Community Planning Policy Director

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. 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 as a leading civic planning organization and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues. 


SPUR believes in the power of good planning to create vibrant, equitable cities and communities, and works to make neighborhoods safe and welcoming to everyone. The Community Planning Policy Director leads SPUR’s work on Community Planning, and will build and manage SPUR’s Community Planning Policy team. This role is an opportunity to lead important work at one of the Bay Area’s most impactful public policy organizations.


This role is perfect for someone with deep knowledge of the public policy process in San Francisco, Oakland, San José, the Bay Area, and/or California, and a passion to establish the Bay Area as the proving grounds for successful and equitable urbanism. Candidates must have a professional background in community planning, physical planning and/or urban design.

This role includes significant research, writing, and policy analysis, as well as strategic thinking, effective advocacy, and coalition-building. This role involves significant collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to develop policy ideas and strategy, and to effect policy change at the local and regional scales in the Bay Area. This role requires excellent project management and team management skills, experience engaging with funders and with the general public. This role also serves as an ambassador to local government staff, elected officials, business and community leaders, and staff at other civic organizations. 

The Community Planning Policy Director will lead SPUR’s work on projects such as a 15 Minute Equitable Neighborhood Plan for San José, the future of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, a vision for permanent Slow Streets and Shared Spaces in San Francisco, centering Guadalupe River Park and Guadalupe River Park Gardens in the future of downtown San José, and other related efforts.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • The candidate must have experience writing about, advocating for and making policy change in the field of community planning.
  • The candidate must be well versed in the major community planning policy issues affecting American cities today. Knowledge of California, Bay Area, San Francisco, Oakland and San José issues and institutions is highly desirable.
  • The candidate must have a professional background in community planning, physical planning and/or urban design. Technical design skills would be preferable.
  • The candidate must be a strong writer and researcher, who can make complicated policy issues interesting and intelligible to a general audience.
  • The candidate must have experience advocating for policy change.
  • The job requires strong meeting facilitation skills and the ability to work well with people from all different sectors of the community and build diverse coalitions and consensus to drive policy outcomes.
  • The candidate must have experience effectively managing both projects and people.
  • The candidate should have experience sourcing funding for their work.
  • The candidate must have both high emotional intelligence and relationships management skills, as well as strong quantitative reasoning skills and an ability to interpret and explain data, quantitative methods, trends and summary figures.
  • Masters degree in public policy, urban planning, or a related field, or a minimum of five years equivalent experience preferable.

We are looking for someone who has training in diversity, equity and inclusion and/or who has a demonstrated ability to work across differences. The candidate must be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and manifest that commitment in their policy, facilitation, advocacy and management responsibilities.

Salary and Benefits

The minimum salary is $120,000 depending on 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 percent contribution matching.


Applicants should apply by submitting their resume and cover letter to this link:

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.