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New Urban Mechanics Program Manager Position

Our two-year Program Manager position gives those interested in civic entrepreneurship and civic design deep insight into working creatively in City government. We want to build a pipeline of talent into the public sector.

The application for the 2024-2026 Program Manager position is now open! Apply online by June 15.

About the Program Manager position

What you'll do

The Program Manager position is a two-year appointment. We have two Program Managers whose two-year appointments overlap. That is, during your two years, you will meet another two Program Managers (one in your first year, and one in your second year). During your tenure with the team, you will design and deliver new initiatives to make Boston better for:

  • residents and visitors
  • researchers, and
  • businesses.

Our Program Managers work with the Mayor's senior staff and are supported by the entire New Urban Mechanics team. You also take part in a variety of professional development sessions to get a broad view of careers in City government.

Candidates tend to be recent graduates of masters degree programs (or folks with equivalent work experience) who have a strong interest in civic innovation. The best candidates are those who are creative, curious, and entrepreneurial.

Work of Program managers

(previously called 'annual fellows')

Over a decade of running our annual fellowship program, we have supported and amplified the work of many departments throughout City Hall. Some examples of projects previous yearlong fellows have worked on include:

Common questions

Common questions
  1. You may be invited to a phone screen with our staff.
  2. If you pass that phase, you may be invited to an in-person group interview day with other candidates. There will be a homework assignment before the in-person interview that will be discussed in the interview.
  3. Sometimes, we ask for follow-up in-person interviews with various chiefs.
  4. We plan to announce our selection this summer.

While you are going through our application process, we are going through a project scoping process. We will scope a set of projects that we will pitch to you when you arrive. We want to make sure that you are given a range of potential projects that you feel you can immediately execute. We also plan to give you projects that will need further exploration, and one or two that will really stretch you. As you become more familiar with our process you will certainly have the opportunity to develop own ideas as well.

Since moving this position to a two-year timeline, we've found that the second year tends to be when Program Managers source and pitch projects themselves.

We welcome your input on the projects we pitch to you. We will also expect you to come up with a few prototype ideas of your own, especially in the second year. A large part of our work is keeping an ear open for interesting ideas. We expect you to spend some time exploring and making relevant connections across the projects we’ve scoped for you to pitch a few ideas to us!

Successful Program Managers have come from a wide variety of backgrounds, drawing on diverse and creative skillsets. We’ve worked with urban planners and architects, public health students and public policy masters candidates, former teachers, and community organizers, economics undergrads, and sociology PhDs.

If you have an interest in making Boston a place where people can change the world and do good things with their neighbors, this might be the right position for you.

When you join as a Program Manager, you are immediately treated as an integral part of the team. That means you may be:

  • invited to senior-level Cabinet meetings in your first week
  • asked to fill in for our Chair or senior staff at a speaking event, and
  • sitting in with the Press team on an interview with a reporter about a project you're getting up to speed on.

We’d love it if you wanted to blog for us on Medium, or create compelling digital stories in the medium of your choice. We will make connections for you across the organization. We encourage you to get to know staff in departments that are interesting to you. You should also spend a healthy amount of your time learning from your peers in the Mayor’s Office. You will have access to any organized professional development experiences that the broader MONUM team is going through collectively.

As with many entrepreneurial opportunities, you’ll get out of it (developmentally speaking) what you put into it. You are also welcome to join any of the City’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

This is a two-year appointment running from approximately September 2024 through approximately September 2026. We have two of these positions and they changeover in opposite years. That is during your two years, the preexisting Program Manager will roll off of their appointment, creating space for a new Program Manager to join the team.

It is somewhat negotiable. Generally, the position starts in the fall. 

Just one in this cycle! Will it be you?

Historically, this position's salary has been $75,000. We will be able to confirm the salary for the 2024-2026 Program Manager in early 2024. This position is eligible for the City’s benefits program, as well.

Generally, you’ll be expected at work from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may sometimes need to attend morning or evening meetings for your project work. We're currently in a Hybrid Work Learning Period (per the City's policy), so if that learning period is extended and continues, you would be eligible to work remotely up to two days a week after completing your first three months in person.

You may also want to attend morning or evening meetings that are interesting to you, albeit unrelated to your work. This is optional, but you are certainly welcome to do so. We also ask all team members to attend at least one community meeting or public event per month.

Yes! We will aim to have you present to the Mayor at least once during your time with us. It’s also likely that you will get to talk to her informally as a result of having meetings near her office. Say hello!

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