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Design Director, Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity

NYC Mayor's Office of Contract Services Manhattan Full-time

Job Description

The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) works to reduce poverty and increase equity through the use of data and evidence in program and policy design, service delivery, and budget decisions.

The initiatives that you will work on all share the common goal of delivering more effective services and helping residents address poverty-related challenges. NYC Opportunity operates a portfolio of programs and digital tools and offers our expertise across multiple areas, including facilitating data integration to improve social service performance, easing access to services and programs, and designing new digital and in-person services with agency partners.

The Service Design Studio helps further the City’s use of community-centered design and research methods. We believe that design processes, strategies, and tools greatly support the City’s efforts to decrease poverty and increase equity in NYC. We build the City’s design capacity through the Civic Service Design Tools + Tactics toolkit, office hours, workshops and training, internal and public events, and partner closely with agencies and community-based organizations serving low-income New Yorkers. Our team conducts design research, develops documentation, offers service enhancements, shapes user experiences, and works closely with teams to prototype, develop, and set ongoing strategies for programs and services. We also develop and share best practices for centering communities in the development of new and existing services and programs. Centering our communities is the crux of our work, and we believe that government must consider this in every facet of the system to be effective.

Through creative, caring, and empowering leadership that supports the mission and values of the Service Design Studio at the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, the Design Director will shape a service design practice that continues to strengthen the ways in which the City of New York designs public services and programs focused on decreasing poverty and increasing opportunity for New Yorkers.

The Design Director desires to proactively address issues of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion within the context of service design and is someone who advocates and applies strategic approaches for centering the voices of New Yorkers - our residents, community-based service providers, frontline staff and other stakeholders - through our processes, tools, communications, and outputs. The Director serves as a thought leader and is passionate about growing a diverse and multi-disciplinary community of designers by uplifting the expertise and experience of residents, front line direct service staff and city agency staff.

The Director will work with a transdisciplinary team of experts across the larger office versed in data science and data interoperability strategies, digital development and product design, program design, evaluation, behavioral sciences, and research around poverty and equity to develop and implement cross-team strategies. The Design Director is influential in steering a larger vision to create the infrastructure and culture for NYC to responsibly advocate for lived experience and community-centered design as a form of evidence to drive systems change, equitable resource allocation and participatory decision-making.

  • Identifying and shaping service design projects strategic to the Administration, NYC Opportunity’s priorities, and the Service Design Studio vision.
  • Managing, caring for, and advising an interdisciplinary service design team of 4-7 staff and fellows, supporting their professional development and fostering space for shared dialogue and

leadership growth.

  • Promoting the Studio and its practice through public speaking, presentations, and writing, continuously advocating for centering communities in the design and development of programs and


  • Fostering creativity and creating space to test and demonstrate methods for utilizing the design practice within the context of government.
  • Promote and build evidence for the use of participatory methods to center community voice and share decision making power in determining improvements and new solutions for public service


  • Fostering relationships with city agencies, offices, community-based organizations, philanthropy, and NYC community members.
  • Support procurement, contracting, and budgeting needs. Managing vendor relationships.
  • Supporting internal and external visual brand and communications strategy for NYC Opportunity and, evolving it with purpose.
  • Advocate and promote community-centered design by upskilling city agency and provider staff to utilize design justice methods and tools in their work.
  • Continuing to improve and generate service design Tools + Tactics and other service offerings that support public servants knowledge and application of service design.
  • Stepping in to support as a project lead or project support when additional capacity is needed to assist with research, facilitation, co-design sessions, stakeholder meetings, brainstorming and

prototyping sessions, presentation prep, designing artifacts like journey maps or personas, and supporting in the writing of research reports, recommendation decks or the packaging of other


  • Contributing to city-wide design standards and relevant initiatives.
  • Performing duties assigned by the Executive and Deputy Executive Director.

Minimum Qual Requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited college with a baccalaureate degree; or
  • Graduation from an accredited community college plus two years of experience with administrative, analytic, coordinative, supervisory or liaison responsibilities; or
  • A four-year high school diploma or its educational equivalent plus four years of experience as described in “2” above; or
  • A satisfactory equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Skills

  • Has experience working closely with communities who are engaging with social services and programs and/or has lived-experience engaging with social services and programs themselves.
  • Experience in policy, government or non-profit sector(s), in particular with issues related to poverty.
  • Experience managing strategy and communication across multidisciplinary teams, particularly in bureaucratic environments.
  • Strong project management experience, especially with multiple stakeholders (crafting scope of work documents, writing design briefs, managing timelines and coordinating schedules, building

strategic plans, etc.).

  • A design thought leader (previous leader at a design studio or comparable) and highly experienced facilitator (preparing facilitation guides, building agendas, leading workshops and co-design


  • Understands ethical research and design justice principles and has employed participatory research and community-centered design and engagement practices (participatory action research methods, codesign workshops, semi-structured interviews, population education).
  • Experience building and strengthening partnerships amongst stakeholders of all skill levels.
  • Experience seeking, writing and managing grants and grant partnerships
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to understand and synthesize risk and impact within complex systems.
  • Experience collecting data and developing metrics that demonstrate impact.

Technical skills:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office tools (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and Google Drive (Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms)
  • Figma, Miro or other prototyping or visualization platforms
  • Airtable, Asana (or other project management tools)
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (especially Photoshop and Illustrator) or other graphic design and layout platforms.

Preferred but not required:

  • Experience in art and graphic design direction for print, web, and/or place-based work
  • Experience with an agile, iterative development processes
  • Experience working with IT and product development teams
  • A working fluency in one or more of the Local Law 30 languages (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Haitian, Korean, Arabic, Urdu, French, and Polish)

Additional Attributes:

  • Passion for the mission and pride in being a public servant: Demonstrates a commitment to the mission of advancing greater equality and opportunity for New Yorkers.
  • Ability to self-direct work: Can self-manage their tasks, meet deadlines and ask for resources and support when needed.
  • Strong interpersonal and empathy skills: Self-reflective, takes time to observe, develop and foster relationships with team members and partners.
  • Creativity: Applies a creative, iterative and out-of-the box mindset to solving problems.
  • All hands on deck attitude: Comfortable working in a fast-paced bureaucratic environment, can pivot their work and respond to rapid requests willingly.

To Apply

External Applicants, please go to and search for Job ID#: 553743

Current City Employees, please go to and search for Job ID#: 553743

Mayor’s Office For Economic Opportunity is an equal opportunity employer. Mayor’s Office of Contract Services recognizes the unique skills and strengths gained through military service. Veterans and service members of the U.S. Armed Forces are strongly encouraged to apply. Special accommodations provided to applicants with disabilities. Please contact MOCS Disability Service Facilitator at or 212-298-0734 only to request an accommodation. No other phone calls or personal inquiries permitted.

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Residency Requirement

New York City residency is generally required within 90 days of appointment. However, City Employees in certain titles who have worked for the City for 2 continuous years may also be eligible to reside in Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, or Orange County. To determine if the residency requirement applies to you, please discuss with the agency representative at the time of interview.

To apply for this job please visit

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