Director of Enforcement

San Francisco Ethics Commission. Public Service that builds public trust. Join our team.

25 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

Fill Type: Permanent Exempt
Work Hours: Regular
Job Code and Title: 0922-Manager I

Department Overview

The San Francisco Ethics Commission was created by the City’s voters with the passage of Proposition K in November 1993. Our mission is to practice and promote the highest standards of integrity in government. We achieve that by shaping and promoting compliance with the laws and by delivering impactful programs that promote fair, transparent, and accountable governmental decision making for the benefit of all San Franciscans.

When corrupt practices and corrupting influences are revealed as they have been in the wake of the recent major federal corruption investigation, public trust is tested. Indictments of high-level City officials and City contractors, resignations of department heads, and the convictions of multiple contractors weakens public confidence in the ability of government to address pressing issues fairly and objectively.

Through its mandate directly from San Francisco voters, the Ethics Commission has a unique and essential role in rebuilding that trust. Our aim is to ensure that all those who work, live, and play in San Francisco can have confidence that the operations of the City and County and the decisions made by its officials and employees are fair, just, and made without any regard to private or personal gain.

Through its 33-member staff, the Ethics Commission is responsible for the independent and impartial administration and enforcement of laws related to campaign finance, public financing of candidates, governmental ethics, conflicts of interest, and registration and reporting by lobbyists, campaign consultants, permit consultants, and major developers. The Commission has an FY22 operating budget of roughly $6.55 million and also administers a $7 million Election Campaign Fund that provides partial public financing for qualified candidates for City elective office.

The Ethics Commission is committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse, collaborative, and high performing staff of individuals whose individual experiences, knowledge, and talents collectively drive achievement of the Commission’s unique mission in San Francisco city government. We honor and value diversity, inclusion, and engagement, and are committed to promoting racial equity and to creating and sustaining a work environment that reflects and engages the diversity of our communities. Applicants who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply. The Commission provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or any other protected category.

About The Enforcement Team

To fulfill the Ethics Commission’s oversight mandate, the Enforcement Division investigates and enforces violations of law relating to campaign finance, lobbying, conflicts of interests, and whistleblower protection. By ensuring  fair, thorough, and timely investigations and case outcomes, the Enforcement Division helps deter potential violations and promotes accountability for violations that do occur.

Under the direction of the Director of Enforcement, the Division’s newly expanded team of seven investigators is responsible for investigating alleged violations of the law to ensure allegations are fully and objectively evaluated and that those who violate the law are held accountable for their actions, which can include imposition of monetary penalties levied by the five-member Ethics Commission as provided for under the law. This division also handles responses to public records requests made under the CA Public Records Act and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance to uphold the Commission’s commitment to transparency in government by ensuring timely and full compliance with key open government laws.

In an era that has challenged the public’s faith in government, the oversight and accountability work of the Enforcement Division plays a vital role in the Ethics Commission’s core mission to ensure public service that builds public trust.

Job Description

Position Description

The Director of Enforcement provides strategic, operational, and staff leadership on all matters related to the enforcement of laws within the Commission’s jurisdiction. Collaborating closely with the Executive Director and other division heads in alignment with agency priorities, the Director of Enforcement provides a senior level of legal and subject matter expertise and management experience to strengthen program impact, deliver effective service, and ensure organizational efficiencies that are vital to enabling the Commission to effectively achieve its broad voter mandates.

The position has primary responsibility for the effective enforcement of laws across each of the Commission’s core programmatic areas of campaign finance, governmental ethics, lobbying, open government, and whistleblower protection. It provides direct staff supervision and program oversight for the Commission’s enforcement and enforcement-related legal affairs work. It directs and supervises staff and provides program oversight for the Commission’s administrative enforcement work, including allocation of enforcement resources and management of the Division’s daily operations. Over the last several years, the Division has implemented significant improvements to its core program and business processes to strengthen its operations and functions, and the Division recently added three new Investigator positions to be filled this year to deepen the reach and impact of its work. The Director of Enforcement will build on those achievements, including through recruitment and onboarding of the new Investigators, development of an expanded staff team, and the refinement of performance progress monitoring and reporting.

Under the general supervision of the Executive Director, the Director of Enforcement has the following broad duties and responsibilities:

  • As a member of the executive management team, collaborate with and assist the Executive Director and Deputy Director in office-wide strategic planning and budget development, development and implementation of office-wide policies, recruiting, hiring, training, and developing staff, and management of personnel matters.
  • Plan, manage, and direct the effective administration and coordination of the Commission’s post-filing compliance activities, investigative and administrative enforcement program, and legal affairs work to ensure impartial, thorough, and timely resolution of alleged violations of the laws administered and enforced by the Commission, including supervising staff, reviewing complaints, and identifying appropriate courses of action.
  • Provide subject matter expertise on laws, ordinances, and regulations pertaining to the conduct of public servants, candidates, lobbyists, and others, including the California Political Reform Act and local statutes. Act as chief legal analyst in evaluating and recommending enforcement strategies and approaches, identify and recommend changes to laws and regulations as necessary within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction to better promote their effectiveness and impact.
  • Conduct complex and independent legal research and analysis in development and implementation of effective investigative and administrative enforcement policies, processes, and practices, and act as the agency’s lead prosecutor in administrative enforcement matters before the five-member Ethics Commission.
  • Analyze complex legal and structural issues involving government transparency and accountability, campaign, lobbying, ethics, and whistleblower protection laws to support agency’s effectiveness; evaluate alternative solutions; and recommend effective courses of action.
  • Prepare and oversee preparation of written memoranda, including investigative reports, legal analyses, stipulated agreements, and other documents that are accurate, complete, logical, and concise. Prepare and make clear and concise written and oral presentations before the public and the Commission.
  • Perform other policy research as necessary to identify purpose of the laws, analyze facts, and apply legal principles and precedents. Interpret laws and regulations across all program areas within the Commission’s jurisdiction to ensure enforcement initiatives are thorough, well-grounded and consistent.
  • Perform and exercise sound independent judgment in managing complex, sensitive, and confidential discussions and negotiations with respondents and their representatives within general policy guidelines.
  • Develop and successfully implement investigative and enforcement approaches and methods to support agency goals of objective, thorough, and timely case investigation and resolution, and lead continuous improvement of those operations to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of programs agency-wide.
  • Develop, identify, and implement leading policies and practices to support appropriate transparency and accountability of Commission’s enforcement program.
  • Oversee or serve as agency’s Public Records Officer with primary responsibility to ensure agency compliance with disclosure requirements of the Public Records Act and Sunshine Ordinance.
  • Act a primary liaison with other investigative and enforcement agencies and provide assistance as appropriate to support the effectiveness of the Commission’s enforcement mandate.
  • Appear before the Commission and other public officials and bodies to make presentations.
  • Develop enforcement-related content for outreach, training and educational content, as appropriate, and may conduct meetings with the public as requested.
  • Support public accountability for the Commission’s fiscal and organizational performance through preparation of budget, effective administrative oversight, and timely performance tracking and reporting.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned, including regular attendance at Commission meetings.


