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Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Fellow

About MassDevelopment:

Massachusetts Development Finance Agency (MassDevelopment), the state’s development finance agency and land bank, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2021, MassDevelopment financed or managed 416 projects generating investment of more than $1.86 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 6,578 jobs and build or preserve 1,909 housing units.

Why join our team?

MassDevelopment is committed to achieving three goals: stimulating business, driving economic growth, and helping communities across Massachusetts. Join our team of dedicated professionals to help drive our mission and make a meaningful impact in the communities where we live and work. MassDevelopment fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace and encourages all qualified applicants, including people of color, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities, to apply.

Our total rewards package offers many generous benefits, including:

  • Premium Medical and Dental Coverage
  • Employer Contributions to Retirement Savings Plans
    • 7.5% employer contribution into a 401(a) Defined Contribution Plan 
    • 457(b) (with employer match up to 5%)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
  • Employer-Paid Short- and Long-Term Disability
  • Paid Parenting Leave
  • Paid Time Off
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Fitness/Wellness Reimbursement
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Student Loan Reimbursement
  • Matching Gifts

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About TDI:

Established in 2014, the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) is an innovative “accelerator” program for Massachusetts Gateway Cities designed to catalyze place-based economic growth within focused districts. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage community members in actionable planning, implementing local economic development initiatives, and spurring further public and private investment. TDI commits to districts over a term of years, building a foundation of intensive community engagement and partnership development to deploy the program’s toolkit on projects involving real estate, small businesses, arts and culture, placemaking/placekeeping, and other areas that influence the vibrancy and vitality of diverse commercial districts. 

TDI Fellows Cohort:

First piloted in 2015, the “TDI Fellow” has become the signature feature of this program. Each TDI District receives a TDI Fellow, a mid-career leader in place-based economic development, for a three-year period. A TDI Fellow is a MassDevelopment employee, but works on the ground in their assigned district on a day-to-day basis, essentially serving as the lead organizer for economic development for a TDI Partnership and its area of focus. 

We are now hiring 10 new TDI Fellows to join our largest-ever cohort, which will feature a total of 13 TDI Fellows in Gateway Cities across the Commonwealth. TDI Fellows will:

  • Be part of a unique cohort of urban development practitioners within a network of dynamic, diverse, and engaged cities.
  • Participate in and shape a new and progressive program of statewide redevelopment policy.
  • Serve as steward for the redevelopment of a focused TDI District, working on behalf of a public-private partnership at the municipal level.
  • Engage in regular cohort-building activities and learning opportunities, including orientation, monthly cohort days, partnerships with external fellowship programs for urban development, conferences, and travel to relevant cities and projects around the Commonwealth and beyond. 
  • Take part in ongoing professional development opportunities and enjoy an accelerated professional development experience that broadens skills and provides opportunities to practice them in a dynamic setting.

Job Summary:

MassDevelopment is currently accepting applications for TDI Fellows. We are seeking accomplished mid-career professionals with diverse experiences, who are passionate about economic, real estate, and community development opportunities in Massachusetts Gateway Cities. TDI Fellows are MassDevelopment employees that will be embedded in a specific Gateway City for a term of three years to advance TDI activities in strategically selected districts on behalf of local collaborative public-private partnerships. A successful TDI Fellow will be outgoing and have a collaborative community-building approach; an insatiable curiosity about urban neighborhoods and the people that live in them; an entrepreneurial disposition; and the ability to make things happen in complex, ambiguous environments.

Under the general supervision of the Deputy Director, Fellows Program, TDI Fellows will focus on their assigned district’s redevelopment by connecting various people, initiatives, and investments in the district; identifying key opportunities for advancing the community’s vision; recruiting new activating uses to the district; supporting existing community stakeholders; structuring new partnerships; and reinforcing quintessential relationships to support both immediate projects and long‐term strategic goals. 

