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Career Opportunity

Director of Communications - Port of San Francisco (0933)

Recruitment: RTF0125232-01134397

Published: September 16, 2022


Suzette Love -
Sadia Afandi -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: Port
Job class: 0933-Manager V
Starting salary range: $163,800.00 - $209,118.00 (Range A)
Role type: Permanent Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


Specific information regarding this recruitment process are listed below:

  • Application Opening: 9/6/22
  • Application Deadline: 9/30/22
  • Recruitment ID: 125599 - RTF0125232

The Port of San Francisco is an enterprise agency of the City and County of San Francisco and is governed by a Commission of five members appointed by the Mayor. The Port Commission is responsible for overseeing a broad range of waterfront commercial, maritime, and public access facilities that are held in public trust for the people of California. The Port’s jurisdiction covers approximately 7.5 miles of waterfront land from Pier 98, near Hunter’s Point in the southern part of San Francisco, to Fisherman’s Wharf in the northern part of the City.

The Port’s diverse business portfolio includes over 550 ground, commercial, retail, office, industrial and maritime industrial leases including cargo shipping, layberthing, excursion boats, ferry boats, fishing and fish processing/distribution, tourism, filming, harbor services, and cruise operations. With some of the most flexible cargo handling facilities on the West Coast, as well as naturally deep water, the Port can handle various types of cargo such as, dry-bulk, neo-bulk, roll-on/roll-off, and project cargoes.

The Port of San Francisco has many internationally recognized landmarks such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, the Exploratorium, the Ferry Building and Oracle Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. With its unique and historic properties, the Port is home to a variety of tenants and uses. The Port Commission over the last five decades has led a remarkable transformation of the Port; maintaining its industrial maritime heritage while developing new uses, including commercial and public activities, that have helped San Francisco remain one of the most visited and popular cities on the globe.

Role description


A Director of Communications for the Port of San Francisco who is responsible for the overall direction and management of communications programs, development of strategies that inform and influence public policy at the municipal, state and federal levels, and programs that connect Port activities to all San Francisco communities, with special emphasis on equity and social responsibility.   

The position brands and promotes the Port’s mission, goals and objectives to internal and external stakeholders and directs staff in the implementation of strategic communications, media, legislation, public relations and social responsibility programs.  

This position acts as a key member of the Port’s executive management team, advising on a wide range of communications, community-related and intergovernmental issues, legislative affairs, and social responsibilities programs across the organization.

The position reports directly to the Executive Director, manages a small team of four professional staff, consultant contracts, and works collaboratively with the Mayor’s Office and other City departments.   


Communications and Public Relations 

Provides leadership and direction in developing communications programs, public relations strategies and policies and procedures to promote and advance the mission, goals and objectives of the Port.

  • Develops a comprehensive communication strategy to ensure engagement with a variety of constituencies, agencies, stakeholders, community-based organizations, citizen advisory committees, and government agencies; to inform, increase public understanding and obtain support and maintain positive relationships to implement Port operations to give value to the Port and to the community.
  • Represents the Port and acts as a spokesperson to the media and the public; develops, manages and implements proactive and responsive media relations; directs external messaging which include responding to press inquiries, press releases, statements and publications; interviews and placements of stories, coordinating press conferences and media events for the Port on the local, state, national and international levels.  Directs staff speech preparation, special papers, testimonies, radio and television scripts and other documents for Port Commissioners and other Port representatives.  Coordinates media training to prepare staff, conducts media tours and arranges speaking engagements for the Port Commissioners and Port’s senior staff as appropriate. 
  • Acts as a Senior leader responsible for working with leadership and staff throughout the organization to clarify purpose and develop strategy, and to ensure resources deploy for successful executions.
  • Acts as a Senior leader responsible to contribute and lead an equitable, transparent, and supportive work environment that is anti-racist and gives every staff member the opportunity to make their best contribution.
  • Manages a team of communications professionals, consultants and other staff responsible for designing and producing communications materials and implementing outreach activities, including Special Events and Community Engagement; Internal Communications; Web-based and Social Media; and Digital Publications.
  • Manages the production and dissemination of Port’s collateral material, brochures, newsletters, digital magazines, public service announcements, and advertisements for trade/business publications, and electronic media presentations that proactively market and promote the Port and its attributes as a unique brand. 
  • Oversees the content and continuity of the Port’s social media channels and website with consistent messaging, accuracy of information and positive images that reflect the Port’s values. 
  • Supervises staff, plans and oversees Port-sponsored special events and visitor experiences that support the goal of promoting the San Francisco waterfront.   
  • Manages the Port’s official responses to requests received under the California Public Records Act and San Francisco’s Sunshine Ordinance requests.
  • Manages the annual budget for sponsorships, merchandise, equipment and materials; and maintain control over and approve expenditures for the Communications Department.
  • Works closely with marketing committees of the Fisherman’s Wharf Merchants Association, Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District, Destination: Embarcadero, San Francisco Travel; SF Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Planning & Urban Research (SPUR), SF Giants, PIER 39 and the San Francisco Business Times. 

