City of Davis

City of Davis, CA

Economic Development Director


The City of Davis (population nearly 69,000) is a college town known for its desirable quality of life, excellent K-12 schools, small-town atmosphere, and an emphasis on outdoor recreation, parks, and open spaces. Davis is conveniently located in Yolo County, twenty minutes from the state capital, and set between the coastal range to the west and the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east. The City is home to the University of California, Davis (UCD)—one of the country’s premier public research universities, ranked first in the world for Veterinary Medicine and first nationally in Agriculture.

Regarded as an environmentally aware and socially innovative community, Davis enjoys 37 parks and over 470 acres of improved developed landscape, with more than 100 miles of bicycle paths and lanes including more bicycles per capita than any other city in the nation. The City’s active citizenry participates in local, national, and international political, environmental, and social causes. Transparency in public service is highly regarded by the community and the City.

Residents and visitors alike find no shortage of opportunities for year-round leisure and recreational activities in Davis. The City is home to a vibrant downtown, the popular year-round Davis Farmers Market, and a burgeoning community of businesses interested in locating in close proximity to UCD. Community celebrations include the City of Davis Fourth of July celebration in Community Park, Davis Neighbor’s Night Out—a block party to celebrate the community and give neighborhoods the opportunity to increase familiarity and communication among neighbors, and Picnic Day, a family-friendly event sponsored by UCD and highlighting achievement in the areas of research, teaching, service, and campus life in Davis and the surrounding community.

Davis also offers a myriad of cultural and entertainment attractions including the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame, UC Davis Arboretum, Mondavi Center, Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, more than two dozen private and public galleries, other displays of publicly owned art, live theater venues, movie theaters, and more!


Incorporated in 1917, the City of Davis operates under the Council-Manager form of government with a five-member Council and has recently transitioned to district elections. As a “general-purpose” city, Davis provides essential frontline municipal services through the collective efforts of 378.5 full-time equivalent employees. The City’s approved 2023-2024 All Funds budget is $238.6 million with a General Fund operating budget of $78.3 million.

The City Manager serves as the administrative head of the city government overseeing the departments Other City Departments include Finance, Human Resources, Information Services, Public Works Engineering and Transportation, Public Works Utilities and Operations, Parks and Community Services, Social Services and Housing, Community Development and Sustainability, Police, and Fire. As a municipal corporation, Davis operates under the general laws of the State of California and endeavors to create a livable community with a high quality of life through land-use policies and service provisions that balance the need for housing, jobs, businesses, open spaces, and essential services.


Under administrative direction from the City Manager, the Economic Development Director serves as a Department Head within the City Manager’s Office. This position is responsible for planning, organizing, managing, and providing administrative direction and oversight to the economic development objectives, programs, and activities for the City. The Economic Development Director develops programs and engages in marketing activities to attract and retain businesses for the City while achieving a balance among economic, ecological, and social systems; establishes and maintains effective working relationships with City departments, other government agencies, business and development communities, real estate communities, and other local stakeholders; assists new businesses with the development process; and provides information to the public, businesses, and other key constituents on the City’s economic policies and procedures.

Essential functions of the Economic Development Director include, but are not limited to:

  • Establish a new Economic Development Strategy for the City of Davis;
  • Identify target industries based on operator, workforce, distribution, and infrastructure criteria and City objectives;
  • Market, recruit, and help retain businesses to sustain economic diversity and growth consistent with adopted City goals and strategic plans; formulate, plan, and execute business attraction and retention strategies;
  • Design, plan, and facilitate community outreach and engagement with City departments, City Council, City Commissions, local businesses, community organizations, and the community at large in the development of Visioning and Strategic Plans;
  • Participate in and make presentations to the City Council and a wide variety of committees, boards, commissions, and community organizations;
  • Creatively leverage the use of technology to maintain an already thriving business community while furthering economic development in the future;
  • Manage and participate in the development and administration of the department’s budget; assist in the development of forecast of additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, and supplies; direct the monitoring of and approve expenditures; direct and implement budgetary adjustments as necessary;
  • Select, train, motivate, and direct department personnel; evaluate and review work for acceptability and conformance with department standards, including program and project priorities and performance evaluations; work with employees to correct deficiencies; implement discipline and termination procedures; respond to staff questions and concerns;
  • Oversee the development of consultant requests for proposals for professional services and the advertising and bid processes; evaluate proposals and recommend project awards; coordinate with legal counsel to determine City needs and requirements for contractual services; negotiate contracts and agreements and administer same after award;
  • Work with other departments to facilitate development permit processing of economic development projects:
  • Serve as City liaison for economic development activities with regional agencies and organizations;
  • Develop and pursue forming business relationships with key decision-makers at local and new firms;
  • Plan and execute meetings of businesses and industry representatives to encourage the retention, expansion, and location of business activity in Davis;
  • Analyze economic conditions relative to business attraction and expansion; employ modern techniques for business attraction and retention and negotiate and resolve sensitive and controversial issues;
  • Develop, propose, and take proactive steps to build positive relationships with City staff and business, civic, and community leaders;
  • Represent the department to other City departments, elected officials, the local Chamber, and outside agencies; explain and interpret departmental programs, policies, and activities; negotiate and resolve significant and controversial issues; and
  • Prepare, review, and present staff reports, various management and information updates, and reports on special projects as assigned by the City Manager.