Essential Functions: 

  • Work in collaboration with local public-private collaborative partnerships, MassDevelopment staff, and related regional, state, and federal stakeholders to develop, champion, and facilitate a strategic work plan for the assigned TDI District.
  • Identify and engage local influencers, community organizations, residents, property owners, entrepreneurs, and private businesses in district activities in order to increase local capacity and develop a more robust local leadership pipeline.
  • Identify and incubate new partners to build upon the core TDI District partnership.
  • Identify, scope, and manage TDI Technical Assistance projects.
  • Collaborate with local stakeholders and partnerships to identify and advance economic development projects and programs, utilizing the TDI Toolkit and other resources.
  • Facilitate public events, local business support, and real estate opportunities that explicitly draw talent from the local community, build local wealth, and serve to highlight the cultural vibrancy in the district and in Gateway Cities more broadly.
  • Secure new resources for redevelopment activities and projects that have been identified within the work plan and do not fit the specific TDI tools.
  • Serve as an ombudsperson to facilitate TDI District project progress.
  • Support information dissemination and communication to public and private stakeholders to enable better visibility of district and city opportunities.
  • Partner with MassDevelopment’s regional teams and real estate project managers who work in the district.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 3-10 years of professional experience in urban planning, architecture, real estate, community development and/or organizing, and economic development in the public or private sector.
  • Or a combination of relevant work experience and education.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset, including willingness to fail, learn, and adapt. 
  • Ability to be both a neutral facilitator and a fierce advocate; and the judgment to know when each is needed. 
  • Self-directed, with ability to thrive in ambiguous, fast-paced, and stimulating urban environments.
  • Demonstrated experience building trust across cultural barriers and facilitating meaningful conversations between different segments of the community.
  • Creative problem-solver, resourceful, and able to juggle multiple projects.
  • Demonstrated passion for approaching urban development in a way that puts local communities first. 
  • Familiarity with public-sector environments.
  • Ability to develop and manage a budget.
  • Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills.
  • Ability to adapt to changing conditions, expectations, and contexts.
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including nights and weekends as required. 
  • Demonstrated passion for smaller cities and unique opportunities for community wealth building in an urban development context.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Bilingual a plus (see preferred qualifications).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in public policy, economics, business, architecture, urban planning, real estate, sustainability, or other advanced degree in a relevant subject. 
  • A mix of both public- and private-sector experience in urban development.
  • Proficiency in a language relevant to your district(s) of interest (depending on district, relevant language might include, but may not be limited to: Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Khmer, Vietnamese, and Mandarin. Spanish proficiency is strongly preferred for applicants to the Holyoke and Lawrence districts.).
  • Demonstrated experience in shaping and building support for an evolving new program.
  • Familiarity with creating and reading financial models.
  • Specialized skills in any of the following: placemaking, retail recruiting, main streets, place-based (or other asset) marketing, innovative community engagement, technology development (and/or visualization), and graphic or architectural design.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing benchmarks and metrics for reporting progress on innovative projects.

Application Process:

  • Applications for the position of TDI Fellow will be accepted on a rolling basis. It is recommended that applications be submitted by May 16, 2022.
  • Applicants can identify their preference to serve in any of the following cities (we recommend that you consider multiple districts): Attleboro (Downtown), Barnstable (Hyannis East End), Holyoke (South High Street), Lawrence (Broadway/Essex), Lowell (Upper Merrimack Street, Lynn (Union Street), New Bedford (Acushnet Ave/North End), Pittsfield (Downtown/North Street), Springfield (Mason Square), and Taunton (Whittenton District). 
  • Applicants will be evaluated on both their general fit for the role of TDI Fellow and how their expertise meets the specific needs of each city.
  • MassDevelopment will conduct initial interviews beginning on or around May 3, 2022. 
  • MassDevelopment will select finalists to participate in “matching” interviews with representatives from cities’ TDI Partnerships.
  • MassDevelopment will then notify applicants selected to be TDI Fellows. 
  • TDI Fellows will start work between July and October 2022, depending upon the city they are matched with. 
  • Note: TDI Fellows’ workplaces will be located in their assigned district; they are not required to live in that city but must be able to commute there on a daily basis. 


Equal Opportunity Employer:

MassDevelopment is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.