Chief Communications Officer

About SPUR

SPUR is a nonprofit public policy organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR works to create an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region, where all people thrive. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems cities face. With offices in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, we are recognized and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues. 

The Opportunity

SPUR seeks candidates for the newly created position of Chief Communications Officer (CCO). The Chief Communications Officer (CCO) will lead the development and execution of SPUR’s communications and engagement strategy, translating and advancing our mission, vision, and overall goal of implementing policy change in the region across a broad range of constituents in the Bay Area.

The CCO will harness the power of narrative to create more opportunities and connections that promote the adoption of SPUR’s policy change agenda. As such, they will be responsible for attracting our target audience, both policy makers and the general public, and motivating decision makers at city, regional and state levels to take action and create lasting change. The CCO will understand how to develop and leverage SPUR’s brand in service of policy change and organizational vitality.

Reporting directly to the President & CEO, and collaborating with other senior leaders and the seasoned professionals on SPUR’s Communications + Engagement team, which publishes over 50 reports and articles and produces more than 150 forums, workshops and tours a year. The CCO will oversee the promotion of these activities through our website, social media, email comms, and more. The CCO will have lead responsibility for strategic communications, brand management, content strategies including distribution, marketing, member engagement, and high-level media relations. The CCO will work closely with multiple departments focused on advancing relevant policy narratives and will play a key role in ensuring SPUR’s organizational health through clear brand identity.

Core Responsibilities

  • With the President & CEO and the Communications + Engagement team, lead the development of SPUR’s communications strategy to expand SPUR’s impact and engagement with a range of stakeholders.
  • Advance the organization’s mission by promoting and amplifying SPUR’s vision for the future and progress toward SPUR’s goals, with a wide variety of audiences through a diverse mix of communication tools, platforms and partnerships.
  • Lead the Communications team in the execution of a mission-driven strategic communications plan.
  • In collaboration with the Chief Development Officer develop a member and audience cultivation strategy.
  • Advance the organization’s equity framework within the Communications team, across the organization and externally.
  • Advise and support senior leaders and staff on communications needs.
  • Work collaboratively with internal and external partners to build brand, elevate the reputation and impact of SPUR; further the organization’s mission, and to inform policy and ideas through content, print, digital, and in-person programming.
  • Develop SPUR’s media relations. Establish relationships with journalists, the policy community and other influencers. Serve as a spokesperson to the media and other external audiences as needed.
  • Oversee a talented Communications + Engagement team of 4 as well as consultants including web developers, graphic designers and other contractors as needed.

Key Qualifications

  • Strategic communications leader who can think holistically and integrate communications expertise into organizational strategy in order to meet the goals of the organization.
  • Strategic communications experience, including media relations and social media. Deep understanding of current digital communications trends.
  • Experience leading an organization's communications strategy.
  • Adept at engaging external audiences in order to convey SPUR’s research and policy initiatives. Is able to tailor information to fit the interest/needs of various audiences (decision makers, policy experts, general population).
  • Highly developed relationship builder.
  • Has experience with reputation management and understands the importance of strengthening brand identity for an organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to work across the entire organization with other organizational leaders and teams and maintain strong relationships with staff.
  • Ability to lead a team, and to foster a culture that is supportive, collaborative, and results-oriented.
  • Leads with values aligned with equity and inclusion. Considers a range of ideas and seeks a diverse set of input in order to guide the organization and to make decisions.
  • Passion for SPUR’s mission.

This position is a good fit for a high-level “do-er”: someone who enjoys creating strategy and doing the work.


The salary range for this position is $150,000-$175,000 and will be based on experience and commensurate with skills and qualifications. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applicants should apply by submitting their materials to this link.

Equal Opportunity Employer

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer with a strong organizational commitment to respecting differences of all kinds. SPUR prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, political orientation or disability or any other basis prohibited by law. In that spirit, we strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBT applicants and others that will contribute to the diversity of our staff.

Applicants With Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so assigned.