Central Park Conservancy

Full Job Description

Position: Vice President for Program Management
Reports to: Executive Director for Capital Projects
Job Function Full Time/Exempt

About Central Park and the Central Park Conservancy:
Central Park is one of the most famous and beloved urban public spaces in the world. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, the 843-acre park was the first purpose-built public park in the country and is a National Historic Landmark. The Central Park Conservancy, a private not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1980 to rescue the Park which had fallen into serious disrepair. Since that time, the Conservancy has overseen the investment of over $1 billion in the restoration of the Park, and now hosts over 40 million visitors a year.

The Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and celebrate Central Park as a sanctuary from the pace and pressures of city life, enhancing the enjoyment and well-being of all. The City of New York has formally entrusted the care of the Park to the Conservancy which is responsible for every aspect of the Park’s care, including landscape maintenance, capital improvements, and the visitor experience. Committed to sharing the best practices in urban park management, the Conservancy also serves as a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. The Conservancy employs over 325 people and has an annual operating budget of $80 million.

Position Summary
The Central Park Conservancy is seeking a Vice President for Program Management in the Capital Projects department who will work with the Conservancy’s executive and senior leadership team to develop and maintain the organization’s capital plan and to oversee the implementation of the capital program.

The department of Capital Projects is responsible for all restoration and reconstruction projects in the Park. Types of projects include landscapes, structures (buildings and bridges), and recreational facilities (playgrounds, athletic courts). The Department is approximately 30 people of mostly landscape architects, architects, and engineers each focused primarily on designing projects, managing consultant design efforts, or supervising construction by contractors.

The Capital Projects team is led by an Executive Director with the Vice President for Program Management, along with the Vice President for Design and Construction reporting directly. The department also has four Directors who report to their respective areas. Taken together this group forms the Leadership Team for the Department.

The Vice President for Program Management will provide leadership and direction to ensure the management and development of the multiyear capital plan and manage the program of active projects with a focus on improving process, managing resources, solving problems, and delivering projects. Working with the Capital Projects team, and across the organization, the Vice President for Program Management will ensure a well-coordinated Capital Plan as it evolves over time through the pressures of Park use or fundraising opportunities and ensures its implementation through the capital program of defined projects.

A highly collaborative position, the Vice President for Program Management will work closely with the Vice President for Design and Construction who is responsible for execution of the capital program by developing the designs and constructing the defined projects and leading the Studio Director for Landscape Architecture, the Director of Construction, and an Architecture team.

This position will also serve as a member of the Conservancy’s senior leadership team and contribute to strategic management and policy decisions across the organization.

Key Relationships

  • Capital Projects Leadership Team
  • President’s Office/ Institutional Planning
  • Office of Philanthropy
  • Park Operations
  • Finance
  • Marketing/Communications
  • Government/Community Relations

Leadership Capabilities

  • Drive success with sense of urgency, leads change, demonstrates resilience, accepts accountability
  • Drive innovation/thought leadership, develops talent, embraces technology, manages risk
  • Set example for highest level of ethical behavior, provides a sense of safety, fosters a sense of connection, belonging, diversity, & equity
  • Build relationships, creates effective teams, engages stakeholders, manages conflict, respects colleagues’ point of view, conveys humility
  • Take action required to maintain the organization’s reputation for excellence in design, preservation, restoration, and management.
  • Ability to delegate to maximize team performance
  • Strong problem-solving skills with ability to take decisive action


  • Ensure preparation of project briefs for projects in the capital plan which include project scope and estimated project costs that are consistent with strategic goals and operational objectives.
  • Direct management and monitoring of the capital program of work through applied practices and procedures to ensure schedules are met and organizational commitments are made.
  • Collaborate with the Leadership Team in the development of strategic goals and operational objectives, providing input based on the historic context, design appropriateness, technical feasibility, and public approval and regulatory framework.
  • Develop short- and long-term plans for restoration and renovation programs that are consistent with the Conservancy’s mission and strategic objectives.
  • Participate in the fundraising effort to ensure programmatic objectives are effectively communicated and donors see a direct connection between their contribution and a programmatic benefit.
  • Develop and implement effective systems for work planning and financial control to ensure that Board-approved budget and expense targets are met and projects operate with the approved budgets and financial policies.
  • Collaborate with Leadership Team to establish public, agency, and regulatory review framework and strategy. Monitors progress and schedule milestones.
  • Manage relations with City to ensure committed capital funding levels are maintained, funds are registered, and payments are received.
  • Oversees preparation of annual and multi-year program budgets.
  • Monitor efficiency and progress of work, reporting on performance of the programs and projects through a dashboard that aggregates project updates from the Leadership Team.
  • Oversee all contract administration.
  • Oversees the administration of personnel matters including staff training/professional development, performance review, and disciplinary issues


  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in managing complex design and construction projects.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field; an advanced degree preferred
  • Certified Project Manager preferred but not required
  • Demonstrate a passion for Central Park and Conservancy’s mission
  • Superior Management skills
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical as well as strategic thinker
  • Collaborative in nature; ability to establish strong relationships with key stakeholders
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
  • *Motor vehicle Driver’s Licenses valid in New York State

$200,000.00 – $225,000.00 per year based on experience

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