Vice President of Planning and Policy

Municipal Art Society of New York

The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS) is seeking a strong leader, advocate, and consummate manager to direct its advocacy, planning, and legal team. New York City is at a key moment of transition as the pandemic subsides, leaving a city facing enormous health, social, and economic strains. The city also faces one of the most significant changes in governmental leadership in recent decades. MAS recognizes this moment as one of great importance as the city repositions itself for a more equitable future. MAS is seeking a Vice President who can envision the needs of all New Yorkers across the five boroughs, and advocate for the creation of an ever more livability city.


The Municipal Art Society of New York lifts up the voices of the people in the debates that shape New York’s built environment and leads the way toward a more livable city from sidewalk to skyline. MAS envisions a future in which all New Yorkers share in the richness of city life—where growth is balanced, character endures, and a resilient future is secured.

Over more than 125 years of history, our advocacy efforts have led to the creation of the New York City Planning Commission, Public Design Commission, Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Tribute in Light, as well as the preservation of Grand Central Terminal, the lights of Times Square, and the Garment District.

MAS’s current initiatives include reform of the New York City Environmental Quality Review process (CEQR), the Fight for Light campaign (introducing access to sunlight as a critical element of planning for the public realm), and the Livable Neighborhoods Program. Upcoming advocacy, preservation, and policy efforts will focus on New York City’s resilience with a special focus on the equity of the built environment and the protection of key aspects of New York City’s character. Our website provides a full picture of our current and future work.


Reporting to the President, the Vice President of Planning and Policy serves as a member of the senior leadership team and participates actively in strategic and operational planning for the organization as a whole. In partnership with the President, this position is responsible for all advocacy, policy, planning, and preservation initiatives and legal interventions. Managing seven professionals with expertise in advocacy, planning, law, analytics, preservation, and data visualization, the Vice President of Planning and Policy will build on solid foundation of success in policy development, advocacy positions, and providing new analytic tools and reports on the evolution of the built environment in all five boroughs.

The VP will also work closely with the Board of Directors and the Society’s Planning, Preservation, and Law Committees, activating and supporting them as key advisors and members of MAS.


  • Working with specialized staff, direct the organization’s key initiatives in the following areas:
  • Planning: Research, Data Analysis, and Policy Development
  • Land Use & Zoning
  • Environmental Review
  • Historic Preservation
  • Urban design
  • Advocacy: Campaign Development, Coalition Building, and Livable Neighborhoods Program
  • Legislation and Policy Implementation
  • Partnerships & Initiatives
  • Community Capacity Building
  • Legal: Key Citywide Issue Identification and Implementation
  • Recruitment and management of outside counsel
  • Independent legal research and reporting
  • Support of other community legal initiatives
  • Play a lead role in advocating for and communicating the organization’s policy initiatives with elected officials, City agencies, partners, stakeholders, and community groups.
  • Oversee the organization’s relationships with government representatives at the City, State and federal levels.
  • Align initiatives across development, programming, policy, legal, and advocacy.
  • Collaborate with the President on the implementation of the organization’s strategic direction.
  • Supervise, coach, and recruit the planning, preservation, advocacy, and legal team.
  • Build and maintain relationships with partner organizations and other stakeholders.
  • Support the Society’s Planning, Preservation, and Law Committees.
  • Advance the organization’s commitment to equity and service to all New Yorkers.
  • Develop and manage the department budget.
  • Assist in the cultivation of key funders.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in planning, preservation, architecture, government, law, or associated field preferred.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of experience in a leadership and management role.
  • Demonstrated success in policy development (whether external or internal to government) and/or advocacy campaigns.
  • Deep knowledge of urban planning, preservation, and legal issues, preferably in New York City.
  • Proven ability to present complex ideas clearly and accessibly to a wide variety of audiences.
  • Strategic capacity to construct, articulate, and implement annual and multi-year plans.
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to prioritize activities of the team, maximize skillsets, and coach individual staff members to a level of high performance.
  • Experience working closely and collaboratively with Board members, commissions, public bodies, and senior staff.
  • Experience managing coalitions and engagement efforts.
  • Strong communication, emotional intelligence, and organizational skills.
  • A professional and resourceful style; the willingness and ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time.
  • High energy and passion for the MAS mission is essential; knowledge and understanding of the urban environment preferred.


Applicants should apply to Please include “VP Planning & Policy” in the subject line of your email message. Submission information should include a resume, and a letter describing their qualifications, interests, and potential impact in the role.

Address all correspondence to: Search Committee
ATTN: VP Planning & Policy

New York, NY
Due Date: 
Friday, July 16, 2021
Posted by Mary.Fichtner on May 27, 2021 - 11:53am