The Fairfax County Park Authority is seeking a visionary and experienced leader to head its park system. The Park Authority is a Nationwide leader in the park and recreation industry, accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and a four-time National Gold Medal Award winner. Fairfax County is a dynamic community with 1.1 million residents, an award-winning park system, a top-notch school system, safe neighborhoods, and bustling town centers. At the heart of the community is the nationally recognized leader, the Fairfax County Park Authority. A large and complex park system encompassing over 24,000 acres of land, 429 parks, an estimated 18 Million park visitors, 500 full-time employees, 2,500 seasonal employees and over 4,000 volunteers.
Selected by the Park Authority Board and appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Executive Director implements established Park Board policy, analyzes countywide park and recreational needs, and develops strategies for the authority in meeting those needs. The position serves as an advocate for land acquisition, resource protection, and facility and program development to meet the authority’s annual and long-range goals. Provides leadership, administration, oversight, and fiscal accountability for the overall function of the authority’s staff and resources.
The Executive Director is responsible for strategic planning and management, program planning and evaluation, human capital management and workforce development, contract services management, physical plant management, information systems management, risk and quality assurance, and legal compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
The Executive Director also works collaboratively with constituents, partners, stakeholders, and government leaders and appointees to implement Board policies, champion the preservation and protection of natural and cultural resources, and facilitate the development of park and recreation programs and facilities.
For this important role, the county seeks a leader with a head for business and a passion for parks and all the people of Fairfax County. Someone who lives with integrity, is smart, collaborative, and has a history of solid decision making and working in a multi-faceted environment. Must have a solid understanding of what it takes to build a high functioning, diverse workforce that focuses on the mission and the people FCPA serves. The Executive Director must also have a thorough understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion, know how to actualize it, and fully embraces One Fairfax.
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Designs and implements long term strategic, park and land use, programming, community outreach, natural and cultural resource and communications plans; Administers and develops policy, financial and business related plans for Park Authority operations, programs and services; Prepares, researches and reviews items and agendas and matters for the Park Authority Board; Represents the Authority before federal, state and local legislative and organizational bodies; Represents the Authority with community and stakeholder groups, collaborates with partners and other county entities in meeting goals; Manages and has fiduciary responsibility for self-generated revenue, tax, general obligation and revenue bond funds and debt service; Provides leadership in park planning, design and capital construction; Provides leadership in delivering quality programs, services and facilities; Provides leadership in the preservation and stewardship of the county’s natural and cultural resources.
Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities
Extensive knowledge of modern principles and practices of park administration; Extensive knowledge of the development, construction and maintenance activity related to parks; Extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of community based services, programs, and the ability to apply them appropriately; Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of public administration (including personnel, budgeting, accounting, and management analysis), and the ability to apply them in overseeing a variety of services; Knowledge of federal, state, and county laws and regulations affecting park services, and the ability to interpret and apply them correctly; Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, orally and in writing; Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with subordinates, coworkers, county officials, public-and private-sector organizations, community groups, and the public; Ability to solicit input and gain support from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including Parks management, staff and the Park Authority Board, other Fairfax County agencies, citizens, special interest groups, county executive management and board of supervisors; Ability to perceive organizational and political realities, and to effectively drive strategy through complex political situations; Ability to build commitment at all levels of the organization to the goals, values and strategies of the department and the County; Ability to recognize, foster and develop technical and leadership ability in subordinates; Ability to link agency and system wide strategic thinking and priorities with division specific operational plans; Ability to demonstrate a high degree of maturity, integrity, and good judgment.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Graduation from a four-year college or university and six years of executive leadership experience in a complex public or private sector organization.
CERTIFICATES AND LICENSES REQUIRED: • A valid motor vehicle driver's license.
NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, a check of the Child Protective Services Registry, a credit history check, and a driving record check to the satisfaction of the employer.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Desirable candidates must have a proven history of credible management and leadership experience on a scale commensurate with the scope and complexity of this position and operating environment; and the ability to maintain productive relationships with constituents, staff, and elected officials, and engage and work collaboratively with stakeholders is essential.
The ideal candidate will possess professional certifications, must have tremendous business acumen, a successful track record in a complex public or private sector organization, and a demonstrated passion for the mission of the Fairfax County Park Authority. He/she will also possess the ability to: conceive, articulate, and implement innovative approaches to revenue generation, business development, customer service delivery, and complex problem solving; provide programs and facilities that meet the needs of a diverse community; integrate park and recreation programs into other county services and participate with other public service community development activities; and inspire staff towards continuous improvement and foster an organizational culture that sustains a leadership base to ensure future organizational success. In addition, he/she will have a proven ability to develop strong, diverse team and high functioning teams.
Executives pursuing this opportunity should be innovative leaders with vision, strong ethics, and a passion for public service. Experience involving progressive executive leadership of a large and complex organization, execution of innovative strategies, and an ability to manage and influence at all levels a must. A thorough understanding of equity disparities with a demonstrated ability to bridge divides strongly desired. Responsibilities in park management, recreation services, park maintenance, and cultural and environmental stewardship are pluses for this position.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Sedentary with walking and lifting less than 5 pounds. Ability to traverse diverse terrain. Communicate orally and in writing. Ambulate to multiple sites. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.
SELECTION PROCEDURE: Panel interview; may include exercise.
Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or status as a veteran in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.
Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.
Internal Number: 21-00503
About Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County was home to many of America’s earliest statesmen, including George Washington of Mount Vernon and George Mason of Gunston Hall. It is one of the premier centers of technology in the United States. Located just west of the nation’s capital, Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It has a large, diverse and dynamic economy, and is home for eight Fortune 500 companies, more than 400 international owned firms, and the largest concentration of technology jobs of any major U.S. market. Minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses make significant contributions to the economy and add diversity to the business community.
The County offers residents an excellent environment in which to raise and educate their children. The Fairfax County Public School System and area private schools offer parents numerous education options. Fairfax County is also a leader in higher education, where five major colleges and universities, including the main campus of George Mason University, are located. Northern Virginia Community College – the largest community college in the Commonwealth of Virginia – has two campuses in Fairfax County. T...he community has a wealth of cultural and recreational resources that provide abundant opportunities for children to learn and grow.