Position Summary

Do you have expertise in planning and the built environment and a desire to help support policy change that advances health equity? ChangeLab Solutions seeks a Planner to work on collaborative interdisciplinary project teams, providing expertise related to planning and the built environment; producing high-quality written products; developing customized, interactive trainings (presented both in person and virtually); and providing technical assistance to government agencies, community-based organizations, policymakers, and public officials across the nation. The Planner reports to a Senior Planner or Managing Director.

About ChangeLab Solutions

ChangeLab Solutions is a national organization that advances equitable laws and policies to ensure healthy lives for all. We prioritize communities whose residents are at highest risk for poor health. Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers, planners, policy analysts, and other professionals works with state and local governments, advocacy organizations, and anchor institutions to create thriving communities. For more information on how we create healthier communities for all through equitable laws and policies, see

The successful candidate will embody our organization’s core values:

  • Justice: We believe that all people have the right to health, justice, dignity, and opportunity. We work to dismantle oppressive and racist systems, laws, and policies and replace them with laws and policies that address the root causes of health inequities.
  • Learning: We are always learning. We take risks, reflecting on our failures and our successes in order to strengthen our health equity work.
  • Collaboration: We believe that complex problems are best solved through partnerships across multiple disciplines and sectors that maximize collective resources and align actions to advance health equity.
  • Community: We learn from those we work with, and we respect lived experience. We acknowledge that our lives, histories, and futures are interconnected, yet not all voices have been equally heard or valued—which is a barrier to health and equity.
  • Integrity: Our solutions in service of health and equity are grounded in evidence, legal precedent, and community-led change efforts.

ChangeLab Solutions’ leadership and staff are committed to centering equity, diversity, and inclusion in our organizational culture, norms, practices, and policies. We are establishing accountability mechanisms at individual, department, and organizational levels. As a staff, we are engaging in conversations on race, power, and intersectional identities. As an organization, we are committing time, resources, and internal capacities to this work. We are eager to hire applicants who are personally dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion and who are excited to join an organization where this work is part of the employee experience.

ChangeLab Solutions has a strong commitment to building a staff that is rich with cultural, social, and intellectual diversity. Candidates who can contribute to this goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths and experiences in this area.

Key Responsibilities

Research, Analysis, and Writing (70%)

In collaboration with other staff, the Planner creates innovative tools and resources that meet the needs of our clients and partners.

  • Collect, analyze, and synthesize a variety of primary and secondary research sources—including interviews, focus groups, reports, economic analyses, spatial analysis, demographic trends, policy documents (including plans and regulations), and academic literature—to formulate policy and legal interventions
  • Contribute to the preparation of resources such as fact sheets, checklists, policy guides, toolkits, and model policies
  • Contribute to the drafting of scholarly articles, op-eds, blog posts, and other materials, tailoring them to resonate with various audiences

Technical Assistance and Training (20%)

In collaboration with other staff, the Planner provides technical assistance on planning and policy matters.

  • Provide accurate and tailored guidance to policymakers, advocates, public agency staff, and community groups
  • Develop and deliver engaging, interactive trainings and presentations at workshops and conferences and on webinars

Relationship Management (10%)

In collaboration with other staff, the Planner contributes to the development of successful internal and external relationships.

  • Contribute to internal and external dialogue that advances our innovative approach to policy change
  • Actively collaborate within and across interdisciplinary teams, including project teams, committees, and other efforts to support internal processes or goals, promote effective organizational culture, or build our public image and brand
  • Participate in external calls, webinars, and meetings with our clients as assigned

Other duties as assigned.

Required Education, Experience, and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree required, plus 2-4 years of relevant professional experience (eg, municipal planning, public agency work, advocacy, community-based work, or consulting)
  • Strongly preferred: experience in engaging with diverse communities, such as rural communities, low-income communities, or communities of color
  • Experience in working on programs, policies, or practices that integrate planning and health promotion at the local, state, or federal level
  • Ability to translate complex public policy issues and technical information into accessible and understandable concepts for a lay audience 
  • Strong attention to detail in written and oral communication 
  • Strong computer skills, including MS Word and email, and the capacity to learn and master new systems
  • Preferred but not required: graduate degree in city planning, public health, public policy, or a related field

Required Personal Attributes

  • Cultural humility and deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Strong problem-solving mentality and approach to work
  • Strong collaboration skills coupled with the capacity to work independently in a remote or hybrid environment
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and take personal initiative
  • Relationship management skills, to build and maintain relationships and to build credibility as a trusted adviser to colleagues, partners, clients, and stakeholders who hold diverse perspectives
  • Ability to collaborate with team members online as needed, outside of a traditional office environment
  • Awareness of one’s own knowledge gaps; openness to learning
  • Strong team spirit, including a willingness to pitch in and help others

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to communicate via phone, email, and video conference
  • Ability to work at a computer for extended periods of time
  • Ability to travel, including out-of-state travel
  • For a remote worker, ability to travel to the Bay Area two to four times per year
  • Ability to lift and carry 10 pounds and manage luggage during travel

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ChangeLab Solutions staff will be working remotely from their homes through the end of September 2021, with the option for some in-office work depending on state and local guidelines. Applicants should be comfortable with working from home and with virtual connection programs and practices. In October 2021 or when it is safe, work in our Oakland office will be expected for staff in the Oakland–San Francisco Bay Area (although flexibility to work at home a few days a week will remain).

We will consider applicants from locations beyond the Bay Area. Once in-office work resumes, staff outside the Bay Area will remain classified as remote employees and regular travel to the Oakland office for meetings and in-person engagement will be expected.

Compensation, Benefits, and Perks

  • Full-time, exempt position; starting salary range of $70,000 to $75,000 per year
  • Great benefits! Medical, dental, vision coverage (ChangeLab Solutions contributes 100% for employees and 50% for dependent premiums.) * Long-term disability insurance * Life insurance * 403(b) plan with 3% employer contribution * Commuter benefits * Flexible spending accounts (dependent care, health care, and transportation)
  • Generous paid time off package, starting at roughly 4.5 weeks PTO annually, plus 11 holidays and weeklong closure in December
  • Office location in the heart of Uptown Oakland
  • Fiscally stable organization
  • Work with a talented group of professionals who are committed to a shared mission

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please submit all required information via our Paylocity recruiting portal:

The following items are required for a complete application packet:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter that highlights your qualifications and why you are interested in the Planner position at ChangeLab Solutions

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be considered as they are submitted; the position remains open until filled.

No phone calls, please.