City Director – San Francisco

About SPUR

Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems the region faces. With offices in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, we are recognized as a leading civic planning organization and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues.


The Local Impact team implements SPUR’s vision for change through local action and ensures that SPUR’s vision is informed by local context. Given the complexity of the issues and systems on which SPUR works, the Local Impact team creates new ways to build both community and solutions that engage a diverse set of actors across the civic sector and ensure that SPUR policies are community-informed and advance our equity goals at the local level.

This model allows SPUR to expand its networks through partnership and demonstrate our impact through local implementation. In effect, this model enables SPUR to move from a franchise model to a vertically aligned one, where our situational awareness, based on our relationships at the local level, informs our insights in each policy area and supports implementation of an aligned strategic agenda locally and regionally. 

The City Directors will be responsible for building alliances and partnerships at the local level. They will: serve as primary points of contact for city and policy boards; lead development of city-focused policy and advocacy priorities; build relationships with elected officials, agency heads, prospective funders, community leaders and advocacy partners; understand local context and trends; and, identify strategic opportunities and threats to achieving SPUR’s fundraising goals and realizing our vision for social change. They will serve as strategic leaders within SPUR and trusted allies with partners.

City Directors have an essential role in board engagement and stewardship. Working with the CEO, City Directors cultivate close working relationships with and among city board and policy board members; co-create local impact initiatives with board members; and, identify key opportunities to leverage board members to drive SPUR’s social change agenda.

With lead responsibility for local relationship management and partnership stewardship, City Directors will build trusted relationships across a broad-spectrum of leaders, effectively managing a high volume of important relationships at one time. They will have a high EQ, with a deep understanding of human emotions and their subsequent behavioral outcomes. Therefore, City Directors must be flexible leaders, comfortable with managing conflict and seeking common-ground. Through effective partnership, they will be able to see where opportunities for collective action and impact exist, implement them and share success. 

As key partners to the Policy team, City Directors will have a deep understanding of the public policy process, levers and community context. They will work with the Chief of Policy and Policy Directors to shape SPUR’s policy priorities, be able to identify and develop locally relevant political opportunities that demonstrate SPUR’s impact and meaningfully and measurably promote equity across the region.

City Directors will extend SPUR’s reach and create impactful partnerships that position the organization to secure new and sustaining funding sources. Working with the Development team, they will inform and execute on SPUR’s strategic fundraising direction.

Essential functions

  • Serve in key organizational leadership role focused on local implementation and impact of SPUR’s vision for a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Bay Area 
  • Serve as primary point of contact responsible for high-touch engagement with SPUR’s San Francisco City Board of Directors
  • Build and maintain relationships with city and county policy-makers and staff and lead SPUR’s city-focused policy development, advocacy and implementation efforts in San Francisco
  • Lead responsibility for strategic relationship management, partnership stewardship and collective impact
  • Utilizing your understanding of local context, trends and key stakeholders, identify strategic opportunities and threats to realizing SPUR’s vision for social change
  • Organize membership, stakeholder and community education and engagement events 
  • Represent SPUR in media, meetings, forums and other visibility opportunities
  • Contribute substantive content about local issues for distribution via SPUR communication platforms
  • Serve as key resource for fund development efforts in support of San Francisco office and SPUR as a whole
  • Work in close coordination with the CEO, Chief of Policy, City Directors in Oakland and San José, as well as SPUR’s policy directors 


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Commitment to the health and vitality of San Francisco and its residents
  • Passion for urban affairs with proven ability to recognize public policy opportunities for implementation and local impact
  • Proven ability to develop trusted partnerships with a variety of leaders from the public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, as well as community leaders
  • High emotional intelligence that facilitates the ability to bring different interests together around shared goals
  • Capable and compelling communicator, as a public speaker and in writing
  • Adept at policy development and negotiations within a political environment
  • Experienced and comfortable asking people for money
  • Self-directing initiative guided by strong judgement about course of action
  • Ability to make and admit to mistakes and learn from them 
  • Strong time-management skills with the ability to multi-task and work under pressure with enthusiasm and humor

Salary and Benefits

Salary is to be determined, depending upon experience. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a complete benefits package of health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, basic life insurance, pre-tax commuter benefits, employee assistance program (EAP) and retirement plan with twenty-five contribution matching.


Applicants should email a cover letter and resume to

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.

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political orientation.