0961 Department Head I - Executive Director, Board of Appeals

Recruitment #PEX-0961-902519


Applications will be accepted continuously. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately.

Originally created by the San Francisco Charter of 1932, the Board of Appeals (Board) has a long history of providing the public with an impartial forum within which disputes related to City-issued determinations may be resolved. The Board is recruiting for an Executive Director, the key executive and management leader responsible for the successful implementation of the Board’s mission and all operations within the department.


The Board of Appeals is a quasi-judicial body that provides the public with a final administrative review process for a wide range of City determinations related to permits and other entitlements issued by various City departments and Commissions, and of variances and other determinations by the Zoning Administrator. The Board consists of five members appointed to staggered four-year terms. Under its Charter authority, the Board strives to provide an efficient, fair and expeditious public hearing and decision-making process before an impartial panel. The Department, which consists of the Executive Director, a Legal Assistant, and three clerical staff, administers all activities to support the Board's mission.

This is an at-will position, exempt from Civil Service provisions. The Executive Director acts under the broad policy direction of the Board, manages and administers all activities to support the Board's mission as the City's final administrative decision-making authority for permit, license and other determinations within its jurisdiction. This position requires meticulous adherence to procedures for fair and impartial decision-making; supervises and reviews the work of subordinate staff engaged in defined paraprofessional and administrative work associated with the processing, hearing, and deciding of appeals, managing public meetings, and preserving administrative records; explains the legal, technical and procedural aspects of the Board’s authority and processes to the legal community, members of the public, permit applicants and City departments; attends and assists the Board members at all public hearings; prepares and implements the Board’s $1M budget; serves as the Board's liaison to other City departments, the Board of Supervisors, Mayor’s Office and the City Attorney's Office; and performs other related duties as required.


This position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive civil service examination process and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Appeals.


  • Manages and oversees the Board office’s operations, programs, functions, activities and services.
  • Informs the public concerning how to appeal matters within the Board's jurisdiction; reviews filed appeals for jurisdiction and compliance with Board rules; calendars public hearings; issues notices to parties, neighbors, and other members of the public as required; issues suspension requests to affected City decision-making authorities.
  • Compiles, analyzes and interprets, in consultation with the City Attorney’s Office, complex procedural, legal and substantive City requirements applicable to matters pending before the Board.
  • Identifies and resolves problems and conflicts applicable to operations and other administrative matters; recommends final decisions to the Board for approval, as appropriate.
  • Directs the preparation of meeting agendas for regular and special Board meetings; prepares required findings based on the administrative record to support Board rulings; prepares and issues legally sufficient orders, notices of decision, and other communications of Board actions to the parties, the general public and departments of City government.
  • Attends all Board meetings and reports, explains, and recommends actions on calendared matters as requested by the Board; assists Presiding Officer on meeting management and public meeting requirements; prepares draft meeting minutes for Board approval.
  • Determines organizational structure, staff assignments and service levels to achieve the Board’s mission and goals.
  • Selects, trains, motivates, supervises and evaluates office personnel.
  • Oversees and administers the Department budget; prepares draft annual budget for Board approval; represents the Board at Board of Supervisors' budget hearings; identifies and alerts Board about issues concerning budgetary matters; collects filing fees and deposits with the Treasurer.
  • Maintains and manages Department records, including records of appeals; prepares and certifies administrative record of Board proceedings.
  • Maintains Board correspondence; prepares proposed ordinances, resolutions and reports as directed by the Board.
  • Acts as the Executive Secretary of the Board.
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Board.   

Minimum Qualifications

EDUCATION: Possession of a Law degree (Juris Doctorate) from an accredited law school.

EXPERIENCE: Four years of progressively responsible managerial and administrative experience.

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION: Member in good standing of California or other State Bar.

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate for this executive-level position will have a successful and verifiable career history with demonstrated skills, experience, and personal attributes in the following various areas:

  • Knowledge of land-use law, and local government permitting processes, particularly building and planning department matters.
  • Knowledge of and experience with laws and procedures applicable to administrative hearing processes and public, quasi-judicial decision-making; and public meeting and public records laws, including the Brown Act and Sunshine Ordinance.
  • Strong leadership and oral communication skills; have the ability to strike a balance between being consistent and firm but also fair, flexible and reasonable.
  • Ability to plan and organize, direct and review the work of subordinate employees analyze, write and edit staff reports, findings and minutes, speak and write effectively, deal tactfully and effectively with the general public, legal community, and City employees, and coordinate the activities of the Board with those of other City departments, including the City Attorney’s Office.
  • Knowledge and experience related to budget development and administration.

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.

    • Visit http://www.jobaps.com/sf/default.asp? to begin your application.
    • 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.

    The application includes a supplemental questionnaire. Applicants should also attach a cover letter and comprehensive resume to the application.

    Our Human Resources team will review your entire application to determine your eligibility status. We will contact you directly should you move forward in the process.

    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, @famsf.org, @ccsf.edu).

    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 or disqualification.

    If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact Heather Johnson, by telephone at 415-557-4922, or by email at heather.johnson@sfgov.org.


    Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process, prior to being appointed into the position. Employment verification letters should be in the company letterhead, stating the inclusive dates of service and positions held as it relates to the qualifying experience required to be considered for the position. http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#verification


    • The selected applicant will need to verify qualifying education and/or experience prior to being appointed into the position.
    • Falsifying one's education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this job opportunity.

    Selection Procedures

    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) 554-6000 or, if hearing impaired at (415) 554-6015 (TTY).

    Supplemental Questionnaire:

    Candidates will be prompted to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire as part of the online employment application. Depending on the number of applicants, the Department may establish and implement additional screening mechanisms to comparatively evaluate qualifications of candidates. Applicants meeting the minimum requirements are not guaranteed advancement in the selection process.

    NOTES: 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.

    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.


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


    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.


    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.


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


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

    Issued:  December 18, 2017
    Micki  Callahan
    Human Resources Director
    Department of Human Resources
    Recruitment ID Number: 902519
    BOA/ HJ/ 415-557-4922



    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 information about benefits, please click here.


    Powered by JobAps