Assistant Director – Urban Design | Nashville, TN


The Assistant Director – Urban Design will oversee the 11-person Design Studio, a division within the Metro Nashville Planning Department that includes three sections: Ecological Design, Design Review/Implementation and Urban Design. Typical duties include visionary yet pragmatic leadership of the division; providing guidance to improve design quality; high-level administrative duties involved in managing the Design Studio; strategic planning; recommending and monitoring budgets; resource allocation; recommending organizational and process improvements; and clear and timely communication with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including elected officials.

Supervision Exercised/Received:
Directly supervises Design Studio Division managers and indirectly supervises other division staff. Receives direction from and reports to the Deputy Executive Director or his/her designee, who outlines overall goals and objectives of the planning program and informs the Executive Director of how to accomplish those goals and objectives.

Preferred Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Thorough knowledge of the principles, practices and trends in city planning, urban design, New Urbanism, architecture and/or landscape architecture.
• Knowledge of basic legal principles of land development and zoning.
• Thorough knowledge of supervisory and management principles and practices, including supervising the work of others and examining and modifying the flow of work to increase productivity and work quality.
• Experience applying best practices that elevate the design of buildings and places in equitable and sustainable ways and an ability to accurately process, review, analyze and critique development issues with an emphasis on sound urban design principles.
• Ability to exercise judgment, decisiveness, and creativity in helping to solve complex problems.
• Understanding of how to leverage 3D spatial design/urban design capabilities and graphic representation techniques to support and communicate projects and ideas.
• Strong prioritization and negotiation skills.
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships.
• Ability to successfully work with and influence internal and external stakeholders.
• Ability to read and interpret complex materials.
• Ability to conduct studies, analyze data, and make recommendations.
• Ability to present technical information to lay persons in ways they can understand, including communicating effectively, both orally and in writing.
• Ability to value and respect cultural differences, balance different perspectives, and to be intentional about expanding opportunities for all persons.

Specific Licenses or Certifications Required:
A valid Driver License is required for some positions in this classification.

Note: Per Metro Ordinance No. SO94-1078. All employees of the Metropolitan Government shall be residents of the State of Tennessee or become residents of the state within six (6) months of employment as a prerequisite to employment with the Metropolitan Government.

We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.

For ADA inquiries, contact Randi Semrick, ADA Compliance Coordinator, at (615) 862-7230 or e-mail her at For Title VI inquiries, contact Human Relations at (615) 880-3370. For all employment-related inquiries, contact Human Resources at (615) 862-6640.

Job Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture, Urban Design, Landscape Architecture or Urban Planning from an accredited college or university and ten (10) years of relevant experience, including three (3) years of supervisory experience. Or, Master’s Degree and eight (8) of relevant experience, including three (3) years of supervisory experience. Licensure in architecture or landscape architecture is preferred. Candidates with accreditations earned in a foreign institute are encouraged to apply.

Salary & Benefits

• Starting annual salary range of $160,000
• Expansive suite of benefit options including paid family leave; medical, dental, and vision
plans; life insurance; short and long-term disability insurance; optional deferred
compensation plan; flexible spending accounts; pension program; subsidized
public transit; and more
• Support for qualifying professional licenses, certifications, and professional development hours
• Public Service Loan Forgiveness for qualifying loans. This is not a civil service position.

How to Apply

Randi Semrick at
Randi Semrick
Metro Planning Department
800 President Ronald Reagan Way
P.O. Box 196300
Nashville, TN 37219-6300
(No Phone Calls Please)

Deadline to apply is 10/28/2023.