The Southland Development Authority (SDA) is a new economic development institution charged with driving comprehensive, transformative and inclusive economic growth in the South Suburbs (the “Southland”) of Cook County, IL. The SDA arises from and will be the lead institution managing the South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative (SSEGI) – a multi-year collaboration among community, government, and industry to reestablish the South Suburbs as an economic powerhouse. The SDA is a quarterback institution that provides the new institutional and financial capacity to collaboratively facilitate strategic, large-scale investment necessary to propel the Southland forward.
The Southland houses nearly 750,000 people and produces nearly $18 billion in economic outputs. It represents an underutilized market with enormous assets and development investment opportunities. The SDA will lead partnerships with developers, investors and stakeholders to build upon existing assets and jumpstart economic growth for the entire region. The institution has been optimally designed to address inclusive growth opportunities within the South Suburbs through its mission, strategies, products and services, finances, operations and form – informed by research presented in ‘New Institutions for a New Economy’. The SDA is structured as a professional business nonprofit, partnering through an operating agreement with the South Suburban Land Bank.
The Southland Development Authority seeks an entrepreneurial, high-energy professional with a passion for innovative and comprehensive economic development. Ideal candidates will share the vision of the SDA as a national model for inclusive economic growth. Candidates will have a record of successful performance in positions of organizational leadership for at least 7 years, with responsibility for large-scale inclusive economic development. The ideal candidate will be a visionary self-starter who understands the demands of a new enterprise, has a proven ability to navigate through start-up challenges, including securing funding, and who can strategically navigate the challenges that come with building a new organization. Demonstrated ability to lead an organizational culture of integrity and transparency is essential.
Candidates must possess strong leadership and consensus building skills, particularly around business, real estate, human capital, community and similar development projects. The successful candidate will have networking experience and a history of bringing together varied stakeholders. He or she will have a strong public speaking ability, and an ability to align individuals, businesses, community and economic development organizations and political leaders and bodies, including to lead people with differing agendas. Experience with establishing and implementing public-private partnerships, including working with multiple stakeholders, is highly desired. Candidates must have proven success in working with industry, diverse communities, as well as with civic and public sector officials.
Preferred candidates will have hands-on experience with residential, commercial and industrial real estate development, business and human capital development, and complex community development financing. Such candidates should also understand and have experience with asset and market-based economic development, and particularly the inclusive economic growth approaches and strategies the SDA is driving in the South Suburbs.
Experience working in communities with political and economic challenges and opportunities like those of the South Suburbs is required. Familiarity with the South Suburbs or extensive experience working in similar areas is required, along with a desire to deeply understand the Southland’s history, economy and demographics.
A degree from an accredited college/university is required. A Master’s degree in Business/Public Administration, Economics, Urban Planning, Finance or related field is preferred.
It is the policy of the SDA to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.