The City of Portland is seeking a Director to lead the Parks & Recreation bureau.
About Portland Parks & Recreation
Portlanders treasure their world-class system of parks and natural areas. The mission of Portland Parks & Recreation is to help Portlanders play - providing the safe places, facilities, and programs which promote physical and mental health and social activity. We get people, especially kids, outside, active, and connected to the community. As we do this, there will be an increase in the wellness of our residents and the livability of our city. We accomplish this through:
- Establishing, safeguarding and restoring the parks, natural areas, public places, and urban forest of the city, ensuring that these are accessible to all.
- Developing and maintaining excellent facilities and places for public recreation and community building.
- Providing dynamic recreation programs and services that promote health and well-being for all.
- Partnering with the community we serve.
The Parks & Recreation Director reports to Commissioner Nick Fish and accounts for over 40% of the City's overall workforce with over 3,000 employees during the summer season, including over 620 full-time employees. The Director will lead a team of 7 direct reports and manage a budget of over $100 million. In addition, the Director leads the implementation of a bond of $68 million.
Portland Parks & Recreation's (PP&R's) work is grounded in a number of plans, including the five-year Racial Equity Plan, a Capital Improvement Plan, ADA Title II Transition Plan, Park System Plan, Parks 2020 Vision, various Business Plans, and others. The Director is charged with overseeing the implementation of these plans, leading the development of a new long-term vision for the future, and ensuring that the work of the bureau's many and diverse divisions is coordinated and aligned, and consistent with the goals of Commissioner Fish.
The Director is charged with implementing policy direction from Commissioner Fish and with ensuring that the bureau is maximizing its resources to most effectively and efficiently meet its mission. The Director's portfolio and authority are broad in scope, requiring a high degree of sophistication in leadership, personnel and financial management, policy analysis, strategic planning and communications, and community relations.
The ideal candidate will possess the following competencies for success as well as the items listed in the "To Qualify" section:
- Executive-Level Management: Experience building and retaining diverse teams and managing a large workforce including union-represented employees. Broad understanding of municipal government, including policy development and implementation, budgeting, and asset and personnel management. Experience collaborating with other public-sector agencies.
- Leadership: Experience building a team, and inspiring organizational development and community action. Proven leader in navigating difficult conversations and identifying solutions. Experience building collaborative systems and relationships in a complex organization. Collaborative, adaptable and approachable.
- Accountability and Transparency: Commitment to efficient, effective, and equitable investment of public, financial and human resources to achieve policy goals. Experience prioritizing transparency and accountability in administration of public agency programs, and in quantitatively demonstrating outcomes through publicly-available and accessible data.
- Innovation: Experience leveraging public-private partnerships and proactively pursuing new and entrepreneurial funding tools; fostering a culture of creativity and innovation; and identifying opportunities to carry out the bureau's core functions more efficiently.
- Equity & Inclusion: Proven experience leading equity in strategic and daily operations, serving diverse underserved communities and stakeholders. Executive-level experience leading organizational change and measuring success.
- Strategic Communication: Experience effectively and strategically representing a large, complex organization to public and private sector partners, community organizations, the public, and the media.
- Change Management: Recognize that the agency is evolving to meet the needs of a growing and changing city and a new funding environment. Ensure that changes are managed with sensitivity, respect, and a culture of inclusion.
About the City of Portland
The City of Portland comprises an area of approximately 145 square miles in northwestern Oregon. With a 2016 population estimated at 627,000, Portland is the center of commerce, industry, transportation, finance, and services for a metropolitan area with a 2016 population estimated at 2.4 million people. Portland is the county seat of Multnomah County, and is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest city in the Pacific Northwest.
Lauded as one of the best places to live in America, Portland has a vibrant downtown, diverse neighborhoods, natural beauty, good schools and friendly people. Portland is listed among the top 25 arts destinations in the United States, named one of the best cycling cities in North America, and is one of America's best walking towns. Portland maintains deep ties to the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty, with Mount Hood, the Cascade Mountain Range and the renowned Oregon Coast each just over an hour away. There are 37,000 acres of parks and green spaces within the metropolitan area, including the 5,000-acre Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness in the U.S. Average temperatures range between 34° in winter to 80° in summer and Portland receives 37" of rain annually, less than Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, Boston and Atlanta.