Legislative Affairs

Directs staff in the development of the Port’s policies and objectives involving local, state, and federal government affairs. 

  • Leads analysis of proposed legislative actions, determines the potential impact on the Port/City and develops appropriate responses.  Monitors legislative and regulatory activities, promotes the Port/City position on issues.  
  • Develops the Port’s strategy and directs staff to coordinate government relations across the organization.  
  • Develops a communication plan to keep the Port apprised on governmental, community and business issues. 
  • Establishes and maintains contact with appropriate organizations (e.g., advisory groups, neighborhood organizations, chambers of commerce, business associations, Port associations, etc.) to foster strong external relations activities. 
  • Maintains awareness of official Port positions on issues of importance to provide responses to inquiries from legislators and the public.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program

Directs staff responsible for implementing and managing the Port’s efforts to be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization and waterfront, and empower Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) in Port operations and opportunities through equitable policies and practices.

  • Fosters community participation and collaboration in various decision-making processes, as a visible advocate and resource to advance equitable access to Port economic opportunities.   
  • Oversees the organization-wide development, implementation and tracking of the Port’s Racial Equity Action Plan and the Equity section of the Port’s five-year Strategic Plan.
  • Works with Port Divisions and Port tenants, to connect Port productivity and economic success to opportunities for local residents, with an emphasis on equity.   

How to qualify


Possession of a baccalaureate degree in Public Relations, Mass Communications, Public Administration, Business Administration, Journalism or a related field from an accredited college or university. 


Six (6) years of verifiable experience in communications, public relations, community engagement, marketing or closely related filed in a government, non-profit or public sector setting of which three (3) years must include experience in supervising professional staff engaged in the above work. 

License and Certification

Possession of a valid California driver’s license (to be presented at time of appointment). Employees must be insurable under the Port’s automobile liability insurance. Insurability must be maintained throughout employment.

The Ideal Candidate will have:

  • Knowledge of public relations and media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Knowledge of principles of marketing strategy and tactics.
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, employee supervision, organizational management, resource allocation, methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Knowledge of techniques and strategies related to external stakeholder and public relations engagement and outreach, including media and public relations.
  • Experience developing and implementing policy that support and further the mission and values of an organization.  
  • Willingness to serve on the Port’s leadership team, and to contribute fully to identification of challenges and opportunities, and to share responsibility for strategy and execution.
  • The ability to analyze problems by collecting needed information, evaluating and prioritizing causal factors and effects, discarding irrelevant factors, producing solutions and taking action or recommending action to the Executive Director and senior management.
  • Community and economic development that provides guidance and opportunities for equitable opportunities.  
  • Awareness of issues and unique cultural nuances relative to local communities and stakeholder groups. 
  • Diplomatic and politically astute to understand and navigate local community and social politics. 
  • High level of emotional intelligence, ethical standards, professional transparency and integrity. 
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills with an approachable demeanor, consensus building skills and ability to communicate clearly and relate genuinely with people from varied backgrounds in a respectful and courteous manner. 
  • Ability to adapt, establish and maintain effective working relationships with city agencies, officials and representatives of local and community-based agencies, organizations and interested groups. 

What else should I know?

Compensation: The normal annual salary range is $163,800 - $209,118. 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. Further compensation information about this class is available in the compensation manual.

Benefits: The City and County of San Francisco offers a comprehensive benefit program for its Managers. For complete details, please visit:

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt (PEX). Pursuant to the City & County of San Francisco Charter, Section 10.104.6. Any person occupying a position under exempt appointment shall not be subject to civil service selection, appointment, and removal procedures. Exempt appointees serve at the Appointing Officer’s discretion.


Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit and begin the application process.

  • Select the “Apply Now” button and follow instructions on the screen

Human Resources Analyst Information: If you have any questions regarding this recruitment, please send your inquires to Sadia Afandi, Senior Human Resources Analyst, at

Applicants may be contacted by email about this recruitment 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 (,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Additional Information Regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco: 

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Someone is fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or a dose of a one-shot vaccine. Any new hire must present proof of full vaccination status to be appointed. Any new hire who will be routinely assigned or occasionally enter High-Risk Settings, must provide proof of having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine by March 1, 2022, or once eligible.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.