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Executive Director

Aquidneck Island Planning Commission
Job Title: Executive Director
Job Type:
Executive Director
Rhode Island
Job Search Ends:
February 19th, 2018
Organization's Website:


The Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC), a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks a new Executive Director to manage and guide its current programs and next phase of growth. This person will further advance a crucial strategic planning process to transform and build the organization’s capacity, and improve services to better assist Aquidneck Island municipalities in addressing the community’s most urgent needs.

This process includes developing effective programs to address challenges facing coastal communities today, including: climate change, infrastructure such as transportation and broadband, water quality, and storm and emergency resiliency, as well as determining the staffing needs to meet these demands and formulating innovative fundraising strategies.

AIPC seeks a creative leader with strong relationship building, facilitation and communication skills to actualize the vision, who will foster a resilient island community through programs designed to coordinate municipal initiatives, educate and inform the public and add value and innovation to solutions that address island concerns.

About the Organization

The mission of AIPC is to preserve and improve Aquidneck Island's environment,economy and quality of life. At its core, AIPC brings people together to solve island-wide community issues – leading and supporting collaborative planning and action to ensure that the Island remains a great place to live, work, visit, and thrive.

Located on beautiful Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island, AIPC has fostered collaboration and addressed island needs for over 30 years, serving the residents of all three Island municipalities - Portsmouth, Middletown and Newport. AIPC provides the Aquidneck Island community with opportunities and professional support to help resolve island-wide issues and facilitates solutions on comprehensive planning issues on numerous fronts, including transportation, water quality, land use and development. It provides a forum for collaboration and consensus building among the three municipalities, the state of Rhode Island, Naval Station Newport, and other civic, state and federal organizations. 

AIPC’s Board of Directors is appointed by the municipal Councils - four residents of each of the municipalities are appointed for terms as set by the Councils. The Board also has ex- officio members from Naval Station Newport and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce, and elected officials from each of the municipalities who serve as liaisons to their respective Councils.

The Board meets monthly to set AIPC policy and to identify, select and review projects and programs. AIPC applies for grants from private foundations, state and federal agencies to fund projects and currently, is primarily funded through government grants. Aquidneck Island municipalities provide limited funding to demonstrate their support of AIPC programs. 

Job Summary

The Ideal Candidate

The AIPC Executive Director will be the primary public face of the organization, will further develop a strong and broad-based fundraising capacity, keep the board strong and engaged, and inspire and manage a dedicated staff team.

The ideal candidate for AIPC will possess and demonstrate abilities in the following areas:

  • Passion for Mission: The successful candidate must have a genuine passion for inclusive community engagement and demonstrated experience in or knowledge of coalition work and principles in semi-rural and urban environments.
  • Collaborator and Bridge Builder: The ideal candidate will have the skills to forge collaborative relationships and partnerships with various public, private and non-profit constituencies and community residents and stakeholders. The Executive Director will have proven problem solving and facilitation skills.
  • Communicator: The candidate will be an excellent written and oral communicator and spokesperson who is comfortable in large public settings and will advocate on behalf of the Aquidneck Island community.
  • Fundraising and Resource Management Leader: The Executive Director will have expertise in acquiring diverse funding and will possess good writing skills for grant and solicitation development. S/he will be familiar with effective financial and operational management in a nonprofit agency of AIPC’s size.
  • Diplomat: The AIPC Executive Director will be a culturally sensitive leader with political savvy who possesses a practical strategic approach and a demonstrated ability to grow the capacity of AIPC to achieve its full potential.
  • Team Builder: The Executive Director will inspire confidence and trust in staff to work to their greatest potential and be accountable to their work while adhering to the organization’s values of inclusion and service.
  • Grant Writing: The Executive Director will have demonstrated proficiency in the writing and management of grant applications and in working with potential grant funding organizations.
  • Transparency: The AIPC Executive Director will understand and have experience ensuring that the operations of AIPC are visible to relevant government and private stakeholders and the public. The ideal Executive Director should have an understanding of open meeting and access to public records law and regulation.
  • Education: The successful candidate will hold a BS/BA or advanced degree in urban and regional planning, public administration or relevant field, a minimum of seven or more years of increasing leadership responsibility, with at least three years at the management level. 


Opportunities and challenges for AIPC and its Executive Director include:

Vision and Stakeholder Relations

  • Through strategic planning process, develop forward thinking and innovative programs in cooperation with local municipalities to address the greatest needs facing the island, ensuring that AIPC remains true to its vision.
  • Maintain and grow strong, collaborative and mutually supportive relationships with community stakeholders, the island municipalities and the naval community including local and state elected officials, funders, nonprofit and neighborhood leaders, among others. Creating stronger and more supportive inter-agency connections and communications with island municipalities and agencies.
  • Consider possibilities in 21st century community building: Smart Cities’ initiatives, sustainable living, and alternative energy, as well as promote an ongoing high-speed broadband initiative.


  • Explore and apply new models to diversify the AIPC’s funding sources beyond government grants and significantly increase the funding base while maintaining dynamic and mutually beneficial relationships with current funders, both public and private.

Internal Structures

  • Assess AIPC’s programming to determine the optimal strategic focus for the next decade to maximize program impact while ensuring long-term institutional sustainability.
  • Further develop AIPC’s organizational capability, capacity and staff, with consistent management practices that are effective and compassionate.
  • Increase AIPC’s commitment to be a data driven organization through outcome measures and by implementing systems to track those measures.
  • Update AIPC’s communications and promotional venues, as well as office management tools, to improve communications capacity and work place environment 


The successful candidate will hold a BS/BA or advanced degree in urban and regional planning, public administration or relevant field, a minimum of seven or more years of increasing leadership responsibility, with at least three years at the management level. 


This is a full-time position offering a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with skill and experience. 

How to Apply

Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements to AIPCsearch@gmail.com using the subject line: ‘AIPC Exec Director Application’, or mail to: Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, Attn: Search Committee, 55 John Clarke Road Suite A9, Middletown, RI 02842. Writing samples, grants awarded, and other relevant documents may be included. No phone calls please.

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