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Manager of Community Partnerships & Impact - Operations

John G Shedd Aquarium
Chicago, United States Posted: June 17, 2024

Shedd Aquarium is seeking a Manager of Community Partnerships & Impact - Operations for the Community Partnerships and Impact department. The ideal candidate should have strong organizational and managerial skills and develop or improve systems and processes to support partnership tracking, budgeting, and reporting activities. This position requires fostering a culture of collaboration and connection internally and externally, providing supportive leadership, and being aware of opportunities across the Aquarium that may benefit communities. 

  • The Community Partnerships and Impact department at Shedd promotes equitable partnerships in Chicago to improve outcomes for communities and nature.
  • They collaborate with other Learning and community teams, nurture strategic partnerships, and measure effectiveness through data analysis.
  • The department works to center racial equity and address injustice in community engagement.
  • Through careful stewardship of the needed mechanisms to bring about programs and partnerships, the manager ensures that department operations run smoothly so that partners and potential partners experience a culture of care and appreciation.
  • They value and uplift the expertise and diverse voices of learners, internal departments, and community stakeholders to collaborate and amplify impact. 
  • They are a project manager, a problem-solver, a connector, a leader, a planner, a determined go-getter, and a passionate lifelong learner. 
  • include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
  • To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 
  • The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. 
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
  • Demonstrate leadership per Shedd’s mission and values  
Support a broad range of departmental operations, including:
  • Tracking department spending of the operating budget in conjunction with the annual plan and communicating fiscal status updates to the director as appropriate. 
  • Contributing to the development of the department’s operating budget with the director 
  • Preparing, reviewing, and submitting grant narratives, budgets, and reports with development and finance staff as needed. Track spend-down against budgets. 
  • Implementing collaborative agreements and vendor applications 
  • Manage departmental resources, materials, and programming spaces (including on-site, off-site, in nature, and online) 
  • Manage tracking of partnership data via Shedd’s constituent relationship management system, ensuring participation across all Learning & Community teams. Analyze data for trends and gaps and contribute to regular reporting for internal and external audiences. 
  • Coordinate with internal teams to improve Shedd’s in-kind ticketing request process and roll out a new ticketing partnership program. Manage ticket access programs for CPI on an ongoing basis. 
  • Identify needs for access and accommodations (financial, physical, language, cultural, intellectual, etc.) across Learning & Community and connect program leads with pathways to reduce barriers and address needs for partner organizations. 
  • Manages project phases according to deadlines to ensure goals and objectives are being met. 
  • Co-create and implement strategies for assessing programs and incorporating partner/stakeholder feedback. Apply assessment strategies and data capture techniques. Collect, analyze, and contribute to reporting relevant information  
  • Maintain relationships with community organizations and other relevant stakeholders   
  • Supervise Staff and interns throughout the program development process. Coach towards improved efficiency and effectiveness of program planning implementation, including instructional strategies and evaluation  
  • Facilitate programs on-site or in the community, as required 
  • Support internal and external communications efforts, including developing communications on short notice, which include in-person meetings, phone, email, and other communication efforts with internal and external partners. 
  • Support colleagues’ work and nurture relationships as needs arise within community engagement and partnerships. 
  • Build and nurture intra- and interdepartmental relationships to maximize collaborative opportunities and broaden understanding of organizational assets  
  • Demonstrate a commitment to professional and personal growth by initiating dialogue with colleagues, attending trainings, engaging in self-directed learning, and focusing on professional development goals  
  • Other duties as assigned  
  • B.S./B.A. in a relevant field or equivalent experience  
  • 3+ years of experience in planning, development, budget management, implementation, and evaluation of programming, preferably in an informal setting   
  • 2+ years of experience acting in a supervisory role, including monitoring professional growth opportunities and training plans.  
  • Willingness to implement aquatic education programs on the water and in wilderness and natural settings 
  • Extensive experience working in Chicago communities and with community partnerships.  
  • Experience entering, modifying, and querying from relational databases, e.g., Tessitura  
  • Strong cultural competence is required, including an appreciation and awareness of cultural differences, skilled communication and interaction across cultures, and general knowledge of inclusion practices. 
  • Relevant work experience in environmental justice communities is encouraged. Knowledge of racial justice principles is strongly preferred. 
  • Knowledge and ability to determine and satisfy partner needs and maintain a partnering relationship during engagements; including influencing, communicating, presenting, facilitating, managing, and developing others 
  • Understanding of effective communication concepts, tools, and techniques; ability to effectively transmit, receive, and accurately interpret ideas, information, and needs through the application of appropriate communication behaviors    
  • Understanding of the issues related to the decision-making process; ability to analyze situations fully and accurately, and reach productive decisions   
  • Must be proficient with current Microsoft Office suite, especially Outlook, Excel, and Word  
  • Must possess a team-oriented working style and be a self-starter  
  • A valid driver’s license is strongly preferred  
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for lifelong learning, especially as it relates to conservation, animals, and aquatic science  
  • Positive attitude and familiarity with new and emerging technologies  
  • This is an active position. Staff must move around the aquarium to various exhibits and workspaces. Stairs and elevators are available.   
  • This position works with a variety of community partners. Staff sometimes must visit partner sites, participate in meetings with partners at offsite locations, and navigate the Chicagoland area.   
  • Able to facilitate program activities, including using a tablet or computer, common laboratory equipment, recreation equipment, and field-related gear and equipment.   
  • This work will demand travel and work outdoors with community partners and in varied community settings. Staff will be required to be adaptable and highly flexible.  
  • The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee  encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.
  • The work environment may include the following sensory triggers:
  • large crowds, unusual smells, unusual noises which may be loud, low, or moderate; temperature changes; changes in lighting; and outdoor elements.
  • Staff may get wet or dirty during the workday.  
  • We offer competitive compensation packages and opportunities for professional growth within our organization.
  • Medical Insurance
  • Vision and Dental Insurance
  • Accrued Paid Time Off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Life Insurance
  • Parental Leave
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Employee discounts
Reasonable Accommodations:
  • Shedd Aquarium is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.
  • If you need reasonable accommodations for any part of the employment process, please email us at
  • We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply.
  • Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team.
  • $58,000

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