Director of Operations

About the Role

Little Island’s Director of Operations will be responsible for leading and managing our Horticulture, Park Operations (maintenance, custodial, and safety), and Visitor Experience departments in accordance with the organization’s mission and values. The ideal candidate is an experienced people leader (staff ranging from 30-75 staff depending on the season) who can develop and execute a detailed operational plan and budget.The professional we seek can manage a diverse team charged with maintaining a dynamic public park with a high standard of excellence, care, and collaboration--all to ensure a safe and high-quality experience for all visitors. This leader will be responsible for the management and maintenance of a complex landscape and innovative public park design, and for delivering an unparalleled level of hospitality in a public space.

This role reports to the Executive Director and is a member of the senior leadership team along with the Chief Operating Officer, Director of Education and Community Relations, and Producer.


This is an initiative-taking leadership role, involving a mix of both strategic and day-to-day activities. The ideal candidate has demonstrated their ability to manage a high-quality operation, achieve results through driving alignment and projects in partnership with other collaborators, and be a team-builder and mentor to others in the organization. The Director of Operations will:

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and direct reports on the planning and execution of all park operations
  • Identify metrics of success for direct reports (Head of Horticulture, Park Operations Manager, Visitor Experience Manager) as it relates to budgets, staff management, vendor management, park safety, and the visitor experience
  • Create an inclusive and highly functioning team to ensure that all decision-making and activities are consistent with the mission, values, and strategy of the organization
  • Manage the identification and delivery of Little Island capital maintenance projects, overseeing all budgets and execution and any external vendors
  • Oversee the management of Little Island’s key external vendors including horticulture and security, ensuring relationships are managed with the goal of preserving the architectural and environmental vision of the park and maintaining safety at all times
  • Oversee the Operations department budgets, ensuring all planning, projects, initiatives, and goals are executed with fiscal responsibility, responsiveness, and transparency
  • Act as executive advisor for all Little Island safety initiatives to ensure that all department heads are prioritizing staff education and training, safety, and appropriate protocols
  • Collaborate closely with the Chief Operating Officer on risk management issues to manage exposure and ensure the park’s operations are sustainable and in compliance with all operational agreements and permits
  • Collaborate closely with Hudson River Park Trust and act as the primary liaison in matters related to the long-term maintenance and safety of the park
  • Initiate and manage other administrative and/organizational projects as required


  • 7+ years operational leadership experience in parks and public space, arts and entertainment, attractions, hospitality or experiential education
  • Experience overseeing complex vendor relationships and executing capital projects
  • Strong financial and budget management skills
  • Experience working with internal staff and external stakeholders in a manner that models accountability and demonstrates discernment and professionalism
  • Excellent administrative and organizational skills
  • A strategic thinker and influential communicator, with the ability to share information with a diversity of audiences in a respectful way while driving consensus.
  • Expertise negotiating with vendors and stakeholders in a variety of park and public space fields (construction, maintenance, horticulture, urban planning, etc.)
  • Proven track record leading and mentoring diverse teams and managers
  • A vision for fostering an operational plan and organizational culture that balances excellence, hospitality, and inclusion
  • Excellent analytical skills; a creative approach to problem solving, collaborating cross-departmentally, and managing multiple projects, deadlines, and details with finesse
  • Availability to work nights, weekends, and holidays, as needed, and to respond to emergency situations on an “on call” basis.
Submit Cover Letter & Resume