Program Director, Next Mayor Project: The Lenfest Institute for Journalism


The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is a unique nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to build sustainable business models for local journalism. The Institute’s goal is to transform the news industry in the digital age to ensure that high-quality local journalism remains a cornerstone of our democracy.

Journalism requires new business models, powerful innovation, and diverse audiences. The Lenfest Institute is working throughout local news ecosystems, in Philadelphia and beyond, to crack the code on a sustainable future for this vital resource. The Lenfest Institute is an innovator and a change agent developing scalable solutions across Philadelphia and nationwide.

The Institute is seeking a Project Director for The Next Mayor Project, a new citywide community listening and media initiative centered around the 2023 Philadelphia mayoral election. The Project Director will serve as the chief ambassador to community and media partners and manage external components of the project.


Using a community-centered approach, the Project Director will oversee and direct the Next Mayor Project to ensure that all project goals and grant requirements are met. The Project Director will work closely with the Institute’s programs and advancement teams, as well as the project’s Editorial Director and advisory committee.

This is a full-time contract position beginning in Spring 2022 and continuing through 2023. The Project Director is expected to work at least part-time in Philadelphia and participate in some in-person public events.


The Next Mayor Project is a comprehensive effort to elevate issues and civic dialogue, catalyze news media and community action, and help ensure broad engagement in Philadelphia’s future leadership and government on the occasion of the 2023 mayoral election. Over the past few months the Institute has engaged a broad array of stakeholders — including civic and community leaders, youth voter-engagement organizations, news media in Philadelphia and around the country, as well as election, public-opinion research, and social media marketing opinion leaders — to participate in the design and development of the project. The project is structured around two key overlapping phases leading up to the November 2023 election. First, it will employ deep and broadly applied community listening and public-opinion research to help ground and inform reporting and amplify the voices of various segments of the population. Second, it will ensure that Philadelphia’s media outlets use these insights to help educate and engage the community on key issues throughout the electoral process and be positioned to hold elected officials accountable thereafter.

The primary responsibility of the Project Director is to coordinate the overall project. This will include city-wide listening and public-opinion research efforts to help ensure that all of our city’s residents and communities feel properly heard and engaged. The learnings gathered through that process will be amplified through mainstream and community media – including social, print, digital and broadcast media – as journalistic and public-service messaging collaborators, in pursuit of the goal that all Philadelphians feel informed, engaged, and heard.


• Identify and engage prospective community listening, opinion research, and media partners to accomplish project goals

• Plan, organize, and facilitate a series of approximately 12 community listening sessions and public events

• Conduct initial opinion research at scale

• Capture issues, messaging and information and prioritize issues

• Identify key engagement metrics and methods for measuring civic engagement and empowerment

• Working with Institute operations and programs staff, lead and manage all partnership agreements and grantmaking activities in support of the project”

• Facilitate ongoing communication, reporting, and content sharing between community partners, newsrooms, and Institute staff

• Contribute content and perspective to the project’s city-wide branding and marketing campaign

• Collaborate with Editorial Director on public-facing website and content aggregation

• Follow project budget in coordination with Institute staff and in line with funding parameters

• Participate in working group to plan for post-election accountability

• Document and share project learnings


• 7-plus years in a project management or community engagement position

• Prior experience and familiarity with Philadelphia’s media ecosystem • Experience employing a broad array of community listening techniques, including 1:1 interviews, focus groups, and quantitative research

• Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of partners

• Skill in managing program activities and budgets

• Ability to manage multiple priorities while keeping the end goals in sight

• Great communication and presentation skills

• News media and editorial background or project management experience related to news coverage is a plus

• Editorial collaboration or content aggregation experience is a plus


• A skilled facilitator, listener, and collaborator

• Deep sense of accountability to project stakeholders

• An organizing and movement-building approach to community engagement

• A mission-driven person, who cares about local news, innovation, and democracy

•Commitment to equity in all aspects of the work

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to by Friday, May 20, 2022.