Are you looking for an opportunity to grow professionally while building and developing our public sector planning practice? Are you a senior planner and project manager who has strong client relationships with local and state agencies? As a savvy business developer, do you cultivate connections and effectively deliver, consistent, high-quality planning work? Are you a leader with outstanding coaching and communication skills? Are you passionate about creating great communities? Do you enjoy working with an interdisciplinary team of talented professionals? If this sounds like you, we want to hear from you!

Otak is looking for a senior planner who will lead our public planning practice, foster and maintain client relationships while helping build our planning and design group’s technical capabilities. You will lead a team of planners and designers who manage a wide variety of land use planning (public and private), regional planning, and urban development projects. The ideal candidate identifies, tracks, and develops project opportunities with a variety of public clients, is engaged with professional and civic organizations, enjoys building relationships, and is excited by the opportunity to advance and expand our public sector planning practice. 

Small enough to be nimble and strategic, but big enough to have top talent and exciting projects, Otak is growing and diversifying its service offerings. With an integrated disciplines mindset, collaborative work culture, competitive salaries, and great benefits, Otak is an ideal place to work for a strong leader of people and projects.

Based out of Portland, Oregon, the ideal candidate will have extensive experience in land use and urban planning and design, business development, and project management, along with established relationships with local, regional, and/or state public agencies in Oregon and Southwest Washington. A thorough working knowledge of Pacific Northwest planning policies and practices is highly desirable, and if you have worked in other growing urban areas throughout the West, including Colorado, and the Puget Sound, where we have offices, that will also be a plus.

What you’ll do:

  • Lead strategic business development efforts to grow our Portland public-sector planning and design practice.
  • Identify, pursue and win planning projects with key public clients
  • Manage and serve in key leadership roles for large scale public sector master planning, subarea planning, corridor planning, public realm planning and design, and other similar projects
  • Develop and maintain project scopes, work plans, and budgets
  • Lead a team of planners, designers, engineers, and other disciplines to deliver high-quality public sector work
  • Work with staff to prepare reports, proposals, presentations, and deliverables
  • Cultivate and nurture client relationships 

What you have:

  • Bachelor's degree in planning, urban design, landscape architecture, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least 10 total years of experience in planning and 5 years in public-sector policy and regulation development (Subarea Plans, Concept Plans, design and development standards, Comprehensive Plans etc.) including recent relevant experience as a consultant or with a private entity. 
  • The ability to communicate clearly and effectively with clients, team members, and the public verbally and in writing (even better if you can communicate graphically as well!)
  • Demonstrated success managing complex projects, working with staff teams, consultants and subconsultants, and managing schedules and budgets.
  • Enthusiasm for identifying and pursuing business development opportunities for a growing practice area.
  • Experience with Northwest projects, including work and clients in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area, the Puget Sound region and other locations
  • Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook; working knowledge of ArcGIS.

What you might have:

  • Experience with planning projects in other states
  • Experience with Illustrator, InDesign, or other graphic programs
  • Experience with scenario planning
  • Professional registration in AICP, ASLA or AIA  


Why work at Otak?

When you work at Otak, you aren’t just joining a firm — you’re joining a community. We believe our best work happens in a culture of collaboration and inclusion, where the expertise of diverse individuals can thrive in a foundation of teamwork. The work environment we create is built on a simple concept: working on interesting projects with interesting people. However, we don’t just believe in cultivating our own community; we’re also committed to enriching the communities around us with smart, creative solutions. We know our employees make an investment in us, so we’re committed to making an investment in them. Seasoned experts and young professionals work together to encourage personal growth and skill development at all experience levels. Plus, we’re expanding — and we’re dedicated to developing an internal infrastructure with the strength and talent to support that growth. 

Otak employees have a progressive mindset and sustainable community perspective. We encourage our staff to volunteer in their communities by giving them an option to earn extra vacation time for their volunteer hours. Otak combines the best of a small firm mentality with strong collaboration across disciplines with the plentiful opportunities to work on exciting projects offered by a growing firm. We also encourage life balance and foster a fun work environment. Our Northwest sensibilities are reflected in our commitment to sustainability and diversity.  And believing that diversity fosters innovation and strengthens our skills, we embrace a culture of inclusion and equity in our company and in our communities.

We are an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability. We will provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with a disability where appropriate.

Sound like a place you’d like to spend some time and advance your career?  Join us!  Please apply online and include a cover letter that sells your skills with your resume.

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