Job Opportunity: Executive Director

Title: Executive Director

Status: Full-time (Salaried, exempt)

Compensation: $75,000 - $90,000 (Commensurate with experience)

Benefits: Health, Vision, & Dental Insurance, 15 vacation days, 13 paid holidays, 12 sick days. Simple IRA Retirement Plan - 3-5% employer match.

Location: New Orleans, LA

Posted: October 24, 2022

PDF - Job Posting


About Friends of Lafitte Greenway

Friends of Lafitte Greenway (Friends) is the official private partner to the City of New Orleans in planning, development, programming, and operations on the Greenway. Our mission is to build, program, and promote the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space. We envision a healthy, vibrant Greenway that equitably connects people to nature, their destinations, and each other.

The Lafitte Greenway

The Lafitte Greenway is New Orleans’ premier infrastructure reuse project, a 3.1-mile long linear park and multi-use trail in the heart of New Orleans. The Greenway features recreational facilities, fitness and cultural programming, open green space, and innovative stormwater management features. The Greenway is managed through a collaborative public-private partnership agreement between Friends, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD), and the City of New Orleans. The Greenway opened in 2015 after years of community-driven support, transforming an abandoned railroad corridor into a public green space that connects an array of diverse New Orleans communities. 

Friends formed in 2006, when community members saw an opportunity after Hurricane Katrina to rethink the landscape and transform vacant land into a linear park and trail. What began in the minds of those community members grew into a non-profit and community-wide advocacy initiative to create a new public space that would create economic, environmental, health, and cultural benefits for New Orleans. Today, Friends of Lafitte Greenway drives community planning and visioning for the Greenway’s continued development, stewards this environmental corridor, and leads robust cultural and recreation programming and community engagement. 

Position Summary

Friends of Lafitte Greenway is looking for an engaging, dynamic, and driven Executive Director to build on the organization’s 15+ years of success by advancing the organization’s mission, innovating upon its strengths, and carrying the organization’s work forward. Candidates will be tasked with upholding the vision of Friends, a healthy and vibrant Greenway that connects people to nature, their destinations, and each other.

Key opportunities for the new Executive Director include:

  1. Collaborating with the Friends’ board to strategize and implement a renewed vision and strategic plan for the future.
  2. Developing and activating a sustainable funding model.
  3. Strengthening current public partnerships and pursuing new potential partners for collaboration and resource-sharing.
  4. Advocating for the organization and the people who live, work, and play along the Lafitte Greenway.

Executive Director Duties

Strategic Planning and Program Oversight

  • Manage a generative, collaborative, and inclusive strategic planning process to determine organizational direction, growth, and desired impact
  • Lead the work of the Board, staff, volunteers, and partners in conjunction with strategies and actions set forth in the strategic plan while balancing oversight of day-to-day operations of the organization
  • Work with staff to define program metrics that demonstrate effectiveness against desire impact
  • Continuously identify opportunities for growth and strengthening the core of the organization, and work with the Board &  staff to research best/innovative practices to increase organizational effectiveness and deepen Friends’s impact

Fundraising Strategy and Execution

  • Provide executive oversight for all fundraising efforts including long-term planning, implementing strategic fundraising activities, and writing/submitting grant proposals
  • Creation of an annual fundraising plan, with a focus on federal/government grants and other types of public-sector support
  • Serve as the primary ambassador of the organization in cultivating interest and commitment from funders and donors
  • Leverage networks, connections, and spheres of influence in support of the development needs of the organization
  • Assess and renew the Friends’ individual donor/membership program for increased giving dollars
  • Pursue sustainable operating opportunities through reevaluation of public-private partnership structure such as economic development districts, TIF districts, fee-for-service operating models

Relationship Building, Partnership Development, and Advocacy

  • Act as the face of the organization, engaging with a broad range of partners, constituents, elected officials, and others to advance Friends’ mission
  • Manage existing partnership with NORD, Parks & Parkways, and proactively develop new relationships with the City of New Orleans and other public-sector actors
  • Engage Lafitte community members to center their needs and enhance equitable outcomes
  • Oversee Friends’ board, volunteer committees, and Greenway Ambassador Program 

