0941 Director of Communications, SFPUC

Manager VI

Recruitment #PBT-0941-074266


This is a Position Based Test conducted in accordance with Civil Service Rule 111A.  

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the
External Affairs Bureau

Our mission is to provide customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that is inclusive of environmental and community interests, and sustains the resources entrusted in our care. We are comprised of three essential 24/7 service utilities: Water, Wastewater and Power.

We provide retail drinking water and wastewater services to San Francisco, wholesale water to three Bay Area counties, and green hydroelectric and solar power to San Francisco’s municipal departments and tenants and redevelopment areas. Headquartered in San Francisco, we have about 2,300 employees working in seven counties with a combined annual operating budget of over $900 million.

The External Affairs Bureau of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) oversees the Agency’s local, state, and federal legislative and policy activities, communications and community engagement, community benefits and environmental justice programs, agency-wide strategic planning, sustainability, and strategic initiatives.  

The External Affairs Bureau, SFPUC is seeking a creative leader for the position of Director of Communications, SFPUC. The Director of Communications will be responsible for all functions and activities of the Communications Division of the External Affairs Bureau. The Communications Director will provide leadership and direction in developing new communications programs and establishing organizational policies, priorities, and objectives; and direct and coordinate a comprehensive public and community relations program. As part of the External Affairs Management Team, the Communications Director will be expected to function at the highest level of management and provide highly specialized professional functions within the Bureau and Agency. The position will work directly with the External Affairs Directors to refine the Bureau's strategies, planning processes, and implementation methods for maximizing positive public and stakeholder relations.  In addition, the Communications Director works directly with the SFPUC Executive Team, Mayor's Office to provide leadership and strategy on highly visible communications matters.

The Director of Communications will manage several direct reports, contracts, lead internal collaboration with Executive members and managerial staff of the SFPUC Water, Power, and Wastewater Enterprises and lead strategic, cross-sector partnerships to advance agency communications related priorities. This position advises the General Manager and Assistant General Managers across the Agency on communications matters and is responsible for crisis management related to communications. In addition, the position is responsible for identifying opportunities to get positive visibility, public education, and media for the SFPUC. The Director will establish and maintain a broad and deep network at all levels across the SFPUC and other city agencies.  

Compensation and Benefits: The normal annual salary range is $141,310 - 180,336.  Appointment above the maximum of the normal range may be considered based on documented and substantiated recruitment and retention issues or exceptional skills. A special approval process is necessary for appointment above the normal salary range.     In addition to a competitive salary, the City and County of San Francisco offers: Eleven legal holidays, five floating holidays, executive or administrative paid time off, ten vacation days initially, pay for Performance Salary Plan, paid sick leave (four (4) hours per pay period, bi‐weekly), social security, life insurance, long‐term disability plan, management flexible spending compensation package, retirement plan, deferred compensation plan (voluntary participation), choice of comprehensive medical, dental and vision benefit plans, onsite childcare center for a competitive fee, onsite bicycle parking and locker room, electric vehicle charge stations.  

For more information about benefits, please go to http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=28  

The ideal candidate is smart, pays attention to detail and follows up, is a strategic thinker, who is quick, collaborative, intellectually curious, with high emotional IQ, who is a strong relationship builder, effective communicator, big picture thinker, as well as able to promote SFPUC’s projects and programs. The ideal candidate demonstrates commitment to being a team player, brings enthusiasm to the SFPUC, and is able to ensure timely and within budget production, marketing and distribution of effective communications that fully utilize existing and emerging technologies. The ideal candidate will oversee the redesign and maintenance of the SFPUC website The ideal candidate is highly organized and able to exercise good judgment, able to listen intently, think clearly and respond effectively to a variety of inquiries and challenges, can synthesize input, make decisions and share information broadly in order to build consensus and support for action with a clearly articulated vision, while having the ability to be flexible, energetic, positive, creative, and fun.

Minimum Qualifications

1. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college in Communications, Media, Journalism, Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing Public Affairs, or a closely related field; AND

2. Five (5) years of verifiable managerial and administrative experience in a large complex agency.

Other Notes:
1. Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications and special requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.
2. One year full-time employment 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 employment.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

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, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file.  Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records.  Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Ana Valdes, by telephone at 415-554-1664, or by email at aborjavaldes@sfwater.org


Selection Plan

Management Test Battery (MTB): (Weight: 60%)
Candidates will be invited to participate in a computer-based examination designed to measure competencies in job-related areas which may include but not be limited to: Problem Solving; Leadership; Decision Making; Interpersonal skill; Human Resources Management; Team Building; Communication; Conflict Management and Process Improvement.  For more information about this Management Test (and a suggested reading list) please visit: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=343.  A passing score must be achieved on the Management Test Battery to continue in the selection process.  

This is a standardized examination and, therefore, test questions and answers are not available for public inspection or review.  Scores attained on the Management Test Battery will be valid and 'banked' for three years, starting from the date of the examination. This means that, during this three-year time period, you will not be required to take the Management Test Battery. The Management Test Battery may be used for many other classes; therefore your test score may be applied to one or more of these classes if you choose to apply to future recruitments. If the selection process for the future announcement is held within one year of the date of this examination and it includes the Management Test Battery, your score will be automatically applied to that announcement. However, after one year, you have the option to either (a) apply your test score to the other announcement or (b) re-take the Management Test Battery. Re-testing is permitted no sooner than one year from the date of the examination and only in association with your eligibility for another announcement for which the Management Test Battery is used.

Please note that, should you re-test, your re-test score would become your official score since it is the most recent.  

Supplemental Questionnaire Assessment: (Weight: 40%)
Responses to the supplemental questionnaire must be completed as part of the application process. The purpose of the Supplemental Questionnaire is to evaluate the experience, knowledge, skills and abilities that candidates possess in job-related areas, which have been identified as critical for the Director of Communications, SFPUC position. The supplemental questionnaire will be rated and scored. All relevant experience, education and/or training must be on the supplemental questionnaire in order to be reviewed in the rating process.  

Candidates must achieve a passing score on the Management Test Battery, and Supplemental Questionnaire Evaluation in order to be ranked on the eligible list.

Eligible List: Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score.   The eligible list resulting from this examination is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission. 

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be six (6) months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director.

Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification.  To find other Departments which use this classification, please see http://www.sfdhr.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentID=13693.  Search that document by title or job code to see which departments use the classification.   

Certification Rule:  The certification rule for the eligible list resulting from this examination will be Rule of The List.  The hiring department may conduct additional selection processes to make final hiring decisions.

Note: Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed to advance through all of the steps in the selection process.

Conviction History

As a finalist 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 finalist. 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 applying 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 applying 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 selected as a finalist, 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.


Requests: Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements of a job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable accommodation at http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#applicantswithdisabilities      

Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#veteranspreference    

Requests for an alternate test date may be considered in limited circumstances and must be submitted to the analyst listed in this announcement within five (5) calendar days of the announcement of the test date.   Seniority Credit in Promotional Exams: Information regarding seniority credit can be found at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#senioritycredit   

Terms of the Announcement: Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.   

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule.  Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director.  Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.  

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://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.  

Copies of Application Documents: Applicants are advised to keep copies of all documents submitted.  Submitted documents become a permanent part of the exam record and will not be returned.  The hiring department may require applicants to submit the same documents and/or additional documents at a later date.

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.

Recruitment Type: CPE
Issued: March 8, 2017
Amended: April 24, 2017 to reflect accurate test component weights
Micki Callahan
Human Resources Director
Department of Human Resources
Recruitment ID Number: PBT-0941-074266
PUC/AGV/(415) 554-1664    


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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