Senior GIS Manager – Trust for Public Land

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Date Posted: 10-16-2017

The Senior GIS Manager is responsible for leading and directing complex GIS projects and programs that leverage sophisticated GIS analytical techniques in support of The Trust for Public Land’s (TPL) ”land for people” mission. The work involves thought leadership, deep understanding of spatial analysis concepts and application, project management, and the direction of staff. This person must be highly motivated, enthusiastic, creative, team-oriented, and innovative. Additionally, the Senior GIS Manager must be an effective presenter, facilitator, and translator of GIS concepts with the ability to engage and manage internal organization relationships as well as external partner relationships. This position will supervise 4-6 direct reports and consultants and collaborates with GIS and Planning leadership.

The GIS program supports projects ranging from the national to the neighborhood scale. Project types include Climate-Smart Cities, urban/parks plans, landscape or greenprint projects, database development and enrichment, online web development and mapping. This position will lead a team of GIS staff and consultants to implement cutting-edge, ESRI-based GIS solutions to implement projects. The position will also lead large, complex, multi-vendor, multi-stakeholder projects that includes contract management and budget oversight, as well as, project management and relationship building in support of analysis projects within the organization services. This position is responsible for maintaining a pipeline of projects for the GIS Program by working with state and national staff to identify opportunities and secure projects and grants.

This position will also work with key management teams to provide “thought leadership” to support organization services, programs and initiatives such as community conservation, large landscape assessments, social equity, health, gentrification/displacement, economic benefits, and Creative Placemaking. Providing GIS expertise to support these complex issues through research and development and maintaining strong professional relationships with the leads in each area is a key responsibility of the position. The TPL GIS team is known nationally for our technical expertise in GIS application development and deployment. The Senior GIS Manager will be responsible for leading and expanding this development in support of the mission of the organization.

Much of TPL’s work is related to park planning and equity analysis, trail connectivity studies, access to open space and recreation, land conservation, and related issues. Experience in park and recreation planning are highly desirable.

Essential Functions:
20% Staff Management: Collaborate with the GIS Director, Key PLAN management staff and the PLAN Director on strategic planning, project planning and day-to-day management of the GIS team and GIS projects – including troubleshooting issues. Collaborate with the GIS team through meetings and retreats and through daily problem-solving to advance the mission of the program and the organization. The Senior GIS Manager must be able to lead and navigate team dynamics gracefully and tactfully. This includes setting team morale, holding team members accountable for tasks, engaging peers and supervisors in problem solving, and providing constructive feedback on ideas.

50% Project Management: Manage focused projects like ParkScore®, foundation grants and sub-contracts. Lead scoping, project planning and implementation of GIS projects in coordination with key PLAN and TPL staff and external consultants. This includes:
Developing, tracking and implementing GIS work plans for large analysis projects, and organization GIS mission support
Project scoping, budget tracking, client management, technical management and stakeholder meeting facilitation. Acts as technical translator – communicating complex technical GIS topics to practitioners and stakeholders and translating client needs to GIS staff.
Establishing agreements and contracts; coordinating with staff and partners; tracking on progress and goals
Tracking work vis a vis specified budget and grant requirements using TPL systems. Lead efforts to revise scope or deliverables based on funding or time limitations

10% Client Management: Coordinate and collaborate with other TPL programs and staff on internal projects with significant application of GIS and applied research projects.

10% GIS Tool Development: Guide the development of “cutting-edge” analysis and tools in support of health, Creative Placemaking, Climate-Smart Cities, economic benefits, and other services and programs with an eye towards leveraging and replicating technologies across many projects.

10% Communications and Donor Relations: Promote and maintain effective partnerships among internal project managers, clients and other departments. Assist in the resolution of any client-related concerns on an as needed basis. Act as a stand in for the GIS Director as needed. Write white papers and articles for publications such as Esri ArcNews and ArcUser. Act as representative for GIS in meetings and conferences.


Master’s degree in geography, GIS, information technology or related field required
Demonstrated success with managing full lifecycles of complex, client-oriented GIS projects, from scoping to delivery and with balancing multiple projects simultaneously
Minimum of five years’ experience working in the GIS field, including advanced experience using ESRI tools (ArcGIS 10x, Pro, Model Builder, Spatial Analyst, Network Analyst, etc.), and advanced spatial/scenario analysis and modeling techniques. Expertise in image processing, vector and raster modeling techniques and a sound understanding of cartographic principles.
At least 3 years’ experience in project management and supervising staff.
Proven ability to manage “big databases” – including but not limited to designing databases (Geodatabases, ArcSDE, Access, Etc.), determining processing methods, automations and iterations, knowledge of hardware/software architecture, etc. Expertise in file documentation and system maintenance required. Experience customizing ArcGIS using VBA or Python a plus.
Expertise in project management with proven ability in scoping and managing and implementing multiple projects at a given time. Experience in strategic planning and management, including leading large-scale initiatives.
Excellent presentation and facilitation skills with demonstrated ability to develop strategic approaches to stakeholder involvement and meeting facilitation.
Proven ability to translate technical information for non-technical audiences.
Proven ability in developing and maintaining professional, long-term internal relationships and client relationships
Ability to design systems and models based on stakeholder objectives
Knowledge of public land conservation programs, urban planning and GIS issues, urban park and open space issues, growth management, or other related fields.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills; public speaking experience.
Willingness to travel – sometimes frequently
Willingness to work flexible hours
An entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, energy, the capacity to lead, mentor and inspire others, the capacity to be both a high performer and a team player, ability to build strong professional relationships, common sense, and a sense of humor.
Experience using GIS to solve urban issues such as park access, gentrification, displacement, green infrastructure needs, sustainability and connectivity desirable. | Conserving Nature Near You