Chief Program and Engagement Officer

New York, United States expand job description ↓


Owned by the City of New York, the High Line is programmed, maintained, and operated by Friends of the High Line, in partnership with NYC Parks. We raise nearly 100% of the High Line’s annual budget.

Through excellence in operations, stewardship, innovative programming, and world-class design, we seek to engage the vibrant and diverse communities on and around the High Line, and to raise the essential private funding to help complete the High Line’s construction and create an endowment for its future operations.

Submit a completed application including resume and cover letter via email to our search firm: [email protected] Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please.

Job description

As part of the senior leadership team, and reporting to the executive director, the chief program and engagement officer (CPEO) will be a driving force in shaping the next phase of the High Line’s development that extends into the next decade and beyond. This is an opportunity to push the organization to ask and define what is next for the High Line, as well as the importance of public spaces in rapidly changing cities and communities.

Building on the organization’s work to engage the various communities on and around the High Line, they will assess current programming initiatives and lead a comprehensive engagement plan that is supported by deep community participation and furthers our vision to be an active and responsive civic connector.

They will lead the long-term strategic development of our integrated public programming and will ensure that public engagement, education, High Line Art and High Line Network work in tandem toward a cohesive vision, and that the High Line remains an innovative, inclusive, and fresh cultural destination and gathering place.

Additionally, the CPEO will lead the expansion of the High Line Network, which brings together some of the most creative infrastructure reuse projects in North America today into a community for learning and collaboration.

This is a full-time, year-round exempt position.

Primary responsibilities

  • Establish and execute a comprehensive vision and plan for the High Line’s community and program engagement that is inclusive of public programs, education, youth engagement, High Line Art, and High Line Network
  • Develop metrics to measure and assess outcomes and their impact on accessibility, social impact, sustainability, and other High Line initiatives
  • Build long-term relationships with the diverse neighboring communities around the High Line and throughout New York City by being and constructive listener and community partner; develop creative and effective ways to leverage the High Line as a beneficial resource for underserved communities
  • Oversee asset mapping of program offerings across communities and proximate cultural and social organizations to inform decisions on how to best make use of High Line resources
  • Exercise sound fiscal management by working closely with the chief operating officer and head of finance to draft the annual program budget; monitor expenses throughout the year and ensure program adherence to the budget; oversee and strategically guide the yearly program offerings, and ensure they are on schedule and within budget
  • Support the efforts to increase organizational capacity, internal communication between program areas and other FHL departments, and change management throughout the organization; shape and build a motivating culture that fosters recognition in support of the established goals, and which is in alignment with the emerging mission, vision and values
  • Work with leadership and stakeholders on visitation strategies and determine the ways that the High Line may expand
  • Work closely with members of the Development department and support their ability to raise funds for the organization by liaising with donors and helping with funding applications, as well as creating new funding opportunities.
  • Act as liaison to the Board of Directors and work closely with the program and art committees
  • Work with the Communications department to create and implement a strategic marketing plan to accompany engagement strategy
  • Serve as a leader and advocate for the further expansion of the High Line Network’s national impact, support key visioning for convenings, metrics for expansion and inclusion, and equitable frameworks for infrastructure projects


  • A minimum of 15 years working in programmatic, civic, social, or community engagement development at a large cultural organization
  • A minimum of five years working with diverse communities to achieve programmatic goals
  • A background in cultural and/or urban public policy, arts administration, or a related field.
  • Experience with the New York City cultural and social services arena
  • Proven ability to work with diverse communities to create and measure long-term community impact
  • Experience in converting nascent ideas into working programs
  • Track record of leadership, managing staff, and exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Ability to articulate strategy and provide ongoing direction to implement that strategy
  • Experience in a range of qualitative assessment methods and quantitative evaluation of programming for various settings
  • Strong written and oral communication and presentation skills, including the ability to deploy tact and diplomacy in pursuit of results
  • Flexible, fun, and collaborative personality
  • Ability to look at the big picture and search for insightful, creative solutions; the flexibility to say Yes instead of No
  • Ability to thrive in a busy, fast-paced environment
  • Facility with juggling many projects at once
  • Demonstrated ability to both envision and execute a broad range of public events and activities; some experience with educational programming is required

Preferred qualifications

  • Working ability to converse in Spanish


  • Work evenings and weekends as needed
  • Occasionally move about inside the office, as well as on the park (three miles round trip), and work in outdoor weather conditions


  • 20 vacation days, 6 sick days, and 9 paid holidays
  • Paid primary and secondary caregiver leave
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Supplemental short-term disability insurance and paid life insurance
  • Commuter benefits
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Contribution in a 403(b) retirement plan
  • Discounted Citi Bike membership
  • Discount on High Line merchandise
  • Employee Assistance Program

To apply

Submit a completed application including resume and cover letter via email to our search firm: [email protected] Only those whose applications are being considered will be contacted. No phone calls please.

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