Environmental Specialist

City & County of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA, US

Would you like to make a real impact on how San Francisco tells its story of climate action leadership? Are you interested in environmental policy and the legislative process? Do you have a passion for working collaboratively to create change? If so, we invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to use your skills and passion to build a healthier future for San Francisco – and beyond!
Who We Are

The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) provides solutions that advance climate protection and enhance quality of life for all San Franciscans. SF Environment is recognized worldwide for its environmental policies and programs, which center on achieving zero waste, reducing toxic chemical hazards, advancing environmental justice, promoting sustainable transportation modes, expanding clean energy infrastructure, greening our built environment, and protecting our urban forest. We’re a passionate, mission-driven team that values credibility, collaboration, impact, innovation and equity. SF Environment is also a great place to work, offering an attractive benefits package that includes healthcare and retirement.

Position Description
The 5640 Public Relations and Policy Coordinator reports to the Chief Policy and Public Affairs Officer and helps develop, coordinate, and implement the Department’s local legislative and policy priorities, assists in developing new legislation and managing the legislative process, and serves as a liaison to the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor’s office, City departments, and community stakeholders. In addition, the PR and Policy Coordinator helps lead the Department’s public relations efforts, which includes developing a press and media engagement strategy, coordinating press conferences and media interviews, and writing or editing an array of materials for public distribution. The Coordinator also provides high-level strategy and communications support to Senior Staff and the Department’s Executive leadership team, and directly manages one staff member, the 5638 Public Affairs Assistant Coordinator.
What You’ll Likely Do
According to Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.
Policy & Legislative Affairs

• Work in close collaboration with the Chief Policy and Public Affairs Officer to determine the Department’s local legislative and policy priorities; develop a legislative calendar/timeline and update accordingly
• Provide strategic guidance and technical support to program staff in developing and drafting public policy for introduction at the Board of Supervisors
• Engage, coordinate, and develop relationships with external stakeholders to receive input on new legislation
• Coordinate legislative and hearing schedules, review, edit, and help prepare materials, such as PowerPoint presentations and fact sheets for Board briefings and Committee presentations
• Respond to Board of Supervisors or other constituent service requests

Press Relations/Public Relations

• Serve as an on the record spokesperson for the Department and assist in fielding media inquiries and responding to requests for comment or information
• Develop a pro-active press and media strategy in coordination with the Chief Policy and Public Affairs Officer that helps inform, educate, or generate more public awareness about the Department’s programs and/or policies; manage a press calendar and update accordingly
• Provide strategic guidance and logistics support to successfully execute press conference planning, reporter pitching, and materials development (e.g. press releases, media advisory, talking points, etc.)
• Represent the Department at designated public meetings, events, and other functions

Executive Communications:

• Write and edit talking points, PowerPoints, and other communications for the Director and senior leadership
• Provide briefings to Director prior to Board of Supervisors hearings, media interviews, or public speeches to provide necessary context, strategy, or message refinement
• Staff the Director at public speaking opportunities, media interviews, or community meetings as needed
• Provide regular political, strategic, or communications advice to Director

Supervisor and Management Responsibilities

• Supervise a job class 5638 Public Affairs Coordinator, fellows, and other interns.
• Manage the Department’s Public Relations consultant contract.

Minimum Qualifications

Possession of a baccalaureate degree in public administration, business administration, environmental science, or a related field (within the specialty area of policy and public relations), from an accredited college or university; AND
Two (2) years of professional experience performing duties similar to those described in this class, within the specialty area of policy and public relations; AND
A minimum of twelve (12) months of public policy experience; AND

A minimum of twelve (12) months of experience supervising staff.


Special Conditions
The above minimum qualifications reflect special conditions associated with the position to be filled. They may differ from the standard minimum qualifications associated with this classification.

Desirable Qualifications

• Experience in two or more of the major functional public relation areas preferred (public policy, press relations, and executive communications).
• Experience working within a diverse community.
• Fluency with the legislative process or familiarity with City policymakers and City policy entities (Board of Supervisors, commissions, advisory committees).
• An understanding of key policies topics like zero waste, clean energy, emissions, climate change, and toxic reduction.
• Accomplished writer capable of distilling technical policy language into simple, understandable concepts for talking pts, speeches, op-eds, and other related written materials.
• Superb oral communication/presentation skills in small-group settings as well as large formal settings (publicly-noticed meeting).On-the record experience with members of the media (print, TV, and/or radio) and an understanding of how to triage reporter inquiries and different types of media interactions.
• Proven ability to multi-task, conduct research and analysis, communicate effectively, and negotiate, all while working with a wide variety of individuals and stakeholders.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work independently and on a team.
• Experience organizing communities and advocates around public policy issues to heighten awareness and spur press inquiries.

Additional Application Information
The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring. Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date, unless otherwise noted.


Candidates are requested to submit a resume and transcript and attach it to their application. Upload these documents as a PDF or Word file, under the “Other” tab in the application system.