Director of Public Engagement

About SPUR

SPUR is a nonprofit public policy organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR works to create an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region, where all people thrive. We bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems cities face. With offices in San Francisco, San José and Oakland, we are recognized and respected for our independent and holistic approach to urban issues. 

The Opportunity

SPUR is seeking a Director of Public Engagement to curate and design educational experiences, programs and events with the purpose of engaging key stakeholders around SPUR’s top priorities. Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer (CCO), the Director of Public Engagement will be an integral member of the Communications + Engagement team. As the leader of SPUR’s Engagement efforts, the Director of Public Engagement supervises two Program Associates and works in collaboration with all staff across the organization as needed.

Our Engagement team acts as the public face for SPUR’s research and analysis, as well as other important projects and issues occurring around the region. The Director of Public Engagement is charged with providing opportunities for our audience — SPUR members, elected officials, business leaders, government employees, allied organizations, media, funders, students and the general public — to directly interact with the ideas and individuals that shape the Bay Area, and beyond. The Director of Public Engagement will be pivotal in turning SPUR’s commitment to equity in the Bay Area region into something concrete and meaningful.

The Director of Public Engagement will lead a new initiative that establishes a learning collaborative at SPUR for policy makers, urban planners and elected officials. The Director of Public Engagement will design and facilitate cultural and educational learning experiences, programs, exhibits, and events that equip policymakers with the knowledge, skills and community they need to solve the challenges our cities face. This may include developing study trips to cities to learn best practices, cultivate new types of educational programs for our membership, and other activities.

The ideal candidate is creative, organized, thoughtful and self-directed, with an ability to successfully manage dozens of projects, people and partners concurrently. Additionally, they must have proven interpersonal skills, an innate capacity for thriving in cooperative environments and a talent for the ideation and effectuation of long-term strategy without losing sight of foundation details. Like all jobs at SPUR, this is a very hands-on position, and any one day might include planning upcoming programs, developing study tours to international cities, hosting a workshop, copywriting event listings, installing an exhibition, reviewing email newsletters and meeting with potential partner organizations.

Core Responsibilities

  • Design, develop, and launch compelling and engaging learning programs, initiatives and events that spotlight unique characteristics of cities, its inhabitants, organizations, and institutions.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of programs, reflect on learnings and leverage feedback to optimize learning experiences and programs and report out on the impact and efficacy.
  • Develop partnerships for engaging with national policymakers and related organizations.
  • Advance stakeholder outreach strategies with functional and cross-functional teams, that create productive channels of engagement for SPUR’s events, policy discussions, and campaigns.
  • Develop a programming calendar and curriculum that aligns with and expands upon SPUR’s ongoing policy work to serve our existing audience and foster its growth and our commitment to diversity.
  • Consult with subject matter experts to identify and formulate learning objectives and content to help advance SPUR’s policy initiatives.
  • Network and build professional relationships with stakeholders, media, and elected officials.
  • Incorporate outreach strategies to promote SPUR’s policy initiatives.
  • Design and maintain a marketing and promotional strategy for educational experiences, programs, and exhibitions through the use of press releases, media engagement tools, calendars, printed collateral, social media and targeted email newsletters.
  • Collaborate closely with the Development and Policy teams to develop ongoing, cross-functional strategy and align internal- and external-facing goals.

Key Qualifications

  • Experience in program and event design, management and facilitation.
  • Experience in educational learning programs or curriculum design that translate to tangible community-wide impact and engagement.
  • Demonstrated passion for urban planning & public policy, whether through academic, personal or professional endeavors.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across teams, learning members and stakeholders, and community partners, at all levels.
  • Highly developed relationship builder in political, urban planning, media and advocacy spaces.
  • Excellent management skills.
  • Self-starter with excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Ability to perform with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Exceptional oral, written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Flexibility in working outside of regular office hours.
  • Experience and knowledge of Salesforce is a plus.
  • Experience engaging press and media outlets is a plus.


The salary range for this position is $98,000-$115,000 and will be based on experience and commensurate with skills and qualifications. This is a full-time, exempt position. SPUR offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package including health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, basic life insurance, pre-tax commuter benefits, work from home stipend, employee assistance program (EAP) and retirement plan with twenty-five percent contribution matching.

Hybrid Work Environment

At SPUR the health of our employees and their families is our top priority. SPUR has a hybrid workplace model defined by a combination of remote and in-person work. We have mandatory all staff in-person days on Monday and staff may be required to attend other in-person meetings, events and programs as needed. All policies are subject to change as relevant health orders change.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

SPUR employees are required to confidentially show proof of up to date COVID-19 vaccination to HR as a condition of employment. If the employee is entitled to a medical related reasonable accommodation or a sincerely held religious belief or practice, then the employee is exempt from the vaccine requirement and reasonable accommodations will be considered and made available if there is not an undue hardship incurred in order to provide it.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applicants should apply by submitting their materials to this link.

Equal Opportunity Employer

SPUR is an equal opportunity employer with a strong organizational commitment to respecting differences of all kinds. SPUR prohibits unlawful discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, political orientation or disability or any other basis prohibited by law. In that spirit, we strongly encourage applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ applicants and others that will contribute to the diversity of our staff.

Applicants With Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so assigned.