1374 Special Assistant XV, MTA (Principal Design Strategist)

Recruitment #PEX-1374-113323



CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.  For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.

The following information describes the position for which applications are being solicited.
Make sure you read the entire announcement before completing the application form.
The purpose of this announcement is to fill a vacant position in this classification.

Division: Finance and Information Technology
Section/Unit: Budget & Strategy/Office of Design Strategy and Delivery
Work Location: One South Van Ness Avenue, 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt, Full Time – appointment not to exceed three (3) years – This position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

The Office of Design Strategy and Delivery uses a human-centered design process that is collaborative, data driven, and iterative. The team designs unique solutions to the most complex problems facing the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and mobility in San Francisco by leading and supporting mission-critical internal and external work streams and initiatives. Team members lead multiple major strategic programs and policy initiatives building alignment across multiple Agency divisions and units through the practice of strategic and human-centered design. Structure is brought to ambiguous problems resulting in projects and programs that change policies, systems, processes, and procedures. This consulting group provides program development, management and implementation services for major Agency initiatives, insightful review and perspective of organizational and business systems designed to maximize project delivery capacity and effectiveness of the SFMTA, and strategic advice to senior and executive management. 

The Principal Design Strategist will have primary responsibility to cultivate depth in the craft of interaction design of complex tools, systems and services as an individual contributor, a mentor and guide for the agency and as a leader within the global community practice of mobility and design. You will often be the backbone of your projects from beginning to end. You will plan, prioritize, and deliver interaction design activities autonomously, in the context of interdisciplinary projects - leading divisional client conversations within your portfolio, providing articulate recommendations and helping guide client choices. You will lead project teams and development pursuits for major agency programs and initiatives.  You will share your expertise internally and externally through training, development of new tools and methods, and thought leadership. A successful candidate will be excited to walk into an environment of public service, advance the practice of design through a lens of equity, systems change, and co-design practices. This is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate, inspire, and model creativity, inclusivity, and rigor to build long-lasting and impactful solutions.  

Key Design Strategy projects this position will lead include:
• SFMTA Building Progress Program Implementation
• SFMTA Design & Visualization Program Development and Implementation
• Transportation 2050 Program Development and Implementation
• San Francisco Transit System Rider Experience Research Report
• National Transit Adaptation Strategy Development

• Manages projects across divisional lines; makes recommendations on priorities, makes compromises and builds consensus among clients, partners and stakeholders with conflicting needs.
• Conducts primary and secondary research, including trend benchmarking and comparative analysis using both qualitative and quantitative data to generate insights and opportunity areas for further exploration.
• Reviews complex systems or large volumes of data and content to represent them in simplified models and bridge the gap between research insights and tangible concepts.
• Leads the synthesis process using in-field research and observation, data gathering and interviews to identify themes and insights, finding synergies, connections, and patterns to guide design decisions.
• Translates business and operational requirements into user stories and creates frameworks such as customer journeys, service blueprints or ecosystem maps based on inputs from research.
• Leads and participates in creative brainstorming sessions with clients and internal project teams.
• Leverages research insights and communicates design solutions to inform direction across different audiences both internal and external.
• Refines concepts into meaningful narratives that speak to operational effectiveness in service delivery, technical feasibility, organizational set up or development and change management.
• Manages risks, formulates strategies, and establishes priorities to achieve project or programmatic results; assembles and coordinates cross-functional teams and working groups of staff, managers and stakeholders.
• Monitors project related work schedules and completion dates.
• Performs related duties as assigned.

1. Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; AND
2. Five (5) years of professional interaction design or user experience (UX) design experience (with titles such as Interaction Designer, UX designer, UX researcher, experience designer, service designer or product designer).

Possession of a Masters degree may substitute for one year of the required professional experience.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications by the final filing date unless otherwise noted. One year of full-time experience is equivalent to 2000 hours. (2000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40-hour work week.)  Any overtime hours that you work above forty (40) hours per week are not included in the calculation to determine full-time experience. 

The stated desirable qualifications may be used to identify candidates advancing to the interview process and/or to identify job finalist(s) at the end of the selection process when referred for hiring.
• Experience with service design, design systems, and agile methodologies.
• Experience using basic principles of visual design and related tools (e.g., Sketch, Adobe Creative Cloud)
• Confident presentation and storytelling abilities.
• Experience collaborating in multifunctional teams. 
• Experience working collaboratively with various business and operational functions in a variety of settings.
• Proficiency with contemporary design and prototyping tools and methods.
• Experience using strong communication, influence and strategic thinking skillsets to articulate proposals and advocate for better user experiences.
• Highly developed design skills, demonstrated in a portfolio of recent work.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency employment applications for this position will be accepted through an on-line process only.  

A resume and cover letter must be included in the supplemental questionnaire.

Mailed, hand delivered or faxed applications will not be accepted. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to begin the application process.

• Click and select 1374 Special Assistant XV, MTA (Principal Design Strategist) (PEX-1374-113323)
• Click on “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
• Click on “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or on “I have REGISTERED PREVIOUSLY”
• Follow instructions given on the screen.

To submit resume using the online application:
• Select the “Resume” tab in the online application
• Follow instructions given on screen.

To submit cover letter using the online application:
• Select the “Other” tab in the online application
• Choose “Upload” as your method of submittal
• Click on “Upload Attachment”
• Follow instructions given on screen.

If you are having trouble attaching your resume and cover letter to the online application, you may submit by email to Lisamarie Chavis, Analyst at Lisamarie.Chavis@sfmta.com, subject: 1374 Special Assistant XV, MTA (Principal Design Strategist) (PEX-1374-113323). Résumé will not be accepted in lieu of completing the online application.

In order to comply with social distancing guidelines due to COVID-19, staff is working remotely at this time. As a result, the Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s and SFMTA’s Human Resources offices are currently closed to the general public. We highly recommend applications be completed early.  If you are having difficulty submitting your application online, please contact us at 415.646.2744 between 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or by e-mail at Lisamarie.Chavis@sfmta.com.
Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses: (@sfgov.org, @sfmta.com).

Upon successful submittal of the application online, the applicant will receive a notification on the screen, as well as in the applicant’s e-mail inbox, acknowledging the receipt of the application.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying experience and education at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. Written verification must be submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456.

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview. 

Qualified applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation in the selection process must contact the Agency by phone at 415.646.2744 or, if hearing impaired at 415.701.5043 (TTY) or in writing to the SFMTA Human Resources Operations Section, 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103 (specify Class 1374 Special Assistant XV, MTA (Principal Design Strategist)).

Applicants are responsible for updating their email address or mailing address. Contact Information must be updated online at http://www.jobaps.com/sf by clicking on “Update My Contact Info” and logging into your account.  If updating contact information online, applicants must contact the analyst at 415.646.2744 immediately to inform them of the change. Failure to do so may result in the loss of eligibility.

Make sure your application and any attachments to the application submitted at the time of filing are complete and accurate and include details on all experience, education, training and other information that qualifies you for this recruitment. Failure to submit a complete and accurate application at the time of filing may result in your ineligibility for this recruitment or inability to receive full credit for scoring purposes. Any new information concerning work experience, education, training and other information that is submitted after the filing deadline may not be used for scoring or considered to determine whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures:
Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://sfdhr.org/information-about-hiring-process or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents:
Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work:
All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at:


Conviction History

As a selected candidate for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a selected candidate. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are a selected candidate, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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