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Public Engagement Program Manager, Planning Department

City of San Diego
San Diego, CA
United States

Job Title: Public Engagement Program Manager, Planning Department - U2101 (Unclassified)

The Program Manager will report to the Planning Department’s Deputy Director in the Environmental Policy and Public Spaces Division. The Program Manager position is a key member of the Executive Management team in the Planning Department and will be responsible for providing oversight to a diverse team of professional planning staff. This recruitment may also be used to fill future vacant Program Manager positions in the Planning Department. 
The Public Engagement Program Manager Position will be responsible for developing and managing a new program for public engagement and communications for the Department. This new program would focus on public and stakeholder engagement, with an emphasis on reaching, educating, and engaging with people that have not traditionally participated in the public process, to ensure that input is received that is representative of the City’s diverse population.  Public engagement is an integral component of the success of the Department’s initiatives, which include long-range community plans, implementing zoning ordinances, infrastructure plans, and environmental policies. The public engagement program will offer a variety of digital and in-person opportunities for interaction and information sharing available to all residents and demographics.
The public engagement program will also provide a strategy for engagement with the public, community-based organizations, and key stakeholders as each of the Planning Department’s initiatives are developed.  These initiatives implement policy goals such as housing affordability, Climate Action Plan implementation, streamlining efforts, and enhancing quality of life in our neighborhoods. To more efficiently manage existing resources dedicated to engagement and outreach, the position will provide a department-wide plan and administration of the program while managing consultants and coordinating with staff.
In addition to measuring and reporting on program effectiveness, the manager will also refine or develop additional public engagement policies and procedures for the Department. This position will also be responsible for the inclusion of social equity and justice as a foundational principle in the Department’s work program, recognizing that our city is comprised of many diverse aspects of identity including race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. This position will also serve as a community, communications, and legislative liaison with a high degree of independence and discretion.
Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Urban Planning, Environmental Studies, Public Administration, Communications, or a related field; and 
  • Five (5) years of supervisory and management experience; and
  • Five (5) years of full-time professional employment reflecting work in integrating multi-discipline long-range planning policies, including, environmental regulations, climate resiliency, conservation, infrastructure, public outreach, or civic engagement; or 
  • Any combination of education and experience that demonstrate these qualifications may be qualifying.

Highly desirable candidates will have:
 A master's degree from an accredited college or university in planning, law, political science, public administration, communications, or a related field. Participation in professional organizations, training and coaching experience, and continued learning are also highly valued.

Key Areas of Responsibilities:

  • Develop community engagement strategies and plans for Department policies and initiatives;
  • Foster relationships with community leaders, stakeholders, and members of the media to increase civic engagement in department initiatives, with a focus on reaching people that have not traditionally participated in the public process;
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive department communications plan, with an emphasis ensuring that input is received that is representative of the City’s diverse population;
  • Develop educational opportunities to enhance understanding of planning, and proactively seek opportunities to share Department news, initiatives, and efforts;
  • Expand Department's digital presence and accessibility using social media and other online or mobile-based tools;
  • Coordinate content and logistics with Department staff for various civic engagement functions and special events;
  • Develop responses to requests from the public, media, elected officials, and stakeholders;
  • Prepare, review, and oversee the distribution of Department presentations, publications, and other civic engagement materials; 
  • Represent the Department and participates in various committees and working groups involving community and educational programs related to Department operations; 
  • Complete and conduct staff performance plans/evaluations;
  • Manage a staff of up to 15 full-time employees; and
  • Perform related duties as assigned.  

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • Proficiency and understanding of matters related to public engagement, strategic communications, social equity, and external affairs;
  • Managing projects (with and without consultant support) including monitoring scope, resources and outcomes;
  • Conducting research; analyzing and interpreting a variety of data and/or information and making recommendations based on findings; and
  • Demonstrated knowledge of key principles and elements in developing outreach campaigns, educational programs, and opportunities for members of the public to provide input into the planning process;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to communicate and present complex and technical information in a simple, clear and straightforward manner, including the use of graphs and tables as needed;
  • Ability to communicate effectively to different audiences, including members of the public, elected officials, and various levels of City management;
  • Ability to comprehend technical details and understand how they relate to and impact the “big picture”;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced, high pressure environment with tight time constraints;
  • Interest in municipal activities and services and how they impact the community;
  • Highly ethical and objective, with the ability to navigate in a political environment without being political; 
  • Strong management skills and experience managing varying program disciplines;
  • Experience in developing budgets and schedules for large-scale programs, plans, and projects with successful results and meeting goals and milestones; and
  • Familiarity with requisition, contracting, and management of technical consultants for the provision of support services for a public agency; and
  • Strong quantitative analytical abilities, including a thorough understanding of common data analysis tools and programs;
  • Energetic and motivated with the ability and desire to take initiative.

Management Compensation and Benefits:
The successful candidate will be eligible for participation in the City’s Flexible Benefits Plan that offers several optional benefit plans or a taxable cash option; $50,000 in City-paid life insurance; paid annual leave accruing at 22 days per year for the 1st through the 15th year of service. For further information, please contact the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-6600.  Retirement benefits for this unclassified position depend on the candidate’s eligible status (new hire, rehire, etc.). To learn more about employee benefits, please review the Benefits Summary for Unclassified Employees. (Download PDF reader) Some benefits currently offered to employees may be modified in the future.
Pre-Employment Requirements:  
Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this job, which may include but are not limited to the following: Proof of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review/exam (which may include drug/alcohol testing); reference checks; and a fingerprint check. The fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes which may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, illegal drugs, including marijuana, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening/selection process may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an expressed or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego.
Medical Evaluation:  
A City medical examination including drug/alcohol screening and documentation of medical history may be conducted following a conditional offer of employment or promotion. The individual must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.  The City of San Diego is committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace.
Selection Process:
To be considered for this position, please submit your: 1) current resume; 2) a letter of interest highlighting your relevant work experience and qualifications for the position; and 3) a list of three professional references via email to [email protected].  Please reference Recruitment No. U2101 in the subject line of the email.
Upon submittal, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above and the most qualified candidates will be invited to an interview.
If you have any questions, please email the City’s Human Resources Department at [email protected].
The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Program for employment and vigorously supports diversity in the workplace.

Published on:
January 6, 2021 - 2:46pm
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