Sustainability & Resilience Policy Associate

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 Sustainability & Resilience (S&R) Policy Associate. The S&R Policy Associate will join SPUR’s Sustainability and Resilience Policy team. SPUR’s S&R policy work seeks to end carbon emissions and create resilient, environmentally just communities. We have four key objectives: end use of fossil fuels in buildings, ensure safe and abundant water for people and ecosystems, make the region resilient to sea level rise, and make the region resilient to earthquakes. The S&R policy associate will work on the first three objectives. The S&R policy associate will report to the S&R Policy Director. The S&R Policy Associate will engage in research, education, advocacy, and program support. 

Core Responsibilities

Research activities include supporting the policy director in writing reports and articles. Candidates should be able to read technical reports, understand their significance for policy decisions, and be able to craft policy proposals informed by research. Much of SPUR’s research relies on synthesizing work and analyzing datasets collected by other entities – principally government agencies. Candidates should be able to undertake straightforward quantitative analyses and create charts using spreadsheet software. They should be good at working with partners such as advocacy coalitions, elected officials, and government agencies, project task forces, and SPUR’s Board of Directors to inform their research.

Education activities include organizing SPUR public events and coordinating with SPUR’s communications team to promote our work to traditional media and on social media. Candidates should have good written and oral communication skills. The S&R Policy Associate should be able to explain SPUR’s S&R research and policy proposals in engaging terms that a broad audience of educated non-experts can understand. 

Advocacy activities include writing policy letters on proposed legislation and regulations, giving public comment at government hearings, organizing coalition meetings and scheduling meetings with decision-makers. Key advocacy coalitions SPUR coordinates are a coalition to phase out gas-powered appliances, and a coalition to support safe and affordable drinking water. 

Program support responsibilities include project management, fundraising support, and supporting SPUR’s organizational needs. Project management entails creating and updating project schedules and keeping projects on track. Fundraising support entails helping contribute to writing fundraising proposals. 

Policy team support responsibilities include keeping the policy team’s data and mapping projects organized, working on SPUR’s voter guide, and organizing policy team retreats. This work supports the policy team (not just the S&R team), and is shared with other SPUR policy associates.

SPUR recognizes that no one person is an expert in all the topics that they are asked to address as part of SPUR’s policy team. The candidate will be a quick learner and self-starter, able to identify knowledge gaps and fill them either by learning or by working with the right experts.

Key Qualifications

  • At least two years of relevant work experience, or a Master’s degree plus one year of relevant work experience. Jobs and internships held while in school are considered work experience. 
  • A passion for sustainability and resilience policy is required. Knowledge of water management, decarbonization of energy use, and/or sea level rise resilience preferred.
  • Candidates should understand the scientific method and have solid training in research and quantitative analysis.
  • Candidates should be able to read technical publications and understand their content and significance for policy decisions. 
  • The candidate should have an understanding of and passion for correcting environmental injustices. The candidate must be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and manifest that commitment in their work.
  • Candidates should be able to undertake quantitative analyses and create charts using spreadsheet software. Experience with spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel is required, including experience with creating graphs and using formulas. Experience with advanced spreadsheet skills, statistical analysis, and/or mapping in GIS software are preferred.
  • The candidate should demonstrate good project management skills, and a willingness to support the policy team as needed. The candidate should have the ability to manage multiple projects with different deadlines. 
  • The candidate should demonstrate excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • The candidate should be able to work well in a team and maintain positive working relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and interests.
  • The candidate should be willing to engage in advocacy. Experience engaging in advocacy efforts such as supporting regulatory or legislative change is preferred.


The salary range for this position is $62,400-$72,000 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 including health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, basic life insurance, pre-tax commuter benefits, work from home stipend, employee assistance program (EAP) and retirement plan with twenty-five percent contribution matching.

Hybrid Work Environment

At SPUR the health of our employees and their families is our top priority. SPUR has a hybrid workplace model defined by a combination of remote and in-person work. We have mandatory all staff in-person days on Monday and staff may be required to attend other in-person meetings, events and programs as needed. All policies are subject to change as relevant health orders change.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

SPUR employees are required to confidentially show proof of up to date COVID-19 vaccination to HR as a condition of employment. If the employee is entitled to a medical related reasonable accommodation or a sincerely held religious belief or practice, then the employee is exempt from the vaccine requirement and reasonable accommodations will be considered and made available if there is not an undue hardship incurred in order to provide it.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and an example of technical skills - either work which involved quantitative analysis or GIS mapping. The intended start date for this position is August 2022. 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, LGBTQ 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.