Public Health and Food Systems Planner II

Public Health and Food Systems Planner II

  • Full Time
  • Boston

Website Metropolitan Area Planning Council

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) seeks a passionate and experienced individual with expertise in food systems, public health, and planning to join our team as the Public Health and Food Systems Planner. The Planner will split their time between advancing food systems and public health planning efforts with a focus on developing and implementing strategies to create healthier, more resilient, and equitable communities across Metro Boston. The Public Health and Food Systems Planner will be part of MAPC’s Public Health Department and will report to the Director of Public Health.  

MAPC seeks to advance food justice and health equity through planning and policy that address root causes of food insecurity. Examples of recent work include municipal food system planning, values-based food procurement, urban agriculture planning and evaluation, climate resilience in food systems, and advocacy for equitable state food policy. Learn more about our food systems work here.  The Planner will also bring public health perspectives and expertise to initiatives in areas such as climate resilience, active transportation, housing affordability and stability, and economic opportunity.   

In this dynamic position, we seek an individual with a balance of experience and expertise as well as an openness and drive to learn and expand into new topics and approaches. The ideal candidate will be self-directed, a strategic and systems thinker, willing to experiment and innovate, and committed to advancing health equity to create a more just and sustainable region.   
About MAPC: 
MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. Our strategic priorities involve sustainable development, advancing equity, regional collaboration, and creating a climate-friendly region. We are guided by our regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together. MAPC’s staff includes approximately 100 full-time employees located in downtown Boston in a transit-accessible and bike-friendly office.  
MAPC has a hybrid schedule, combining time in the office with remote work. Employees must reside within a commutable distance from MAPC’s Boston office.    
MAPC strongly supports the professional development of each staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. We encourage all our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC’s planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times.  
 This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative environment with professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone who lives and works in Greater Boston. For more information about MAPC or MetroCommon2050, please visit  

Responsibilities (including but not limited to)

  • Build and expand the food systems practice at MAPC to address persistent and emergent needs and advance food security and health equity across our region; 
  • Participate in projects to advance urban agriculture, procure local and high-quality food for school systems, address issues at the intersection of food systems and climate justice, and a wide array of other projects to advance food security and equity; 
  • Foster partnerships with local and state public health agencies, community-based organizations, local food businesses, academic institutions, health care organizations, and other stakeholders to increase understanding of food insecurity and potential remedies; 
  • Conduct research and evaluation to assess the impact of public health and food systems interventions, identify best practices, and inform future planning, policy and advocacy efforts; 
  • Collaborate with colleagues across departments to integrate public health and food systems planning considerations into broader regional initiatives; 
  • Produce project materials (e.g., plans, memoranda, reports, fact sheets) that communicate evidence, findings, and strategies to various audiences (e.g., community members, local health departments, state and local elected officials, community-based organizations, municipal planners, and the business community); 
  • Secure new projects, grant funding, and fee-for-service contracts to help support food systems and public health initiatives; 
  • Identify best practices, emerging trends, analytical methods, and new approaches in the planning and public health fields and find ways to apply those in MAPC’s work; 
  • Conduct other public health and planning activities consistent with implementing the MetroCommon2050 regional plan; 
  • Participate fully in an inclusive, welcoming, diverse, and creative work environment.  

Evening events, occasional weekend events, and local travel are a responsibility for this position. MAPC does not require that you have a vehicle; however, you must have a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC provides support for travel, including MBTA passes, a Zipcar account and BlueBikes membership.  


Candidates for this position should have five (5) years of relevant work experience in the public health, food systems, or planning fields OR a Bachelor’s degree plus three (3) years of relevant work experience in the identified fields OR a Master’s degree plus two (2) years of work experience.  

Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate all or most of the following: 

  • Strong commitment to addressing issues of public health, food security, social equity, sustainability, and good governance; 
  • Experience building and maintaining partnerships with local and state local government, (including appointed and elected officials), community-based or advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders; 
  • Familiarity with critical issues related to food access, food security, and overall public health in metropolitan settings, including communities that have faced long-standing economic insecurity and discrimination; 
  • Understanding of critical public health, food access, and food security issues facing Metro Boston and U.S. metropolitan areas, particularly as they relate to equity across race, ethnicity, and income;  
  • Knowledge of frameworks, research, and examples for understanding and communicating food system issues and solutions in Massachusetts and in national contexts; 
  • Experience working in projects that involve multi-lingual, multi-cultural, or cross-cultural conditions; 
  • Experience building and maintaining partnerships with external organizations, including community-based organizations;   
  • Excellent written, verbal, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills.   
  • Proficiency in project development, budgeting, and management;  
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative research, data collection, analysis, and interpretation; 
  • Proficiency in working on interdisciplinary projects and in collaborative settings;
  • Strategic and analytical capabilities, capacity for innovation, self-motivation, self-learning, and goal-orientation.   

Per MAPC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy, all employees must be fully vaccinated. This position will require the selected candidate to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, including up to date boosters. MAPC will consider reasonable accommodation to those individuals who are unable to be vaccinated consistent with federal, state, and local law.  

Compensation and Benefits:  
The salary ranges from $72,000 to $82,000, depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time exempt position. MAPC offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family-friendly work environment and a commitment to continued professional development. 

How to Apply:  
Apply online at The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Candidates selected to interview will be asked to submit three (3) references plus a sample of relevant writing or work product. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC participates in E-Verify, which is a federal program that helps us to determine work eligibility in the United States.  
MAPC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a staff with a range of perspectives, experiences, and skillsets strengthens our work. We are committed to building a more equitable workplace that allows staff with diverse backgrounds and identities to thrive, grow, and lead. For more information on MAPC’s culture of equity, see our Equity at MAPC  page. 

To apply for this job please visit