Chief of Park Development, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority

See full job description here


The Chief of Park Development (Class: Division Chief I or II) will oversee the implementation of various park development and planning projects, including supervision of several project managers. This position requires a highly motivated, responsible, organized and self-starter individual who can handle an array of tasks, has good judgement and can make decisions, and works independently or as part of a team. The individual must be able to come up with multiple solutions to any given problem, in areas that may be outside their expertise, and be willing to take on uncertain challenges. The Chief of Park Development must prioritize staff development and mentoring.

This is technical and professional work for a person at a senior staff/management level. The work performed will support MRCA’s land acquisition and capital improvement Workprograms, operation of nature parks within greater Los Angeles, and other efforts related to public access, open space conservation, habitat restoration, and urban park development. 

Applications are due August 5, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. 


This is a full-time, exempt, at-will position.


This position reports to the Deputy Executive Officer. Assorted tasks may be supervised by the Executive Officer. The position supervises 3-8 other staff.


The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

  • Implement Land Acquisition and Park Improvement Workprograms, including lead project management for multiple projects at once.
  • Supervise and mentor project managers. Review progress on park improvement and land acquisition projects on a regular basis, including budgets, and advise project managers accordingly. Recruit, train and develop staff.
  • Supervise the development and implementation of projects benefiting disadvantaged communities and along the Los Angeles River. Identify and scope new projects.
  • Lead and/or participate in multi-disciplinary project teams (including MRCA staff, consultants, partner agency staff, and project stakeholders) responsible for land acquisition and park development projects.
  • Prepare and give public presentations on a variety of topics related to the Land Acquisition and Park Improvement Workprograms, watershed planning, and projects benefitting disadvantaged communities and along the Los Angeles River.
  • Make reports about improvement projects to Executive Staff, Governing Board, funders, and the general public. Keep Deputy Executive Officer apprised of progress regularly. Liaison between project managers and executive staff.
  • Perform administrative and management tasks, including management of personnel, annual budgets for personnel and projects, and quarterly reporting. Review time sheets and expense reports.
  • Make employment recommendations to Executive Staff.
  • Attend senior staff meetings and participate in management discussions.
  • Develop standard procedures to improve project administration, and train staff.
  • Ensure compliance with agency procedures.
  • Review proposal submissions from consultants and make recommendations to Executive Staff and Governing Board.
  • Travel to various park sites to conduct site evaluations and evaluate projects.
  • Seek out grant and funding opportunities for existing and new projects.
  • Analyze, verify and obtain payment approvals for invoices.
  • Produce written materials including staff reports, text for publication, proposals, progress reports, and a variety of other documents.
  • Work closely, collaboratively, and practice clear and frequent communication with other staff, and other project stakeholders, to complete projects.
  • Maintain positive relationships with coworkers, representatives of other government agencies, non-profit organizations, homeowner’s associations, and the public at large.
  • Perform related duties as required.


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 the job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to remain in a stationary position, occasionally move about inside the office to access supplies and office machinery, frequently communicate and exchange information, review handwritten, electronic and facsimile documents, observe site conditions, and operate a computer and other office productivity machinery. The employee must occasionally move items weighing up to 20 pounds inside the office. The employee is required to travel to various park sites and move about on various terrain types in outdoor weather conditions.

Required Hours and Location

Monday through Friday, 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week with some scheduling flexibility. Occasional work in evenings or weekends. The position will work out of the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens but is required to travel to various other locations. Offices at the River Center are spread among multiple buildings and floors.


The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the essential functions. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

Education and Experience

  • B.A. or B.S. degree. One year of relevant experience may be substituted for each year of required education. Relevant course studies include natural resources, engineering, planning, environmental science, geography, biology, landscape architecture, environmental design, or related fields.
  • Three (3) years performing supervisor duties.
  • Three (3) years of highly relevant experience in the public sector in park planning and design, performing duties that include creative problem solving, working on an interdisciplinary team, coordinating consultants, technical writing, scheduling, and budgeting.
  • Work experience directly managing landscape improvement projects with force account, via design/build relationship, and with commercial general contractor. Provide at least one (1) example of completed projects for each type of relationship.
  • Experience desired in: public speaking; community outreach/engagement; identifying and applying for project specific funding; and construction trade or construction management.

Knowledge of:

  • Basic proficiency in common Windows-based programs including word processing and spreadsheets.
  • Basic understanding of California Environmental Quality Act requirements.
  • Moderate proficiency in review and analysis of landscape construction plans.
  • Advanced knowledge of Southern California geography, climate, water resources, plant species, and habitats.
  • Construction practices for architecture and landscape improvements.
  • Office practices and procedures.

Ability to:

  • Mentor project managers to develop their judgement and value to the team.
  • Prioritize varying tasks and projects, and manage multiple projects at once.
  • Exercise discretion and sensitivity to confidential information.
  • Work independently to handle multiple tasks under deadlines.
  • Comprehend and assist with complex real estate transactions.
  • Revise work approach to address changed conditions.
  • Complete projects and follow oral and written directions.
  • Quickly change tasks and focus.
  • Learn technical material.
  • Learn new software including WordPerfect.
  • Consistently follow agency procedures.
  • Facilitate meetings and discussions
  • Innovate and improve processes.
  • Learn new software including WordPerfect.
  • Communicate to a variety of audiences about Agency projects and objectives.
  • Read maps and navigate through greater Los Angeles, in both urban developed and undeveloped open space areas.


  • Excellent oral and written English language skills. Not required to be a native English speaker, but fluency in English will be required.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated creativity and ability to troubleshoot landscape construction issues.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Establish and maintain cooperative relations with those contacted in the course of work including the general public.

Other Requirements

Candidates must have a valid California driver’s license in good standing with a satisfactory driving record. Employees must be willing to participate in agency emergency response. Bilingual skills in English and another locally common language, such as Spanish, Korean, Farsi, Chinese, Armenian, Yiddish, or Tagalog is highly desired.   

All appointment offers are contingent upon the following:

  • Background check including submission of fingerprints to Department of Justice, and a record clean of violent crimes or felonies.
  • Successful completion of a physical examination including a drug test.
  • Verification of the right to work in the United States.


Submit resume and letter of interest via email to or via fax to 323-843-9838, ATTN: Zagreb De La Torre with “Chief of Park Development” included as a subject. No phone calls, please. The acceptance of your application will depend on whether you have clearly shown that you meet the minimum requirements. Please contact us if you need an accommodation in the recruitment process or an alternate format of this announcement.

The position is open to the public for all qualified applicants.  Depending on the applicant pool, not all applicants meeting the minimum qualifications will be selected to continue in the recruitment process. This position will remain open until filled. The eligibility list from this recruitment may be used to fill this vacancy and other vacancies in the future.

All notifications will be sent to the phone number or e-mail address provided on your application or resume. Candidates are responsible for providing a valid phone number and/or e-mail address.

All information is subject to verification at any point during the recruitment process, including after an appointment has been made. Falsification of any information may result in disqualification or withdrawal of appointment.


The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) was created in 1985 with a mission to protect and preserve park and open space lands surrounding Los Angeles and is a joint powers authority between the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Conejo Recreation and Park District and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District. These public agencies work together to preserve open spaces, natural wilderness and wildlife habitat of the Los Angeles and Ventura County metropolitan regions and to make these lands accessible to all residents of Southern California.

Connect with us:

The MRCA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship, religion, age, medical condition, including genetic characteristics, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender, weight, height, linguistic characteristics (such as accent and limited English proficiency, where not substantially job-related), citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law. The MRCA strongly encourages diverse candidates to apply for open positions.

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.