Director, Center for Strategic Relations

Atlanta, Georgia
$103,907 - $179,610(no Social Security deductions except for Medicare portion, approx. 1.45% of sala
Jan 06, 2017
Jan 20, 2017
Focus Areas
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level


CLOSE DATE: Open until filled



The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency that focuses on issues critical to the region’s success, including growth and development, transportation, water resources, services for older adults and workforce solutions. ARC is dedicated to unifying the region’s collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. This is done through professional planning initiatives, the provision of objective information and the involvement of the community in collaborative partnerships.

In order to address the challenges and opportunities presented now and in the future to the Atlanta region, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) must pursue highly productive ways to meaningfully inform and engage a broad spectrum of strategic partners, leaders and constituents around an evolving set of strategic initiatives.

The scope and scale of regional issues requires building a strong network of diverse stakeholders who can contribute new ideas, energy and resources to achieving a collective impact.  ARC’s Center for Strategic Relations works to connect, communicate and collaborate across boundaries, disciplines, cultures and generations to harness the imagination, ideas and energy of regional stakeholders and ARC colleagues to achieve progress for the Atlanta Region.

Broad Internal Objectives:

Create a culture that infuses the value of objective information and engagement to serve every aspect of ARC’s work. Provide tools and assistance for every staff member to dynamically engage a broad spectrum of regional residents. Create clear messages and common language for ARC staff to communicate critical agency services, products, issues and objectives effectively.


Broad External Objectives:

Expand and enrich various local governmental, community-based and regional constituent bases and their respective ownership and involvement in achieving positive regional innovation, progress and outcomes. Expand ARC’s brand to include not only a planning focus, but an outcome/action focus. Build broad ownership in the future of the Atlanta region. 

The Director of the Center for Strategic Relations sets the strategic direction of the Center for Strategic Relations, provides organizational leadership, enhances the capabilities of staff and manages successful program and project execution. As a senior member of ARC’s executive leadership team, this individual provides vision and direction for the agency’s strategic communications and marketing strategies/activities; its government affairs program for local, state and national arenas; and its community engagement strategies and initiatives. This is accomplished through the direction of three ARC Divisions: Communications & Marketing, Community Engagement and Government Affairs (receives policy direction from the Executive Director).

The Center for Strategic Relations is charged with leading ARC’s efforts to connect, communicate and collaborate to drive positive change for the Atlanta region. Key areas of this work include implementing a strategic communications program to support the goals and key initiatives of ARC; implementing a regional community engagement plan; and designing and deploying a year-round state and congressional legislative relations program.


•          Provides strategic counsel to the ARC Executive Director, board and staff;

•          Engages and builds partnerships with local governments, community organizations and regional stakeholders to focus on key regional issues, challenges and opportunities;

•          Makes presentations to the ARC board, high-level policy and staff committees, local governments, civic groups and other interested parties;

•          Represents ARC to the media and the public, to articulate, inform and advocate regarding regional issues or ARC initiatives;

•          Recommends development of new program, engagement and communications initiatives;

•          Works collaboratively with other ARC managers to evolve ARC’s programs and plans to address the region’s future needs;

•          Prepares and supervises departmental budget; monitors expenditures to ensure compliance with budget constraints;

•          Acts as lead staff support for the ARC Strategic Relations Committee;

•          Leads and manages a multi-disciplinary staff of communications/marketing, graphic design, website, video, community engagement and government affairs professionals;

•          Performs other duties as assigned. 



•          Knowledge of communications/marketing best practices;

•          Knowledge of legislative structures and processes at state and federal levels;

•          Knowledge of at least one of the areas of competence: communications, marketing, public and media relations, governmental or legislative affairs, external affairs or community engagement/public involvement;

•          Demonstrated experience with engaging and interacting positively with a broad/diverse set of constituents;

•          Demonstrated experience in framing and managing new initiatives and programs, as well as providing strategic and creative direction and overall project management for large special events, such as ARC’s annual State of the Region breakfast;

•          Demonstrated experience in leading collaboration and achieving synergy from multidisciplinary teams;

•          Ability to think strategically, creatively and innovatively to address complex issues;

•          Ability to set broad vision and  implementation strategies;

•          Effective communicator with a proven record of positive public relations and media interaction, with strong public speaking and writing skills and is comfortable being a spokesperson for ARC;

•          Skilled and objective negotiator and problem-solver, one who can represent ARC well with all constituencies and contacts, and where appropriate, develop alliances and partnerships with other organizations;

•          Ability to foster open communications with and among staff, making sure to build a culture of trust, collaboration, innovation, high performance and integrity;

•          Highly developed interpersonal skills to interact effectively with internal staff, the ARC Board and a broad range of stakeholders and organizations;

•          Ability to think strategically and creatively to address complex issues.


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (equivalent combination acceptable): 

•          Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, public affairs, public policy, public administration or closely related field

•          Ten (10) years of progressively responsible management experience in overseeing the preparation and administration of work programs, financial plans and budgets


•          Master’s degree in communications, public relations, public affairs or a related field; or demonstrated equivalent experience in one or more of these stated areas. 


In addition to the detailed examples of responsibilities and abilities contained herein, all employees of the Atlanta Regional Commission are expected to model behavior consistent with the guiding principles outlined in our Evolution Strategy. Specifically, incumbents are responsible for demonstrating work habits that are:

1. Interdisciplinary by promoting professional and interpersonal connections and integration across functional disciplines; 2. Holistic by seeking expertise within the team, division or agency to produce his/her work output, and demonstrating a strong understanding of and support for interrelationships between their work and the work of others in the team, division or agency; 3. Actionable by continuously striving to improve his/her capabilities to produce sustainable outcomes, and displaying a strong need for achievement and a high energy level to attain goals; 4. Outcome Based by taking the initiative to meet goals and expectations, and consistently striving to produce tangible results with significant visible impact, and;  Targeted toward 5. Ensuring Colleagues' Success by willingly and deliberately providing his/her expertise to others in an effort to build and sustain effective internal and external working relationships, and by modeling behaviors that consistently demonstrate concern for colleagues' success, needs, respect, trust and integrity. 


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