Building and Maintaining a Strong Team

  • Lead Friends’ small-but-mighty team of staff to align on key priorities, work efficiently and effectively, and achieve shared goals
  • Integrate best practices for building a DEI-centered culture and increasing community representation within the organization
  • Supervise, coach, and assess team members for mutual professional development and growth

Fiscal Management and Governance

  • Provide administrative oversight, working with Director of Operations
  • Serve as the primary liaison between the Friends staff and Board
  • Coordinate and provide oversight to committees and working groups with charters and assigned goals; ensure communication of their activities to the board
  • Work with the Board Chair and other executive committee members  to create agendas, financial statements, and other governance-related items for Board meetings and overall strategic planning
  • Deliver regular reports to the Board on the Friends' operations and financial position  
  • Execute all contracts and agreements entered into on behalf of the organization with Board approval
  • Lead staff and board in the development of the annual budget; oversee progress against this budget and maintain oversight of organizational spending
  • Ensure the fiscal integrity of the organization, providing monthly financial statements and other documentation and reports that accurately reflect the financial condition of the organization

Candidate Profile

The Friends of Lafitte Greenway board is looking for a leader poised to grow with experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and partnership development. The ideal candidate will be an effective leader, problem-solver and communicator who models our organizational values: Accountability, Equity, Sustainability, Collaboration and Joy. Preferred candidates will have an understanding of the New Orleans community and familiarity with working in parks, public space, conservation and/or community planning.


  • Ability to bring a shared vision to life through leadership, project management, and strategic skills
  • Proven track record of partnership development and relationship-building in the nonprofit and/or public sector
  • Experience in nonprofit governance; comfort in working closely with Board of Directors and committees
  • Proven track record of community engagement success, including active listening, facilitation, and community conversation experience 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; comfort communicating in public forums and across a broad group of stakeholders
  • Experienced fundraising abilities, both on the local and national scale
  • Strength in managing a small team to create large impact
  • Comfort leading internal/external conversations around DEI
  • Ability to establish priorities and make tough decisions
  • An ability and willingness to work flexible hours outside a 9-5 schedule
  • Masters degree OR a minimum of 5 years’ leadership experience


  • Familiarity with the New Orleans community
  • Experience navigating local government and/or public partnerships
  • Background in nature, conservation, public parks/trails, or similar fields
  • Demonstrated track record of integrating DEI into an organization
  • Education in Public Policy/Administration, Urban Planning, or similar degree

Friends of Lafitte Greenway’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities it welcomes candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences.


For more information, please visit our website or email [email protected]This position will be posted until the position is filled.

To apply, please follow these instructions:

  1. Complete online application form:
  2. Submit your resume and cover letter: As email attachments to [email protected]. Please follow these naming guidelines:
    a. Email Subject Line: Executive Director Application
    b. Resume File Name: "LastName_FirstName_Resume"
    c. Cover Letter File Name: "LastName_FirstName_CoverLetter"


Equal Opportunity Employment

Friends will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, sex, color, religion, gender, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, culture, or ancestry, and (2) where applicable, will take affirmative action to ensure that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, sex, color, religion, gender, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, culture, or ancestry. This applies to, but not is not limited to the following: employment, upgrading, demotion or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising, layoff or termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation, and selection for training, including apprenticeship. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, gender, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, culture, or ancestry. 


Friends will not discriminate on the basis, whether in fact or perception, of a person's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic partner status, marital status, physical or mental disability, or AIDS- or HIV-status against (1) any employee of the City working with Friends in any of its operations within Orleans Parish or (2) any person seeking accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, services, or membership in all business, social, or other establishments or organizations operated by Friends. Friends abides by all applicable federal, state and local laws relating to non-discrimination, including, without limitation, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.