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Senior Project Manager (Research and Policy)

Req ID: 4701
Location: Chicago - Loop
# of Openings: 1
FT/PT: Full time
Employment Type: Regular
Salary Schedule: Grade 112
Job Notes:



Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, works in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Heartland Alliance provides a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs and justice – and leads state and national policy efforts, which target lasting change for individuals and society.


Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Poverty & Economic Opportunity focus on ensuring that everyone who wants to work has the tools and opportunities to do so and that no one who works full time lives poverty. National Initiatives encompass projects dedicated to helping marginalized and chronically unemployed individuals access the labor market and advance in employment, through policy advocacy, field building, research, and coalition building. The National Center on Employment and Homelessness (NCEH) is one of these national initiatives, focused on elevating employment and good jobs in the fight to prevent and end homelessness through systems collaborations, policy change and field building.


The Senior Project Manager will have a leadership role on the team in helping to set direction for NCEH work. This team member will manage and execute the day-to-day functions and activities of NCEH while working collaboratively with the National Initiatives Director and other team members.


Ideally, this candidate will work out of our Chicago offices or Washington D.C. but we are committed to finding the best candidate and are open to a candidate working from a remote location.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Lead the development, monitoring, and execution of the project work plan in collaboration with National Initiatives team.
  • Be the point of contact with project placed-based efforts. Monitor progress and developments.
  • Identify technical assistance needs of place-based projects and coordinate assistance and appropriate National Initiatives staff and consultants to support project needs.
  • Develop deep knowledge on relevant workforce and homeless system and policy issues in order to identify opportunities and leverage points to advance our work.
  • Monitor relevant workforce and homeless systems, relevant federal and state level policy and systems activity.
  • Seek out and execute on opportunities to lift up and disseminate place-based and other project learnings through NI channels. This includes identifying, monitoring, documenting , authoring and co-authoring relevant field building and best practice and policy briefs, tools, case studies, infographics and other resources, developing and hosting webinars or podcasts, trainings and other dissemination strategies.
  • Collaborate on content development and logistics of national conferences and project events.
  • Draft project communications including website, e-news content, issue-specific communications as needed. 
  • Cultivate and maintain strategic relationships and partnerships with decision-makers, allied individuals, practitioners, coalitions, and organizations to advance project goals.
  • Represent our work in a myriad of settings across the country including meetings, events, and conferences.
  • Collaborate with Heartland Alliance program staff to identify program and policy/systems barriers and identify solutions in order to advance work.
  • Contribute to fundraising efforts including grant writing and grant reports as needed.
  • Supervise graduate student interns and/or staff as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Competencies:  To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies.


  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information, Uses intuition and experience to identify where and how information can and should be best used to support policy change.
  • Strategic Thinking – Evaluates information, landscape, and circumstances to determine the best course of action, Develops short-and long-term strategies to achieve goals, shifts approach as needed;
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs and audience; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  •   Dependability- Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals. Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience:A graduate degree in public policy, law, public administration, social work, urban planning or related field, plus five years’ experience or a Bachelor’s Degree plus seven years’ experience. Experience includes coalition building with a focus on achieving systemic change, public policy, urban planning, or research. Experience providing direct service to people who have experienced homelessness or poverty and/or knowledge of homelessness and housing policy and systems is a plus.
  • Language Skills:Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals related toour work, Ability to write publications that conform to prescribed style, format, and audience.  Ability to effectively present information internally to management and externally to a range of stakeholders including individuals in leadership positions.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Ability to actively listen, synthesize and discern information from a variety of stakeholders and sources. Ability to build and maintain relationships overtime to support project goals.
  • Reasoning Ability:Ability to define problems, collect information, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret information from a variety of sources.
  • Computer Skills:To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Excel, the Microsoft Office suite, cloud-based project management software like Asana, and communications platforms like Goto Meeting/Webinar, Skype for Business, or Slack.


Physical Demands The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit and reach with hands and arms.


Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate


    Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.

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