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Program and Communications Associate

Washington DC

Smart Growth America (SGA) is a national nonprofit that empowers communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to create livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

SGA seeks a dynamic and passionate individual to support the Thriving Communities team. This team weaves together complementary disciplines to partner with diverse local leaders to create healthy places where people can prosper. Thriving Communities leverages SGA’s multidisciplinary skill sets and experiences to partner with communities of all sizes throughout the country through comprehensive, on-the-ground technical assistance. Our programming spans transportation, economic development, fiscal health, land use, arts and culture, public health, resilience, community design, and Complete Streets. Through our work, we serve as a portal to connect communities to each other and to programs across Smart Growth America.

Job Description

The Thriving Communities Program and Communications Associate will be a member of Smart Growth America’s (SGA) Thriving Communities team, reporting to the Deputy Director of Thriving Communities, and is expected to contribute to a fast-paced, collaborative team environment. This position works closely with staff to advance SGA’s role in thought leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance. Specifically, the Program and Communications Associate works to support planning, development, and implementation of program and communications work to support the National Complete Streets Coalition’s work, and other cross-disciplinary work and projects for the Thriving Communities Team as needed.


Thought Leadership

  • Contributes research and content to the Coalition’s signature reports, such Dangerous by Design.
  • Serves as the Project Manager for the Best Complete Streets Policies Report.
  • Conducts research as directed to support Team reports.


  • Drafts blog pieces that elevate the Coalition’s work or advance a key priority.
  • Provide content for the Coalition’s monthly newsletter.
  • Helps to schedule and provide content for the Coalition’s social media accounts (blogs, twitter, etc.).
  • Manages the writing and scheduling of the Coalition’s monthly e-newsletter.
  • Tracks the Coalition’s presence in the media.

Technical Assistance

  • Manages the logistics for a set of technical assistance projects or workshops for the Coalition. This involves managing the schedule, coordinating with the technical assistance instructors, overseeing the invoicing, and collaborating with the clients on setting the dates, venue, and other logistics for any workshops.
  • Manages the Coalition’s monthly webinar series, which includes overseeing the schedule, coordinating with speakers, promoting the webinar through the Coalition’s communication channels, and writing up the recap blog post.
  • Contributes to research and content for the Coalition’s distance learning modules.
  • Serves as the first point of contact for communities working on Complete Streets policies.
  • Serves as the staff member supporting contract work related to Complete Streets policies.


  • Manages the implementation of the Coalition’s events and meetings, such as the Annual Dinner and Steering Committee meetings.


  • Prepares context to promote advocacy efforts on social media and through blogs.
  • Serves as the staff support for the Coalition’s Federal Strategies Committee.
  • Prepares educational materials for the Coalition’s advocacy work.


  • Assists with the writing and editing of grant proposals.
  • Manages the Coalition’s partners program, which involves tracking the Partner’s donations, serves as one of the main points of contact, and ensuring their questions are tended to in a timely manner.

Project Management

  • May manage up to one to two projects at a time.
  • Supports senior staff in project management, helping with scheduling, event logistics, invoicing, and presentations.

External relations

  • Serves as an ambassador for the Thriving Communities team and Smart Growth America.

Additional duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a four-year college degree, higher educational attainment preferred, and at least 2 to 3 years of related experience.


Salary $49,000-$54,000/year. This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. Benefits include health insurance, 401(k), paid vacation and sick time.

How to apply

Please send a resume, cover letter, and a portfolio or links to relevant work samples to the Deputy Director of Thriving Communities, Emily Schweninger, eschweninger [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org, with “Program and Communications Associate, Thriving Communities” in the subject line. In your cover letter, please indicate how you learned of this job opportunity. Applications will be accepted immediately on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Posted March 19, 2020

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