Community Development Director (Isles)

Isles is seeking a Community Development Director to enhance and improve our work creating and supporting sustainable, safe, and healthy neighborhoods. Reporting to the Managing Director of Community Planning & Development (CP&D), and supervising three staff members, this position will support existing and develop new projects that further Isles’ community development priorities; in particular around affordable and healthy housing, youth violence reduction, and community-informed redevelopment. The position includes community-based outreach and engagement, office/administrative work, and hands-on implementation and management of projects. Salary (starting at $70k) will reflect experience and qualifications.


  • Project start-up and management, including development, implementation, oversight, and hiring for new initiatives related to community development;
  • Effective community building, organizing, and engagement, including planning, coordination, and facilitation of community engagement and organizing efforts in multiple neighborhoods;
  • Secondary supervision of CP&D staff;
  • Presenting complex ideas and findings in audience-appropriate ways;
  • Advocating for data-informed best practices in public policy, community development, and urban design;
  • Data gathering, management, communication, and coordination;
  • Participation on various committees and collaboratives to advance community-informed priorities around the issues of community health, youth violence, and healthy housing, among others
  • Applying current research around community development strategies; and
  • Identifying, writing, and managing grants and other sources of funding.

WHO WILL BE SUCCESSFUL: This position is an excellent opportunity for a motivated, experienced, and creative individual to direct and support community development efforts at an established and respected organization that is seeking to grow and expand the depth and breadth of services provided. The successful candidate enjoys working with community members, colleagues at Isles and other non-profits, and public and elected officials; and thrives in public settings, including presentations, meetings, and planning sessions. The Community Development Director will bring a critical commitment to the delivery of Isles’ and CP&D’s services, applying knowledge, skills, and best practices to improve and expand delivery of services. The Director will identify opportunities, partnerships, funding sources, and efficiencies to broaden and deepen CP&D’s offerings, while ensuring that community members’ interests remain the priority of projects and services. The successful candidate is enthusiastic, self-critical, reflective, and committed to the potential of community development work; aware of their own history and experience in the context of community development work; and willing to learn from their successes, failures, and experiences.


  • Bachelors degree in social sciences, public policy, law, social work, public health, or related field; Masters preferred
  • 4 years+ of staff supervision and team leadership experience in a non-profit or comparable setting
  • Evidence of successful project development and implementation
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and follow through on delegated tasks
  • Demonstrated record of community-informed organizing or engagement experience
  • Proven history of working with varied and conflicting stakeholders and audiences
  • Familiarity with principles of new urbanism, urban planning, redevelopment
  • Familiarity with youth violence reduction strategies
  • Effective grant management and reporting experience
  • Cultural competency and cultural humility
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred

ABOUT COMMUNITY PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT AT ISLES: Consisting of 11 full-time staff and multiple seasonal staff members, the Isles CP&D Team collaborates with residents and community stakeholders to identify community concerns and priorities, create action-oriented, community-led neighborhood plans, and secure resources to sustain neighborhood revitalization over the long term. To do this, we implement evidence-based strategies to enhance and strengthen communities, including community and school gardens, food and nutrition education, coordination of neighborhood redevelopment, economic development programs, beautification and activation of underutilized properties, cost-effective recreation programs, and advocacy for policy and program changes. In addition, CP&D leads city-wide research and planning initiatives related to violence reduction, creative placemaking, and food systems. CP&D’s work represents a holistic effort to positively change perception and experience of neighborhoods, streets, and communities across Trenton, integrating urban agriculture, real estate development, placemaking, and planning.

ABOUT ISLES: Founded in 1981, Isles is a nationally recognized nonprofit community development and environmental organization with the mission to foster self-reliant families in healthy, sustainable communities. Each year, Isles reaches thousands of central New Jersey residents with opportunities for at-risk youth job training, affordable housing development, financial literacy training, homeownership counseling, community gardening, environmental health and education, community organizing, and regional planning.

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK FOR ISLES: Throughout its nearly 40 year history, Isles has proactively and innovatively anticipated and responded to changing needs and priorities of the Trenton community. Isles works to impact underlying causes of social inequities in meaningful and effective ways, while ensuring a healthy work-life balance for staff members. Isles’ culture is built around collaboration and mutual support, internally and externally, and a socially conscious commitment to advancing social justice and equity. Our team consists of more than 50 employees, plus a corps of volunteers and an engaged Board of Directors.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should submit cover letter, resume and recent writing sample to Your application materials should demonstrate why you’re a good fit for this position and what specific skills, experience, talents, and interest you’ll bring to the table.

Deadline – 02/28/2020