The City is seeking a visionary leader for the new Economic Development Director position within the City Manager’s Office. Working under the direction of the City Manager, the Economic Development Director will bring a high level of energy and commitment to the Department, the organization, and to the community as a whole.  The ideal candidate will possess strong leadership skills and the ability to create a team-oriented environment that emphasizes collaboration, accountability, and a high level of customer service in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the Department.  The Director will oversee a small staff and will need to be committed to mentoring and developing staff.

The new Director will possess excellent communication skills and demonstrate the ability to deliver a well-designed presentation to City Council in addition to other high-profile groups.  They will create an open, collaborative, and successful working relationship with the City Council, community groups, developers, and other City executives.  Someone who is politically astute, yet apolitical and has the ability to establish trust with these entities is essential.  The ideal candidate will be an articulate communicator both orally and in writing, an active listener, and will have the ability to interact with a variety of diverse groups within the community.  Familiarity and experience with real estate and land development processes, redevelopment, and local land use development is desired. The selected candidate will be someone who facilitates citizen participation and works constructively with developers.

The City of Davis is looking for an experienced economic development professional who is dedicated to moving the City of Davis forward through the creative use of technology and who can take the City’s new Economic Development position to the next level.  The ideal candidate is familiar with federal, state, and local laws relevant to municipal economic development and will possess keen business acumen.  A strategic problem solver and creative thinker is sought who has experience in a mid to large-size full-service economic development department. It is essential that this individual be a team player with a big-picture perspective in order to create a more efficient and effective economic development organization.

Qualified candidates typically possess a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in business, economics, finance, public administration, land use planning, or a closely related field, and have seven (7) years of increasingly responsible management and/or administrative experience in economic development, housing, redevelopment, municipal planning, or a related field. A Master’s degree is preferred. Possession of a valid California Driver’s License is required upon hire.


The current annual salary range for the Economic Development Director is $137,097 – $166,642*. *(Note: The salary range may change as the City of Davis recently completed a salary survey and is in contract negotiations). Placement within the range is dependent upon qualifications. The City also offers an attractive benefits package including:

Retirement:  Eligible date of hire. The City contracts with the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) 2.5 % @ 55 retirement formula for current miscellaneous PERS members without a break in service. New miscellaneous employees who are brought into CalPERS membership for the first time on or after January 1, 2013, and who have no prior membership in any other California public retirement system, fall under the new defined benefit formula of 2 % @ 62 for miscellaneous members. In addition, the City offers a Medical Benefit CalPERS Premium Reimbursement Plan for their retirees.

The City does not participate in Social Security.

Survivor Benefit: The city contracts with the Public Employees Retirement System for the 1959 Survivor Benefit Level Four (4).

Health Benefits:   The City will contribute a generous amount toward the employee’s cafeteria benefit plan for monthly health, dental, and vision premiums. For 2023, the current contribution is $2,045.99. The City also contributes to the mandatory Life Insurance and Long-Term Disability premiums.

Longevity Pay:  Longevity pay is additional compensation to employees who have been with the City of Davis for a term exceeding 10 (ten) years.

Service Term                                                 Longevity Pay

  • After ten (10) years of service 5% increase above base pay
  • After twenty (20) years of service Additional 2.5% increase above base pay

Vacation: Employees shall earn vacation leave during each calendar year according to the following schedule:

Years of Employment                         Vacation Hours Earned Per Year

1-3                                                                   120

4-5                                                                  136

6-10                                                                 160

11                                                                    184

12                                                                    192

13                                                                    200

14                                                                   208

15                                                                    216

16+                                                                 224

Management Leave: Employees shall be credited with eighty (80) hours of management leave each calendar year, which shall be prorated and accrued on a bi-weekly basis. Employees are able to cash out up to 100% of the management leave accrued in one year.

Parental Leave: Employee is eligible for two (2) months of parental leave after completing one year of employment.

Sick Leave: Sick leave shall be earned at the rate of eight (8) work hours for each calendar month of service.

Holidays: The City’s holiday schedule amounts to 12 holidays and provides an additional 2 ½ floating holidays for an annual total of one-hundred sixteen (116) hours. Employees shall accrue vacation in lieu of holiday time on a pro-rata basis per pay period for the 2/12 floating holidays.

Medicare: Effective the date of hire, all employees contribute 1.45% of gross salary to Medicare per federal regulation.

Other Benefits: Bicycle Loan Program; Computer Loan Program; Optional Benefits such as Dependent Care Assistance, Deferred Compensation, Supplemental Life Insurance, and more.


If you are interested in this outstanding opportunity, please visit our website at to apply online.

Filing Deadline: January 7, 2024

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above. The most qualified candidates will be invited to personal interviews with Bob Murray and Associates. A select group of candidates will be asked to provide references once it is anticipated that they may be recommended as finalists. References will be contacted only following candidate approval. Finalist interviews will be held with the City of Davis. Candidates will be advised of the status of the recruitment following the selection of the Economic Development Director. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Mr. Bryan Hill at (916) 784-9080.

To apply for this job please visit