and elected officials, and representatives of private sector firms.
  • Serves as a subject matter expert for the agency in internal, external and public forums.
  • May serve on or oversee committees, task forces, and other bodies where CMAP representation is desired.
  • Collaborates with multi-disciplinary teams across departments in project work for the agency
  • Contributes to various work plan items as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Comprehensive knowledge of urban and/or regional planning practice and an understanding of environmental, social, land use, and transportation considerations in planning; skill in general principles of research, data collection and analysis, and technical writing; skill in the use of personal computers, associated software packages, hardware, and peripheral equipment; skill in utilizing spreadsheets, and skills or familiarity with geographic information systems (GIS); ability to read, write, understand, and critique complex plans and drawings; ability to conduct detailed research and prepare reports and findings; ability to prepare and effectively communicate a variety of types of information to external and internal audiences orally, in writing, and in presentations; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, elected officials, government staff, external partners, and the general public. Demonstrated ability to contribute to complex projects and work as part of a team is required.
Education and/or Experience Qualifications

Required: A Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Public Policy or a related discipline, plus a minimum of 10 years of progressive professional experience (excludes internships, fellowships, graduate or classwork) in planning, policy, or directly related field, and a minimum of five years of successful experience managing professional level employees.

Preferred: A Master’s degree in Planning, Public Policy, or a related discipline; multilingual capability and AICP certification.

How to Apply
Qualified candidates should apply online at to be considered.

Posting End Date This posting will close on March 14, 2019.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is an Equal Opportunity Employer.