Downtown Special Projects Manager, Chapel Hill, NC

Downtown Special Projects Manager, Chapel Hill, NC

The Job

The Downtown Special Projects Manager (DSPM) will lead the implementation of the Downtown 2020 Work Plan under the direction of the Assistant to the Town Manager for Organizational and Strategic Initiatives, the Town’s Economic Development Officer and the Town Manager.  It is expected that the DSPM will advance the work plan through project management, partnerships, collaboration and innovation.  This is a new position that reflects the Town Council’s focus on the Downtown and the commercial development strategy.

Downtown Chapel Hill is the cultural, social, and historic hub of the Chapel Hill community. Downtown is where the Town and the University converge, and for many who live in and visit Chapel Hill, Downtown is the focal point – where people meet, connect, and reminisce.  Using the Downtown 2020 Strategy, the Town Council has set a course to undertake short term capital projects and long-term planning projects to create a more diverse downtown that engages residents, students, visitors and workers day to day.

Want to lead this effort?  Here’s what you’ll need to get the job done:

  • Project management skills that incorporate the ability to work well with and understand the perspectives of a wide range of individuals and groups.
  • A strong desire to get results along with the persistence needed to move a project through various Town and community processes.
  • Excellent collaboration and relationship building skills that establish partnerships and effective teamwork within and outside the Town’s organizational structure.
  • An innovation mindset that actively solicits and fosters the ideas of others, is able to work well within an evolving environment and performs within an acceptable level of risk while ensuring forward movement on commitments.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills to articulate, navigate and facilitate dialogue whether in public forums, town work teams or community stakeholder interactions.
  • MPA, MBA, MCRP preferred but not required.  2-5 years of work experience preferred.


About the Town of Chapel Hill

Want a career in Local Government Management? The Town of Chapel Hill is committed to internal talent development and promotion and will provide exposure and developmental opportunities to help employees build the portfolio of technical skills and experiences needed to advance a management career.  This position will be located in the Manager’s Office for two years and may move to additional departments as the position evolves.

Chapel Hill is a multicultural university town where each day celebrates connections and choice:  where a dynamic downtown and networked community inspire connections among people, ideas, the region, and the world; where innovation, technology, discovery, learning, and the arts continually animate a town alive with choices, options, and opportunities to live, work, play, and prosper.


Duties and Responsibilities

Project Management:

  • Takes a strategic, creative, and innovative approach to issues and problems and takes calculated risks.
  • Uses best practices to manage delivery of work products on-time and within budget.
  • Solves problems and resolves issues in difficult, complex and/or contentious situations.
  • Effectively represents diverse interests, and objectively evaluates alternative approaches.
  • Develops and manages effective and inclusive public processes to ensure meaningful opportunities for input and review on projects and programs.
  • Leads planning, development, and budget management of public infrastructure, park, real estate, development assistance projects, and/or adaptive reuse of historic infrastructure and public space.


  • Prepares and reviews project and operations reports, council and board information and agenda memos, correspondence, presentations, and other related information. Communicates effectively (orally and in writing)
  • Develop and communicate complex presentations in a public setting at Advisory Board and Commission meetings and Town Council meetings.
  • Works independently and checks in at the appropriate times for guidance and approval.


  • Connects internal and external resources to advance mutual interests and common goals.
  • Serves as a liaison within to outside agencies; represents the Town on variety of projects coordinated with outside agencies and groups; serves as Town representative with regulatory agencies, other local governments, non-profit organizations, neighborhood agencies, etc.
  • Coordinates cross-departmental efforts with Housing and Community, Planning and Sustainability, Public Works and Parks and Recreation by building relationships with town staff; external stakeholders, and participating in Town teams.


Go online to complete the Town’s application at: