1374 Special Assistant XV, MTA (Principal Strategist)

Recruitment #PEX-1374-113326



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 Strategist will cultivate a human-centered design culture across the SFMTA through big picture thinking and masterful storytelling. A key function of the job is to hone thinking and help unlock the work – asking simply: “how might we?” As an individual contributor you will ask strategic questions, identify areas of inquiry, run strategic research, develop strategy frameworks, create systems, and iterate service blueprints. As a day-to-day engagement leader, you will guide teams of SFMTA staff to achieve program milestones, policy objectives or critical path tasks. You will build relationships with agency clients while advising and working across every stage to ensure that concepts and design decisions are sensitive to the needs of our clients’ operational objectives. You will chart a path forward with your teams, even when information is ambiguous and challenging.  You should be eager to involve clients in the design process, highly responsive to feedback, and excited to present your ideas in front of executives. We’re looking for someone who others describe as human-centric; a generalist leader who inspires and a team player who knows the work only happens when people work together. 

Key Strategy projects this position will lead include:
• SFMTA Project Delivery Framework Implementation
• SFMTA Project Management Office Organizational Development
• SFMTA GIS Program Organizational Development
• SFMTA Building Progress Program/Electrification Program Development
• SFMTA Budget Process Development and Engagement Implementation
• San Francisco Cable Car Capital Investment Program Development

• Collaborates with cross functional project teams to motivate, create, and implement short- and long-term policy, programmatic or project strategies.
• Develops briefs that inspire stakeholders and project teams alike to come up with idea development and implementation.
• Contributes to collective strategy practices, identifies problems, performs research, and analyzes trends/results to determine actions.
• Leads research activities including interviews and other fieldwork activities defining the best method(s) for delivering research insights.
• Leads the synthesis process identifying themes and insights, synergies, connections, and patterns.
• Creates compelling new value propositions and crafts actionable recommendations to improve operations, processes, and service.
• Designs new service and business models that enhance and extend internal client capacity while creating new opportunities for revenue and efficiencies and enforce processes and best practices across all engagements.
• Designs organizational structures and strategic assets to help the agency drive its own innovation.
• Defines recommended approach and execution of strategy; understands and translates complex technical and business needs into insights and action plans.
• Develops highly visual frameworks, maps, and conceptual models to articulate complex ideas into intuitive strategic presentations.
• Develops concise, visually compelling stories that distill service strategies in inspiring presentations, maps, and frameworks
• 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 experience in business design, business development, management consulting, business, finance, or product or innovation management.

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 using analytic and modeling tools. 
• Experience using both qualitative and quantitative data to generate insights and opportunity areas for further exploration.
• Ability to creatively solve problems through identification of gaps and developing solutions to close those gaps, whether in policy, process or operations.  
• Ability to construct and deliver inspiring and convincing arguments verbally as well as visually. 
• Experience using strong presentation and storytelling skills to prepare compelling presentations in PowerPoint.
• Experience using strong leadership and collaboration skills to guide high performing teams using persuasion and influence.
• Financial analysis and business case development skills with a proven track record in both qualitative and quantitative research.
• Excellent analytical skills, and at the same time enjoys working creatively and hands-on in a dynamic and multidisciplinary setting.

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 Strategist) (PEX-1374-113326)
• 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 Strategist) (PEX-1374-113326). 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 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.


Click on a link below to apply for this position:

Fill out the Supplemental Questionnaire and Application NOW using the Internet.
View and print the Supplemental Questionnaire. This recruitment requires completion of a supplemental questionnaire. You may view and print the supplemental questionnaire here.

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