Jul 03, 2019

Design Director

  • Kounkuey Design Initiative
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
Senior Management - Director Foundations Economic / Development Legal Aid and Advocacy Nonprofit-Social Services Training

Job Description

 KDI is seeking a unique Design Director to lead and build the Landscape Design team in our Los Angeles office, and carry out our mission to advance equity, and activate the unrealized potential in neighborhoods and cities, in partnership with under-resourced communities facing political, social, and physical challenges.

This is a salaried, full time position with benefits. 


Position Overview: The Design Director will be responsible for strengthening and growing KDI’s landscape design practice; building our staff’s and organization’s capacity to deliver innovative, multi-faceted built projects; and expanding our reach to new communities throughout California and the U.S.  

We’re looking for someone with a strong interest in social justice and participatory processes; exceptional design ability; extensive experience implementing built projects; a track record as a leader who can work collaboratively, mentor staff, and carry out a vision for what design can achieve in under-resourced communities. This is not a conventional design position; for the chosen candidate, this is an incredible opportunity to lead public park projects, shape KDI’s design department, growing a team, and work extensively with communities.   


The company realizes that every interested candidate might not have all of the desired experience, but here is what they are looking for in terms of experience and skills… the more you have, the better! 


  • Eight to fifteen years practicing as a landscape architect.
  • Extensive experience leading design and implementation of parks, plazas, and other public open spaces.
  • Experience working in an award-winning design environment.
  • Extensive experience managing consultant teams, overseeing production of construction drawings, and leading construction administration.
  • Experience working with government clients and stakeholders preferred.
  • Experience with non-profits (as a collaborator with non-profit partners, board member, volunteer, etc) is a plus, but not required.

Talents and Skills:

  • A passion for creating transformative places and working collaboratively with people from all walks of life.
  • Exceptional design ability.
  • Ability to co-lead an organization in ways that inspire staff and collaborators.
  • Strong skills with AutoCAD, Adobe Creative Suite. (Rhino and other 3D modeling software is used)
  • Proficiency with detailing, redlining, and writing specifications.
  • Strong verbal presentation, writing, and graphic communication skills.
  • Willingness to travel to the Coachella Valley regularly (weekly drive during work hours), and nationally and internationally as needed. (1-2 trips to Kenya, possibly one other international trip).
  • Experience with budgeting and financial management.Grant writing skills are a plus, but not required.Written and spoken fluency in Spanish is a plus, but not required.


  • Participatory, inclusive, collaborative.
  • Altruistic.
  • Mission driven.
  • Respectful of self and others.
  • Embraces diversity in all areas of life.
  • Nice, happy, mature, self aware.  


  • Masters in Landscape Architecture or related field preferred.
  • Must be a licensed landscape architect (CA license not required, but must be willing/able to become licensed in CA, if hired).


KDI actively seeks to create a well-balanced and responsive work environment. We offer competitive compensation and generous paid time off, as well as benefits such as group health insurance (medical, dental, vision), disability and life insurance, flexible spending plans, commuter stipend, 401k, and opportunities for professional development and assistance with licensure.

We welcome diverse candidates from around the country; some relocation assistance may be provided.


TO APPLY:                 

Please email your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to LAjobs@kounkuey.org with “Design Director: YOUR NAME” in the subject line.

Title / Level of Responsibility


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