The following qualifications are guidelines for the classification, as the appointing authority has broad discretion in filling the position.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in public policy, public administration, political science, communications, journalism, finance, business, management, economics, computer science, or a related field.
  • Three years of professional experience in functional areas such as development and management of investigative programs AND/OR development of investigative research or processes.

Substitution: Additional experience as described above may be substituted for the required degree on a year-for-year basis up to a maximum of two (2) years. One (1) year is equivalent to thirty (30) semester units/forty-five (45) quarter units.

Desirable: Two or more years of progressively responsible supervisory or managerial experience.

Desirable Qualifications

  • The following qualifications are highly desirable and may be used to identify job finalists at the end of the selection process:
  • A law degree from an accredited law school
  • Admission in good standing with the California State Bar
  • Five years of experience as a prosecutor in an administrative law setting
  • Five  years of progressively responsible experience leading diverse, high-performing teams and managing work in close alignment with organizational priorities
  • Knowledge of issues and/or practice in the area of government accountability such as campaigns, government ethics, or lobbying

The successful candidate will be a highly organized, analytical, self-motivated, and collaborative professional who has a track record exhibiting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism; achievement of organizational goals and priorities; and accountability for fiscal and program oversight. In addition, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

Knowledge and Skills

  • Legal research methods and legal principles; principles of administrative and constitutional law, administrative hearing processes and procedures; negotiation and settlement techniques; and rules of evidence
  • Effective administrative prosecution techniques and investigative procedures
  • Exceptional judgment and strategic thinking skills
  • Proven managerial skills, and skill in juggling competing priorities while identifying and meeting deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal communication skills
  • Interpreting and applying laws, ordinances, and regulations pertaining to the conduct of public servants, candidates, lobbyists, and others, including the California Political Reform Act and local statutes
  • Leading practices, policies, and legislation related to laws designed to promote government accountability and transparency
  • Excellent research, analytic, and writing skills
  • Report writing and preparation of accurate, complete, and concise investigation reports, legal analyses, and stipulated agreements
  • Budget development and administration
  • Computer systems and applications

Ability to:

  • Strategize and implement policies and practices to effectively manage an enforcement program, including the planning and direction of document-intensive investigations
  • Perform research, analyze facts and apply legal principles and precedents
  • Present statements of fact, law, and argument clearly and logically
  • Analyze complex issues, evaluate alternative solutions, and recommend effective courses of action
  • Ability to prepare and negotiate enforcement cases and present cases before decision makers
  • Prepare and make clear, concise, and well-supported presentations and recommendations, including before the public and the Commission
  • Establish and maintain effective work relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties, including creating and sustaining a positive work environment that enhances staff engagement and learning
  • Plan projects, delegate tasks, supervise and evaluate the work of subordinates
  • Develop, implement, and collaborate effectively to achieve agency goals and work standards
  • Exercise sound independent judgment within general policy guidelines
  • Communicate effectively in both oral and written form
  • Flexibly handle multiple assignments and identify and meet deadlines
  • Work well under pressure and in a politically sensitive environment
  • Work well both independently and as a member of a diverse team
  • Assist with administration of the department budget
  • Use a personal computer and software applications

The successful candidate will be committed to open and accountable government, have an interest in politics, but be willing to forego all personal involvement in political campaigns. In addition, to support objectivity in the Commission’s enforcement work, this position is among those designated in the Ethics Commission’s Conflict of Interest Code as a position required to file public Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) to ensure that any possible conflicts of interests between personal financial interests and governmental duties can be detected and avoided.

Additional Information

How To Apply

To apply for this position, please submit the following documents using the “I’m Interested” link at the top right or the bottom of this page:

  • Statement of Interest that details your interest in the position and relevant work experiences, including any related to accountable government or public integrity.
  • Current Resume

Applications that do not contain the requested information will not be considered.

Complete applications will be reviewed as they are received and applicants selected to advance to the interview process will be contacted by phone or email.

** Please note that due to ongoing COVID-19 public health restrictions all candidate interviews will take place online using remote technology. In addition, the successful candidate should expect to perform their duties working both remotely and onsite consistent with applicable policies. In addition, any City employee may be called in for Disaster Service Work duty or to work on site subject to the City’s and Department’s established Health and Safety protocols. In such instances, employees may be required be on site with 24-hours’ notice.

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.  For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.

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.

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