Director of Public Affairs & Development (HS)

Hester Street is seeking an experienced development and/or communications professional to lead our public affairs and development team and serve as a senior leader in the organization as we scale the reach and impact of Hester Street’s innovative work in New York City and nationwide. We are looking for someone with at least 6-10 years of work experience to join a growing, dynamic organization that holds social justice as a core value.


About Hester Street

Hester Street (HST) is an urban planning, design and development nonprofit that works to ensure that neighborhoods are shaped by the people who live in them. We offer technical and capacity-building assistance to community-based organizations, private firms and government agencies on critical land use, neighborhood planning, and public and private community development projects. Innovative, inclusive community engagement is a critical thread through all of our projects. We work to create vibrant, just, equitable and resilient cities where we all can thrive.


About the Position

The Director of Public Affairs & Development is responsible for scaling the reach and impact of Hester Street's innovative work by cultivating and expanding a broad range of supports (small and large donors, foundations, governmental partners), generating coverage of HST’s approach and project work (in media, at conferences, in the planning/design/urban development field, and beyond) and supporting HST as we change the broader public narrative around inequity, the innovative power of community-driven planning and development, and what's possible in our cities.

The Director will work closely with HST leadership, and serve on its Senior Leadership Team, to creatively and strategically raise and scale the resources needed to meet HST's mission. The Director will supervise existing staff and help build out the team HST needs to maximize its impact in the public arena. The Director will have a clear and deep understanding of HST’s political vision, theory of change, and front-line programmatic work -- and will be a fast-study on the technical aspects of HST's work if they do not possess existing expertise. 

The Director needs a track record demonstrating innovative thinking and high impact execution, as well as strong writing skills and success building and managing effective teams in a fast-paced, results-oriented work environment.  The Director will have a lot of autonomy, room for innovation and creativity in execution of the position’s core responsibilities. This role requires an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to manage multiple priorities and deadlines.

This is a great opportunity for a highly motivated development professional who welcomes work in a collaborative environment to join a growing, high-energy team.


Development/Fundraising Strategy + Implementation Oversight

  • Create and execute a comprehensive fundraising/development plan and strategy;
  • Cultivate existing and identify and secure new sources of funding;
  • Oversee and contribute to the research, drafting, and submittal of grant proposals, RFPs, and relevant reports;
  • Manage and track annual development priorities;
  • Oversee the successful coordination of HST’s fundraising and external facing events throughout the year.



  • Communicate Hester Street’s approach and project experiences with a wide range of partners, contributing to the broader urban planning and community development fields;
  • Oversee the development of standard and innovative communication materials for print, web and social media;
  • Create and manage the implementation of a comprehensive communications plan;
  • Draft and/or approve content for internal and external communications.



  • Serve on HST Senior Leadership Team;
  • Contribute to the vision and strategic direction of the organization;
  • Liaise with HST Board members as necessary for fundraising and communications issues;
  • Manage existing staff and build out a highly skilled and well-rounded public affairs and development team.



  • At least seven years of development and/or communications experience;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Demonstrated success in securing institutional funding, planning fundraising events and/or developing effective campaigns.
  • Media – online, print and social – experience;
  • Pro-active, deadline-oriented and expert at juggling multiple projects;
  • Experience managing staff;
  • Comfortable with a high level of autonomy and practiced at developing innovative approaches and exercising strategic, out-of-the-box thinking;
  • Experience working in low-income communities, immigrant and other communities of color and/or with community-based organizations preferred;
  • Graphic design skills using InDesign and other Adobe Creative Suite programs a huge plus;
  • Language skills other than English, a huge plus.



Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, Hester Street offers a comprehensive benefits package.


To Apply

Please send cover letter, résumé and two work samples (one grant proposal and one communications piece preferred) to [email protected], with “Director of Public Affairs & Development” in the subject line.


Hester Street is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse workforce that reflects the populations with whom we partner. We seek to build an inclusive organization grounded in respect for differences and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, disability or veteran status.


Hester Street is a nonprofit organization incorporated as Hester Street Collaborative, Inc



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