Local recruitment: Shape Our Water Engagement Advisor (SA 1)

City of Seattle

Seattle, WA, USA 🇺🇸

Salary: $41.01 – $61.51 Hourly
Location: Seattle, WA
Job Type: Classified Civil Service, Regular, Full-Time
Department: Seattle Public Utilities
Job Number: 2022-02103
Closing: 1/17/2023 4:00 PM Pacific

Position Description

Are you an advocate and want to engage communities to guide long-term investments in the City’s drainage and wastewater infrastructure? Water shapes our lives, so join our team and let’s work together to shape Seattle’s water future!

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is seeking a Strategic Advisor I (SA1) in its Drainage and Wastewater (DWW) Line-of-Business (LOB). This position will play an important role in delivering the Shape Our Water Plan. Shape Our Water is a comprehensive, community driven plan to guide the next 50 years of Seattle’s equitable, environmentally sound, and resilient drainage and wastewater investments. As Seattle faces powerful forces like climate change and rapid growth, future investments in Seattle’s drainage and wastewater systems could help transform our city. 

Through Shape Our Water, SPU will engage with stakeholders to plan how we can face these challenges and achieve the goals and principles in the Shape Our Water Community Vision (Download PDF reader). Shape Our Water engagement goals are to: 

  • Provide meaningful opportunities for community and other stakeholders to engage in the Planning Stage of Shape Our Water
  • Build support and ownership of Shape Our Water with external stakeholders who will also be key for the successful implementation of the plan
  • Grow partnerships with community members and other agencies and share the technical planning information through interactive forums and strategies. 

This position will lead a collaborative team of SPU staff and consultants in engagement associated with developing the Share Our Water plan. The ideal candidate for this position will be committed to undoing systemic racism and elevating community voices. Key elements of this position include: 

  1. Outreach and Engagement â€“ coordinating cohesive, inclusive, and meaningful outreach and engagement strategies, including designing materials, partnering with community co-creators, and leading engagement activities
  2. Collaboration and Facilitation â€“ effectively collaborating with people within and outside the utility and convening interdisciplinary groups to drive outcomes.
  3. Centering Racial Equity â€“ using an equity lens to evaluate potential projects, programs, or policies, and centering the voices and needs of those most impacted by racial inequities, health disparities, and climate change (i.e. Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income individuals).
  4. When Shape Our Water goals are complete, this position will transition to advancing the projects, policies, and programs identified in the plan. Additionally, this position will provide expertise on community engagement and co-creation for other project and program leads within SPU.

About Seattle Public Utilities: Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is a Community Centered Utility whose mission is to foster healthy people, environment, and economy by partnering with our community to equitably manage water and waste resources for today and future generations. We deliver high quality, vital services, across four major lines of business: providing water, solid waste, drainage and wastewater services for Seattle residents and businesses. In addition, SPU provides drinking water for 1.5 million regional customers in Seattle and other municipalities. Our customers depend on us to deliver high quality, reliable, and cost-conscious utility services and to achieve the highest benefits possible for every investment we make. SPU commits to Our City Values and Race and Social Justice as core principles that guide our work. We actively take steps to dismantle systemic racism and increase service equity. We value diverse life experiences and strive to create a workplace that is welcoming to all. We take steps to be inclusive and equitable in our recruiting, hiring and promotional opportunities.

Why join us?

We know work isn’t only about what you do it’s also about who you work for and with! SPU provides a fun and family-friendly work environment that supports a work life balance, including: 

  • Hybrid work schedule opportunities
  • Family-friendly and multicultural work environment 
  • Generous benefits package  
  • Free public transportation options 
  • City pension plan with employer/employee contributions 
  • Growth potential and advancement opportunities 

Job Responsibilities

  • Developing innovative approaches to planning and engagement 
  • Leading or coordinating engagement strategies  
  • Planning and attending outreach and engagement events 
  • Coordinating and participating in the preparation of planning documents
  • Communicating effectively across diverse audiences 
  • Representing SPU and Shape Our Water in public forums
  • Supervising staff 
  • Establishing project or program goals, budgets, schedules, and success metrics
  • Tracking and communicating progress against established goals and metrics
  • Providing day-to-day administration of the Shape Our Water engagement team
  • Managing peak volumes of work efficiently 
  • Scoping consultant contracts and work assignments
  • Managing professional services consultants 
  • Completing, reviewing, and tracking deliverables 


  • A minimum of three (3) years of progressively responsible work experience related to public policy, racial and environmental justice, community or environmental planning, community engagement, or other related work. 


  • A Bachelor’s degree in planning, policy, communications, public administration, landscape architecture, or related field. 


  • Combinations of appropriate education, training, certification, and experience will be evaluated on an individual basis for comparability to the minimum education and experience requirements.

The ideal candidate also has some of the following qualifications:

  • Experience developing strategic or comprehensive plans
  • Experience with community or stakeholder engagement 
  • Creative problem solving and conflict resolutions skills
  • An ability to build collaborative relationships 
  • Commitment to creating inclusive spaces for diverse perspectives
  • Ability to work effectively with persons from culturally, socio-economically, and ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • Understanding of the impacts of systemic racism and oppression on communities Commitment to achieving just and racially equitable outcomes
  • Experience leading collaborative and integrated teams 
  • Excellent multi-tasking and time management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Experience working with consultants
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Openness and excitement for new ideas

Additional Information

Application Requirement(s):

  • An online application must be fully completed for consideration.
  • Resume, & Cover letter addressing your knowledge and experience, related to this position.

City of Seattle COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

All City of Seattle employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Failure to submit proof of vaccination or qualify for a reasonable accommodation will result in withdrawal of a job offer.
Workplace Environment (*Telework Expectation):

As of fall 2022, this position’s work group is working in a hybrid telework/office environment and is required to report to work a minimum of 2 days per week at the Seattle Municipal Tower in downtown Seattle, consistent with HR guidelines, and as circumstances dictate. The City of Seattle continues to seek guidance from local public health agencies and will proceed accordingly with any necessary changed or needs regarding “workplace location” expectations. This position will also be expected to attend meetings after hours or in the evenings with stakeholders as needed to support public engagement efforts and/or meet with the public.

Who may apply: The City of Seattle encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experience. This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

This hiring process involves a background check of conviction and arrest records in compliance with Seattle’s Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, SMC 14.17.   Applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.
Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities at our web page www.seattle.gov/util/.

Agency: City of Seattle


Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Avenue, Suite 5500
Seattle, Washington, 98104

Website: http://www.seattle.gov/jobs





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development