Digital Equity Director - City of Chicago, IL
DIGITAL EQUITY DIRECTOR
CLASS TITLE: Recovery Team Program Manager
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CLASS
The Digital Equity Director is the City’s leader on closing the digital divide in Chicago. The Digital Equity Director’s mission is to ensure all Chicagoans have high quality internet, devices, and the skills and confidence they need to participate in Chicago’s modern economy. The Director oversees all broadband and digital equity initiatives within the Chicago Recovery Plan, including neighborhood broadband infrastructure, community engagement, programs, and policy reform. This role sits in the Mayor’s Office working across the Office of Equity and Racial Justice and Business and Neighborhood Development team, working closely with the Chief Financial Officer’s team and the new Department of Technology and Innovation (DTI).
- Lead the implementation of a $28M+ neighborhood broadband initiative, which will fund
broadband networks in target neighborhoods that meet the City’s social equity criteria
around affordability, speed, privacy, and consumer protection.
- Coordinate across City and sister agency departments to implement grant-funded
broadband infrastructure initiatives.
- Streamline access to City and sister agency assets, such as rooftops, by maintaining a
public map and coordinating processes across departments.
- Serve as central convener of the Chicago Digital Equity Coalition by leading monthly meetings, managing a Steering Committee, and building relationships with interested members.
- Oversee and drive implementation of the Chicago Digital Equity Plan.
- Pursue funding to build out City-led digital equity program through state and national
Digital Equity Act programs coming available in 2024 and beyond.
- Advocate for and organize around legislation that promotes equitable broadband access.
Educate State and Federal delegation on the state of the digital divide in Chicago,
including its repercussions for residents, and advocate for funding for urban areas.
- Track and respond to federal Request for Comment opportunities, sharing best practices
from Chicago to inform national digital equity programs and position Chicago for grant
- Represent Chicago’s broadband efforts to other cities, think tanks, and nationally.
Education, Training, and Experience
- Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in general
management, business/public administration, political science, information technology,
or related field, plus five (5) years of experience working in project management, or an
equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
- Excellent managerial and interpersonal skills
- Proven track record of effectively interacting and communicating with senior
- Ability to work strategically and collaboratively across departments
- Effective and action-oriented
- Excellent communication skills
- Experience working in local, state, or federal government
Licensure, Certification, or Other Qualifications
- General office environment
- Standard office equipment (e.g., telephone, printer, photocopier, fax machine, calculator)
- Computers and peripheral equipment (e.g., personal computer, computer terminals, hand-held computer, modems, scanners)
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND OTHER WORK REQUIREMENTS
Candidate should have some knowledge of:
- Broadband, digital equity, and related programs, policies, and funding opportunities
- Applying principles of racial equity to policy and program development and community engagement
- Applicable City departments and departmental services, programs, and resources
- Program planning and administration
Candidate should have the ability to:
- Lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction when necessary and appropriate; be a self-starter and drive complex projects forward.
- Coordinate and lead many stakeholders across City departments, sister agencies, and the public to achieve project goals.
- Communicate about complex policy or technical topics in a clear, accessible way, orally, in writing, and through visual aids such as PowerPoint presentations.
- Comfortably communicate with senior leaders through meetings, memos, and presentations.
- Facilitate discussions effectively with internal and external stakeholders, and make progress toward decisions and action.
- Solve problems within a bureaucratic environment across several stakeholders and rules and regulations.
- Build relationships, trust, and credibility with a diverse range of stakeholders, including community members, community-based organizations, City government staff, research entities, other levels of government, and more.
- Stay organized and be proactive.
- COMPREHEND ORAL INFORMATION - Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences
- SPEAK - Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand
- COMPREHEND WRITTEN INFORMATION - Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing
- WRITE - Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand
- REASON TO SOLVE PROBLEMS - Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense
- DEMONSTRATE ORIGINALITY - Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem
- REACH CONCLUSIONS - Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events)
- NEGOTIATION – ability to bring individuals together to reconcile differences
- STRATEGIC THINKING – ability to think of long-term planning and implications of plans for advancement of agendas.
THIS POSITION IS SHAKMAN EXEMPT
The budgeted salary for this position is $103,512.
This position is grant-funded by the American Rescue Plan Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (ARP LFRF) through December 31, 2026.
All employees of the City of Chicago must demonstrate commitment to and compliance with applicable state and federal laws, and City ordinances and rules; the City’s Ethics standards; and other City policies and procedures.
The City of Chicago will consider equivalent foreign degrees, accreditations, and credentials in evaluating qualifications.
City of Chicago
Department of Human Resources