Director of the City Manager's Community and Economic Recovery Team

City of San Jose, San Jose, CA

San Jose, CA

Salary: $162,463.63 to $253,926.81

Apply Now

The newly created Community and Economic Recovery Team (Recovery Team) in the City Manager’s Office is comprised of the following positions: Director, Assistant to the City Manager, Executive Analyst, and Staff Specialist. The Recovery Team, once hired, will provide strategic leadership for and oversight of the projects and policies required to advance the City Manager’s COVID-19 Pandemic: Community + Economic Recovery Enterprise Priority. Enterprise project areas include: Housing Stabilization; Re-Employment + Workforce Development; Small Business Recovery; Food + Necessities Distribution; Digital Equity; Child Care Learning Pods, and Build Back Better + Recovery Taskforce + Al Fresco Forever.  A May 4, 2021 City Council Study Session details the vision, initiatives, and organizational structure that will advance this Enterprise Priority, which aims to foster an equitable recovery to a “Better Normal”.

While much of the programmatic work related to these projects is occurring within City Departments, including the Housing Department, Library Department, Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services Department, as well as the City Manager’s Office of Economic Development, the Recovery Team is responsible for efficient and effective cross-departmental coordination with departmental project leads. The Team will also work in close partnership with the City Manager’s Office of Racial Equity, City Manager’s Budget Office, Finance Department, and City Manager’s Office of Emergency Management, each of which have important administrative recovery functions.  As the City’s priorities are advanced through departmental efforts, the Recovery Team will ensure robust internal and external communication and collaboration through a number of bodies including, but not limited to: community partners, City Departments,  key stakeholder groups and taskforces, City Council, and City Council Committees. The team also will oversee recovery efforts related to a) data, performance metrics, and mapping, b) communications and community engagement, and c) federal and state stimulus advocacy. 


As a member of the City Manager’s Office and the City’s Senior Staff Leadership Team, the Director of the Community and Economic Recovery Team will report directly to the City Manager, with day-to-day oversight from two Deputy City Managers who are the executive sponsors of the City Manager’s COVID-19 Pandemic: Community and Economic Recovery Enterprise Priority. The position is integral for the City to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and will be required to resolve complex administrative matters and support city-wide inter-departmental policy analysis and implementation, with an explicit focus on advancing racial equity and ensuring that the communities hardest hit by the pandemic are at the forefront of recovery efforts—listening and working with impacted residents, small businesses, and nonprofits is essential.

Strong communication and coordination skills will be critical. The position will coordinate with and act as an internal and external liaison on behalf of the City Manager with community partners, City Departments, key stakeholder groups and taskforces, City Council, and City Council Committees, as appropriate. As a creative and collaborative leader, the Director position will have a substantial capacity for managing, augmenting, and implementing a number of high-level projects simultaneously and in a timely manner, ensuring City policies are upheld and that both internal objectives and community needs are met to the extent possible.

The Director must also coordinate internal working groups to advance Senior Staff understanding of the intersectionality of issues in order to pursue wholistic, data- and community-driven solutions. This later work requires an ability to understand and interpret spatial data and mapping, as well as the ability to coordinate dataset gathering and integration. The ability to support strategic federal and state stimulus advocacy is also required.

The Director will have a passion for public service, believe in the values of people, equity, dignity, empathy, and action to drive recovery efforts, and be driven by a specific desire to make a difference in the City of San José.

This position is a temporary, limit-dated position that is anticipated to be budgeted through June 30, 2023.


The ideal candidate will…

  • Be committed to racial equity and inclusion.
  • Be an established leader who enjoys working in a fast-paced, high profile and progressive environment, which is supported by collaboration, transparency, and ethics of the highest level.
  • Demonstrate experience in and understand the importance of listening to the community to work together and with them, rather than implementing programs for the community.
  • Be a highly collaborative, creative, and strategic thinker who brings forward new ideas to resolve complex issues and/or implement challenging projects and policies, while considering stakeholder impacts in formulating recommendations that are in the best interest of the community and organization. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and experience with applicable professional/technical principles and practices, including public policymaking and administration management, business management, grant writing, city-wide and departmental procedures/policies, and federal and state rules and regulations. 
  • Possess superior verbal and written communication skills, as well as listening skills, with the ability to translate complex administrative matters, policy analysis and alternatives, and strategies into understandable layperson’s terms.
  • Be highly resourceful and organized toward meeting job objectives, anticipate problems, be proactive, avoid difficulties by planning ahead, and display a willingness to assume extra responsibilities, special projects, and challenges.
  • Can attract and retain excellent employees, build a high-functioning, motivated team, and mentor and develop staff.
  • Is politically astute and capable of mediating professional staff concerns and political concerns, and comfortable with significant, regular interaction with the Mayor and Councilmembers.   
  • Have specific knowledge of preparing budgets, maintaining budgetary controls, and tracking budgets, have contract development and management experience, and understand accounting and purchasing practices to support Departments as needed. 
  • Demonstrates knowledge of and experience with data-driven decision making, particularly with helping groups define the problem they are trying to understand then help gather datasets to inform the understanding of an issue and ultimate decision. Experience with GIS and understanding of spatial data is preferred.
  • Have significant experience and understanding of how cross-boundary public policy making affects the City of San José and can actively engage other agencies to move forward San José priorities.   


