USC Dornsife Public Exchange is an initiative unlike any other at the university. Founded in 2020, the Public Exchange fast-tracks collaborations between academic researchers and the public and private sectors to define, analyze and solve complex problems together. In the past year, Public Exchange has led a range of exciting projects to address challenges in public health, climate change, and sustainability with partners including the City and County of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita Water Authority, and the United Nations Foundation.
Public Exchange seeks a Project Specialist to support the expansion of USC’s Urban Trees Initiative. Launched in August 2020, this initiative seeks to improve urban forestry planning and the equitable distribution of tree canopy throughout Los Angeles. Coordinating between USC, the City of Los Angeles, non-profit organizations, and local residents, the Project Specialist will design a new grant program to plant trees in areas of Los Angeles suffering most from rising temperatures and worsening air pollution. The ideal candidate has a passion for environmental justice and determination to build the case for trees as essential tools for climate mitigation. This is a unique opportunity to make meaningful change in L.A.’s urban environment, improve quality of life for generations of Angelenos, and build a model for urban climate mitigation and adaptation.
The Project Specialist reports to the Urban Trees Initiative Project Manager, and will work closely with the Director of Strategy and Operations, research teams, and key stakeholders to deliver on project goals and objectives.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Key Areas of Responsibility:
- Design and manage tree-planting grants program from launch to impact measurement.
- Develop long-lasting partnerships with community organizations and residents in neighborhoods in East and South Los Angeles.
- Coordinate and support execution of community workshops, meetings, and other creative outreach activities.
- Serve as a key liaison with USC’s Community Partnerships team.
- Ensure community members’ voices and needs are represented and included in all policy recommendations and decision-making under the Urban Trees Initiative.
- Track grant budgets and ensure the timely transfer of funds and payments to community partners.
- Participate in off-campus community meetings and events to enhance project visibility.
- Minimum two years of work experience leading community outreach activities.
- Bachelor’s degree preferred; at least four years of relevant experience can substitute for the degree.
- Deep knowledge of communities in East and/or South Los Angeles.
- Experience tracking and allocating budgets appropriately and according to plan.
- Ability to clearly communicate, both verbally and in writing; Spanish proficiency preferred.
- Demonstrated interest in issues of equity, environmental justice, climate change, and policy.
- Ability to navigate bureaucratic processes, such as city permitting regulations.
- Sensitivity to social issues and working with diverse populations.
- Strong organizational and time management skills.
Salary range: $28 - $33/hr DOE
This position is funded on gift accounts.
Required Documents and Additional Information:
- Resume and cover letter required (may be uploaded as one file). Please do not submit your application without these documents.
- Job openings are posted for a minimum of (5) five business days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended, so please apply on the same business day if interested.
- USC has excellent benefits, including health benefits for staff and their family with access to the renowned university medical network; eligibility for retirement plans with employer contributions after six months of employment; tuition benefits for staff and their family; free Professional Development classes; central Los Angeles location with easy access to commuter trains, buses and free tram pick up services; discounts to sporting and other campus events.
Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The university reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.
The University of Southern California is an Equal Opportunity Employer that Values Diversity.
Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree Additional Education Requirements Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 2 years Minimum Skills: Directly related education and experience to be able to advise on project procedures and analysis techniques. Preferred Education: Master's degree Preferred Experience: 3 years
How To Apply
Please apply through the APPLICATION PORTAL