Planning Director

Prince William County, VA | Full-time


The Position

Located in the thriving Washington, D.C. Metro Area, Prince William is in search of their next Planning Director. The Director will lead the Planning Department in the second-largest county and one of the fastest-growing counties in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Planning Director oversees all long-range planning, current planning, and zoning matters within the County.

Currently, the Planning Director has six (6) direct reports, including a Deputy Planning Director, Administrative Specialist, and four (4) division managers/administrators. The Planning Director reports to one of the organization’s Deputy County Executives.

The Organization

Since 1972, Prince William County has operated under the county executive form of government. The eight-member Board of County Supervisors serves as the policy-making body for the organization. Residents from each of the County’s seven districts elect one member to the Board, with an eighth member elected at large to serve as Chairman of the Board. The Board appoints a County Executive to act as the chief administrative officer and oversee the organization on a day-to-day basis.

The County provides its residents with a full range of services, including police, fire and rescue, court administration, planning, education, development, parks, libraries, recreation and tourism, health and social services, public improvements, and general administration.

The County’s FY 2022 Total Budget is $1.3 Billion, which includes a General Fund Budget of $698 Million. The organization is staffed by approximately 5,077 FTEs, plus more than 11,400 FTEs working for Prince William County Public Schools and 440 FTEs for the Adult Detention Center.

The Planning Department

The Planning Department has four divisions: Administration, Long Range Planning, Current Planning, and Zoning Administration. The Department is responsible for the development and implementation of the County's Comprehensive Plan, reviewing development applications, and supporting land use tools and policies.

The Department’s FY 2022 Budget is approximately $10.1 Million. Currently, there are 31 FTEs within the Planning Department, including the Planning Director.

Mission: To implement the County’s Zoning Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan goals, the Planning Office collaborates with the community and its customers to achieve a high quality of life and regional identity through innovative land use planning.

Experience and Education

Minimum requirements are a High School diploma or G.E.D., five (5) years of planning experience, and a minimum of three (3) years of senior management experience.

Preferred qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in planning, architecture, landscape architecture, public administration, or a related field and American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) certification. Public sector planning, urban design experience, and a demonstrated focus on redevelopment, urban form, and human interaction are also highly preferred. Demonstrated leadership of a staff team and large work program is also strongly preferred.

There is no residency requirement, although reasonable moving expenses may be provided as part of an overall compensation package. There is a strong preference for residency.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal Planning Director is a high-performing, collaborative leader with urban design, redevelopment, and affordable housing experience. The successful candidate is politically astute and capable of navigating controversial planning projects and initiatives. A confident leader, the Planning Director, can lead the team of professional staff, effectively manage a large work program, stand up to pressure, build consensus among internal and external stakeholders, communicate effectively, and provide unpopular advice when appropriate. They prioritize and allocate work effectively. The successful candidate holds themselves and staff to the highest ethical and professional standards and is confident and respectful in all interactions.

The next Planning Director applies their strong negotiation skills to rezoning initiatives and is familiar with the land use entitlement process and all laws, ordinances, and regulations relevant to leading the Planning Department. This individual utilizes diplomacy in navigating differences in stakeholder agendas and works to create unity among groups. A proven leader, the ideal candidate, promotes transparency and makes themselves available to staff and the community at large. They are a proponent of equity and inclusion and consider information from all sources when making decisions.

This individual has a background in housing and is familiar with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and its use in redevelopment projects. The ideal Planning Director effectively coordinates planning and housing services and has a thorough understanding of urban form. Specializing in landscape architecture, this candidate brings considerable urban design experience to the table. The next Planning Director prioritizes well-planned growth and development while balancing open space and environmental needs. The next Planning Director will have proven experience managing a large work program.

As the head of the Planning Department, the Director is an experienced leader and can inspire and engage with a talented staff. The next Planning Director understands the importance of team building, professional development, and collaboration. The successful candidate builds relationships and cultivates trust across the organization and throughout the community. This individual regularly engages with stakeholders as part of the decision-making process and facilitates communication and understanding between divisions and departments. Recognizing the importance of building and maintaining a positive work environment, the Planning Director leads with empathy, positivity, and compassion. The new Director has a strong vision for the Planning Department and is fully committed to the continued success of Prince William County.

The Community

Prince William County is a diverse, flourishing community that prides itself on its high-quality public schools, strong business environment, and ample parkland and outdoor recreation opportunities. Low crime rates, premier medical facilities, and excellent nightlife offerings make Prince William County an ideal home for families, young professionals, retirees, and anyone in between. Located on the Potomac River, approximately 36 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, the County enjoys countless cultural and historical amenities found only in the D.C. Metro Area.

The natural environment and outdoor recreation are essential to the County’s exceptional quality of life. With over 50 parks, including two National Parks, several aquatic facilities, sports complexes, golf courses, and more than 50 miles of trails, greenways, and water trails, there is no shortage of outdoor fun to be had in Prince William County. Prince William Forest Park is one of the two National Parks located in the County and is also the largest protected natural area in the entire D.C. Metro Area. Each year, dozens of recreation programs and activities are provided by the County’s Parks and Recreation Department, including various organized sports leagues and programs for children and seniors.

From concerts featuring some of the biggest names in the music industry at Jiffy Lube Live to historic Civil War events at Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William County has something for everyone. Prince William County’s own Dale City Farmers Market is one of the largest open-air markets in the region and is open year-round. Charming antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques line Prince William’s downtown districts. Virginia’s largest outlet mall is located in Woodbridge, offering more than 220 retail stores and dozens of restaurants.

Prince William County Public Schools is the second-largest school district in the Commonwealth and one of its most diverse. The County’s location in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area places it in close proximity to a variety of higher education institutions, including Georgetown University, George Washington University, George Mason University, and Howard University.

Prince William County Public Schools, Prince William County government, the U.S. Department of Defense, Walmart, and Sentara Healthcare/Potomac Hospital Corporation are among the largest employers in the County.

Washington Dulles International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Manassas Regional Airport are all located in close proximity to the County. Both lines of the Virginia Railway Express provide service to Prince William County, with stations in Bristow, Woodbridge, Rippon, and Quantico. Public bussing is provided for the community by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.

Other Quick Facts

  • Population (2019): 482,204
  • Median Household Income (2018): $107,132
  • Median Home Value (2018): $382,400
  • Median Age: 35.2

All demographic information was sourced from Prince William County Demographics.


The salary range is $120,262 – $200,436, depending on qualifications. Benefits offered include the following:

  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Retirement benefits through the Virginia Retirement System (VRS)
  • Holiday, personal, and sick and annual leave
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Flexible Spending Account Program
  • Retiree Health Insurance and Credit Program
  • Eligibility to join the PWC Employees’ Credit Union

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on November 30, 2021.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at and Carly Trimboli at

Download Recruitment Brochure