Website San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

9182 Manager VIII, Planning Director

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Division: Streets; Section/Unit: Planning)

Work Location: One South Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt – This position is excluded by the Charter from the

competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

Position Description

Working under the direction of the Streets Director, the Planning Director manages the work of the Planning subdivision and oversees a team of approximately 40 employees. This team works with staff from all divisions of the agency, other city departments, and external stakeholders to plan, coordinate and prioritize transportation policy, including developing proposed legislation, projects, and programs that deliver excellent transportation options for San Francisco. The unit leads, convenes, and coordinates efforts that bring together multiple perspectives, voices and stakeholders, focusing on multimodal and comprehensive planning activities, supporting policy development and ensuring cross-agency and inter-city awareness and coordination of plans, programs and policies.

SFMTA Planning focuses on multi-disciplinary efforts and planning horizons of five-years or more and offers subject matter expertise in the following areas (in collaboration and coordination with partners from throughout the agency):

  • Land use and transportation
  • Development projects/agreements
  • Neighborhood/community plans
  • Multimodal projects
  • Transportation policy
  • Long range planning (over five years)
  • Capital Plan
  • Climate / Resilience planning and policy
  • Environmental review/CEQA/NEPA
  • Community-wide planning engagement
  • Transportation demand management/ behavior change/Safe Routes to School
  • Emerging Mobility Services & Technologies

The SFMTA Planning subdivision also supports short and mid-term planning and projects of under 5 years bringing a well-developed cross-agency and multi-agency perspective to help ensure agency alignment.

Examples of Important and Essential Duties

Unit Management and Leadership

  • Hires and retains sufficient staffing level to deliver on the agency’s goals and priorities.
  • Builds a team and develops staff that can deliver excellence, with attention given to creating an organizational structure that leads to positive project outcomes.
  • Effectively assigns, balances, and manages staff workloads and work scopes while reducing barriers to successful outcomes.
  • Establishes priorities for work programs and ensures effective use of personnel and resources.
  • Consistently empowers, coaches, mentors and motivates staff.
  • Develops or facilitates training and provides professional development and growth opportunities for team members.
  • Effectively communicates to team about broader agency and city activities, and facilitates communication across team.
  • Plans and evaluates staff performance, provides constructive feedback that supports individual growth.
  • Supervises personnel, supports managers as they manage and oversee staff members, completes performance appraisals, and participates in the disciplinary process when necessary.
  • Establishes, prepares, manages, reviews, and monitors organizational budgets to ensure sufficient resources to complete programs and projects.
  • Establishes and evaluates division goals and objectives, assigns priorities, ensures the use of effective work plans and methods to achieve goals/objectives.
  • Reviews and approves correspondence, technical reports, and budgetary documents for accuracy and conformance to the policies of the organization.
  • Ensures the quality and technical excellence of the agency’s planning work products.
  • Related duties as assigned.

Project and Policy Leadership

While the Planning Director’s primary role is management and support of the Planning team, the Planning Director will also be called on to represent the agency in certain projects or policy processes. To this end, the Planning Director may lead, or support staff in leading, the following:

  • Lead consensus-building between community representatives, advocacy groups and major land use project sponsors, especially in the early project/policy proposal stages.
  • Facilitate communication and consultation with public stakeholders and elected officials.
  • Work proactively with public and private sector partners to ensure that development, urban design, and capital projects support SFMTA Transit First, Vision Zero, equity, and climate priorities.
  • Represent SFMTA in the media and at Boards and Commissions.
  • Represent SFMTA at conferences and other meetings to share information with and learn from other organizations.
  • Identify and implement unique partnerships with other city agencies, state and regional agencies, and non-governmental partners to advance priority projects and SFMTA’s strategic goals.
  • Advise the Director of Transportation, Streets and Transit Directors, members of the SFMTA Senior Management Team, and SFMTA Board on policy matters related to long-term planning.

Minimum Qualifications:

1. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university AND

2. Six (6) years of full-time management experience overseeing a team in the fields of urban planning, transportation planning, transportation engineering, transportation operations, transportation policymaking, and/or transportation advocacy.


Additional qualifying experience may be substituted for the required education in Minimum Qualification on a year-for-year basis. One year (2000 hours) of qualifying experience will be considered equivalent to 30 semester units/45 quarter units.

Note: One (1) year full-time employment is equivalent to 2000 hours.

The Ideal Candidate will possess:

  • Demonstrated expertise in issues relevant to planning in a large diverse city, including equity, affordability, sustainability, livability, and regional coordination.
  • Experience in transportation and land use development policies.
  • Experience in project management.
  • Ability to communicate with and convene stakeholders to build consensus in a challenging political environment
  • Demonstrated effective communication skills in resume and cover letter.
  • Understanding of the impact that interpersonal, systemic and institutional racial biases have on workplace and community equity issues
  • Experience engaging diverse communities in project delivery and planning processes.
  • Strong leadership and team building skills, such as the ability to mentor staff, build employee morale and develop staff from diverse racial/ethnic and gender identity backgrounds
  • Experience managing a large multi-disciplinary planning unit, including efficient delegation to deliver outstanding service.
  • Ability to navigate and equitably manage relevant personnel processes
  • Strong understanding of potential for transportation projects to positively and negatively impact communities.
  • Experience with interagency collaboration and cultivations of those relationships
  • Experience with labor unions.

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