Land Use Planning Division Director – “Innovation Lab” Multnomah County

Land Use Planning Division Director – “Innovation Lab” at Mission-Driven Multnomah County.

Acumen Executive Search is proud to once again partner with Multnomah County Department of Community Service to find their next Land Use Planning Division Director. The Land Use Planning division ensures the preservation and protection of wildlife, streams, scenic views, the Columbia River Gorge, forest lands, and farm and nursery production.

The division supports sustainability with an eye to the future and believes that maintaining the quality of life in the rural areas of Multnomah County provides a social benefit which serves those on both sides of the urban growth boundary.

Multnomah County Land Use Planning serves the unincorporated areas of Multnomah County with two primary functions:

  • Current Planning helps property owners and applicants with their development and land use proposals.
  • Long Range Planning serves the broader community by creating and updating zoning and codes and the Comprehensive Plan.

Underlying the division’s work is a strong commitment to community livability – building trust and empowerment through supporting community planning, engaging in ongoing dialogue, transparency, and education to ensure that Multnomah County residents and visitors continue to experience the beauty of Multnomah County and the surrounding areas.

In addition to supporting the supreme beauty, sustainability, and equity of the region, the Land Use Planning Division Director enjoys guiding an organization identified as an “innovation lab” serving as a model statewide and nationally. They will also be helping to drive the division's technology modernization efforts (Tyler). It’s a small division with big impact and access to the resources of greater Multnomah County.

Beyond the mission, the Land Use Planning Division Director will also enjoy generous benefits such as attractive compensation, PERS (pension), low-cost healthcare and other perks.

If You:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in urban or regional planning, public policy, business administration, biology, or a related field.
  • Are experienced in land use planning, programs, codes, and laws. With at least five (5) years of leadership in the field. Preference for those candidates experienced in Oregon Land Use Planning codes and laws.
  • Embrace innovation and the ability to shepherd the organization through enterprise systems modernization.
  • Have held a leadership role in a complex organization, with diverse staff, multiple stakeholders, and complicated risk management.  
  • Have held budget responsibility and managed and administered a budget preferably over $2M.
  • Can support the division through system and structural changes to implement NorthStar programs and other work in progress.
  • Have experience operationalizing equity and an understanding of how policies impact traditionally marginalized individuals and communities and how this should influence the design and delivery of programs and services.
  • Can represent Land Use Planning in interaction with internal and external facing stakeholders including customer service to community members, interactions with business partners, the County Board, Chair's Office, and the public.

Then the Multnomah County Land Use Planning Division Director might be the next ideal leadership opportunity for you.

Salary: $95,489 – $143,233

Location: Yeon Annex: 1600 SE 190th Ave., Portland, OR. Telework several days a week and be in office as needed to complete work and meetings.

The Ideal Candidate: the preferred candidate will bring these skills and strengths:

  • Ability to provide leadership, direction, and effective implementation to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Confidence in your executive decision-making and direction, and the ability to align and lead internal and external stakeholders and leaders to achieve goals.
  • Thorough knowledge of and ability to effectively apply principles and best practices of administration in the public sector, including methods and techniques used in fiscal administration, project management, program evaluation and strategic planning.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with a variety of people contacted in the course of work; ability to effectively resolve problems and conflicts and/or negotiate solutions to complex and sensitive issues.
  • Ability to effectively identify and respond to the public and elected officials issues and concerns with tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity.
  • Ability to motivate and lead staff and support countywide and Department of Community Services change initiatives to grow and foster an inclusive and productive workplace.
  • Ability to effectively consider how land use regulations interplay with private property development rights.

And demonstrate these core competencies:

Strategic Planning

    • Creativity and Innovation: Ability to generate new and innovative approaches to problem solving that are effective and responsive.
    • Flexibility: Adjust quickly to changing priorities and conditions.
    • Strategic Vision: Ability to translate big-picture vision and goals into plans that are realistic and effective.

Leading People

    • Build Talent Pools: Hire, mentor and develop a qualified, diverse workforce.
    • Results Driven: Measure success by outcomes rather than inputs. Set high standards of performance.
    • Performance Management: Streamline and remove processes that do not bring value to the customer.
    • Cultural Competency: Ability to develop and maintain working relationships in cross-cultural situations.

Building Coalitions

    • Partnering: Build alliances and collaborate across boundaries to build strategic relationships.
    • Business Acumen: Manage human, financial and information resources strategically.

Diversity and Inclusion: Multnomah County doesn’t just accept difference; they value it and support it to create a culture of dignity and respect for their employees. Multnomah County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. They evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran or protected veteran status, genetic information, and other legally protected characteristics. There is an EEO is the Law poster available for your reference. Multnomah County is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. They request priority protected veteran referrals.

Veterans’ Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualifying veterans may apply for veterans’ preference. Review our veterans’ preference page for details about eligibility and how to apply.

Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act: They gladly provide reasonable accommodation to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing an application or participating in this recruitment process. Please contact the recruiter below in advance to request assistance. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may contact the recruiter through the Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing 711.

Procedure for Applying:

To apply or see our other positions available, please go to Acumen Executive Search to submit a resume and brief cover letter indicating your interest in the opportunity. If our current open positions are not the right fit for you and you would like us to share relevant opportunities, please send your resume and a brief cover to

Building a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace: Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. We at Acumen are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, so if you are excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Disclaimer: This announcement is intended as a general descriptive recruitment guide and is subject to change. It does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

Established in 2007, Acumen Executive Search prides ourselves on being a premiere boutique, woman-owned Executive Search Firm in the Pacific Northwest with global clientele. We deliver high-impact results while nurturing genuine long-term relationships. Acumen works shoulder to shoulder with our clients to deliver customized, meaningful, and proven leadership solutions empowering client success.


Director, COO, Director of Operations, Leadership, Public Sector, Government, County, Project Management, Program Management, Land Use Planning, Land Use Laws, Environmental Protections, Urban Planning, Farmland Protection, City Planning, Transportation, Budget Management, Organizational Development, Equity, DEI, Organizational Management, Performance Management, Change Management, Innovation, Communications, Administration, Policy, Sustainability, Code Updates, Systems Implementation, Software Implementation, Tyler, Systems Modernization

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