Portland has a reputation for being unique, and our governance structure is no exception. Portland voters adopted the commission form of government in 1913, and over 100 years later, Portland is the only large city in the country continuing to operate under this structure. The five members of the City Council are each elected at-large, and have legislative, administrative, and quasi-judicial responsibilities. The Mayor assigns bureaus to each Council member. The Mayor serves as Commissioner-in-charge of the Office of Management and Finance (OMF), which includes the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services (BRFS), and oversees the independent City Budget Office (CBO).
Portland is a full-service city with approximately 6,000 represented and non-represented permanent employees and a budget of over $3.46 billion. The City has maintained its triple-A bond rating for over 40 years, reflecting its strong financial management policies and practices.
Why join the City of Portland?
The City of Portland is committed to offering medical, dental, vision, basic life, and long-term disability coverage that provides quality care, support and value to eligible employees and their family members. Additional benefits such as flexible spending accounts, supplemental life insurance and employee assistance program coverage is available to ensure employees have the appropriate tools to safeguard themselves and their family. The City of Portland also participates in PERS, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. For more information on the City of Portland's benefits please click here.
The following minimum qualifications are required for this position. Applicants must specifically address and demonstrate in their cover letter and resume how their education, training and/or experience meets each of the following minimum qualifications:
- Proven executive-level leader with experience in successfully managing a large, complex, and customer-focused organization.
- Ability and experience leading a large and diverse workforce, including union-represented employees.
- At least 10 years of progressively responsible administrative or management experience representing a large, complex organization to government agencies, businesses, community organizations and the media.
- Experience developing innovative programs and leveraging public-private partnerships and other resources.
- Ability to address challenging situations with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity.
- Experience effectively engaging diverse groups and stakeholders, including people with disabilities, and underrepresented communities.
- Knowledge of social, political and environmental issues that influence municipal parks and recreation programs.
In addition to providing a cover letter/resume please submit a separate equity statement outlining your commitment and experience successfully developing and delivering diversity, equity and inclusion. Experiences may include, but are not limited to the following:
- lived experience as a member of an underrepresented group;
- experience living, working and meaningfully interacting with individuals with a variety of identities; and,
- track record of instilling equity and inclusion within operations.
If your experiences are different from those listed and you have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please explain how you will manifest that commitment in this position.
For those applicants who meet the qualifications of this position, in accordance with the adoption of the Charles Jordan Standard and the City of Portland's commitment to equity, the highest qualified minority candidate, highest qualified woman, and highest qualified candidate who identifies as a person with a disability will be included in the interview process. To be considered under the Charles Jordan Standard, we will be asking applicants who meet the qualifications for this position to include information identifying their status as a minority, woman, and/or identification as an individual with a disability in the required equity statement. Please see the City's Charles Jordan Standard, Portland Resolution No. 37180, for more information.
Position closes: November 23rd
- First-round interviews conducted: Week of December 3rd
- Second-round interviews conducted: Week of December 17th
- Final interviews: Week of December 17th
- Candidate selected: End of December
The Recruitment Process
Applicants must submit a cover letter and professional resume online, specifically focused on your qualifications for this position as identified in the "Minimum Qualifications" section of this announcement, and in accordance with the following instructions:
- Your résumé and cover letter will be the basis for our evaluation of your qualifications for this position. Incomplete or inappropriate information may result in disqualification.
- Your cover letter should include details describing your education, training and/or experience, and where obtained, which clearly reflect how you satisfy each of the Minimum Qualifications.
- Your resume should support the details described in your cover letter.
- If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, as identified below, please describe in your cover letter any transferrable skills obtained during your military service and how they relate to each of the required Minimum Qualifications.
- Your résumé and cover letter should be no more than a total of six (6) pages combined.
All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm, on the closing date of this recruitment. All applications must be submitted via the City's online application process. Do not attach materials not requested. Emailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.
This position is exempt from Civil Service and is an "At Will" position. It serves at the discretion of the hiring authority, subject to the City of Portland Human Resources Administrative Rules and the Portland City Charter and Code.
If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, attach a copy of your DD214 / DD215 and/or Veteran's Administration letter stating your disability to your profile, as well as checking the box identifying yourself as a Veteran. You must request Veteran's Preference AND include a copy of your documentation for each recruitment you apply for. Veteran's Preference documentation must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on the closing date of this recruitment.
Non-citizen applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at time of application.
It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply. If you wish to identify yourself as an individual with a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and will be requesting accommodation, the requests must be made to the Recruiter(s) named below no later than the closing date of this announcement.
Questions? Please contact:
Bureau of Human Resources