The Director of the Community and Economic Recovery Team is required to have a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in public administration, business administration, or a related discipline, and ten (10) years of progressively responsible professional experience that demonstrates proficiency at the management and policy-making levels of a corporate or public organization responsible for a complex range of programs and activities, including five (5) years at a management and policy-making management level. A Master’s Degree in public administration, public policy, business administration, or a related discipline is preferred.


The salary range for this position is $162,463.63 to $253,926.81 per year. The Director of the City Manager’s Community and Economic Recovery Team also receives an approximate five percent (5%) ongoing non-pensionable compensation in addition to the compensation listed above. The actual salary shall be determined by the final candidate’s qualifications and experience.

In addition, the City provides an excellent array of benefits, including:

  • Retirement – Competitive defined benefit retirement plan with full reciprocity with CalPERS; defined contribution plan available as an option.
  • Health Insurance – The City contributes 85% towards the premium of the lowest cost non-deductible plan. There are several plan options.
  • Dental Insurance – The City contributes 100% of the premium of the lowest priced plan for dental coverage.
  • Personal Time – Vacation is accrued initially at the rate of three weeks per year with amounts increasing up to five weeks after 15 years of service. Executive Leave of 40hours is granted annually and, depending upon success in the Management Performance Program, could increase to up to 80 hours.
  • Sick Leave – Sick Leave is accrued at the rate of approximately 8 hours per month.
  • Holidays – The City observes 14 paid holidays annually.
  • Deferred Compensation – The City offers an optional 457 Plan.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts – The City participates in Dependent Care Assistance and Medical Reimbursement Programs.
  • Life Insurance – The City provides a term life policy equal to two times annual salary. Long-term disability and AD&D plans are optional.
  • Employee Assistance Program – The City provides a comprehensive range of services through the EAP.
  • Vehicle Allowance – The City provides a vehicle allowance of $350 per month.

For more information on employee benefits, please visit the City’s HR Benefits website.

Federal law requires all employees to provide verification of their eligibility to work in this country. Please be informed that the City of San José will not sponsor, represent, or sign any documents related to visa application/transfers for H1-B or any other type of visa the requires an employee application.

The final filing date is July 12, 2021, by 5:00 pm PST. 

To be considered, submit an electronic version of your cover letter and resume that reflects your prior experience in government policy to Carolyn Gibson, Senior Executive Analyst, via email at [email protected]. Please also submit thoughtful responses to the following questions:

  1. Please describe your current position or most recent position and responsibilities and tell us how your career has prepared you to be the Director of Community and Economic Recovery. 
  2. Many communities are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Why do you feel racial equity must be at the center of San Jose's recovery efforts and how will you work to build trust with our most burdened communities to ensure an inclusive economic recovery?
  3. In a complex organization like the City of San José, there are many competing priorities and tight deadlines; the urgency of recovery efforts in response to the pandemic exacerbate those deadlines.  What methods do you use when overseeing many critical priorities and how do you check for quality and accuracy in your work and the work that you oversee?
  4. So many of the problems facing the City of San José cross organizational boundaries requiring policy and operational collaboration and coordination across many agencies. The projects overseen by the Community and Economic Recovery Director require exemplary collaboration and communication skills in working with many internal and external partners, stakeholder groups, and community members. What do you believe are the critical elements to facilitating this work and provide experiences from your past work?  Please explain your approach to working across an organization to collectively define policy issues/problems and design solutions with the community that positively impact the community.
  5. This position will require frequent interaction with members of the public, community groups, and elected and appointed officials. Briefly describe a controversial or sensitive project you were involved in, your role, and how you interacted with interested parties. Please describe how you established credibility with the parties involved and how that helped the outcome of the project.

Resumes will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in this brochure.  Candidates deemed to have the most relevant qualifications will be invited to virtual panel interviews via Zoom which are tentatively planned for July 26, 2021.  The final candidate(s) will then meet with the City Manager and members of his Senior Staff.

The City of San José is an equal opportunity employer.

Posted July 8, 2021, 9:28 AM PDT

Find your next career opportunity in planning and urban design.

Planetizen Courses logo

Planetizen Courses: Online Training in Urban Planning

Access more than 250 urban planning courses on your computer, phone, or tablet. Learn today, plan for tomorrow.

View Courses

Edmonton, Canada

Planetizen AICP Exam Prep Class logo

Planetizen AICP* Exam Prep Class

88% of students who took our class passed the exam and became AICP* certified.

View Class