Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Policy Analyst

San Francisco Ethics Commission. Public Service that builds public trust. Join our team.
Policy Analyst (Job class 1822)
Location: San Francisco
This is a Permanent Exempt (PEX) position.
Salary Range: $84,162 – $102,310/year

About the Commission

The San Francisco Ethics Commission was created directly by the City’s voters with the passage of Proposition K in November 1993. Through its 24-member staff, the 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 interests, and registration and reporting by lobbyists, campaign consultants, permit consultants, and major developers. The Commission has an operating budget of roughly $4.8 million also administers a $7 million Election Campaign Fund that provides partial public financing for qualified candidates for City elective office.

Our mission is to practice and promote the highest standards of integrity in government. We achieve that by delivering impactful programs that promote fair, transparent, and accountable governmental decision making for the benefit of all San Franciscans. With public service a public trust, our aim is to ensure that San Franciscans 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.

The Ethics Commission is committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse, collaborative, and high performing staff of individuals whose experience, 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 Team

The Policy Division is a two-member team comprised of the Senior Policy & Legislative Affairs Counsel and the Policy Analyst. The Division leads the Commission’s public policy research, analysis, and legislative work. It is responsible for analyzing how well current laws and programs are achieving their intended purposes and formulating new regulatory and legislative approaches to ensure the City’s political reform laws are strong, workable, and enforceable. Related duties assigned to the Division include media relations, interpreting and advising on the law, and stakeholder outreach and engagement. The Policy team collaborates closely with other divisions in the office and may lead cross-divisional projects.

In an era that has challenged the public’s faith in government, the work of the Policy Division plays a vital role in supporting the Ethics Commission’s core mission to help build trust in governmental institutions.

About the Role

The Policy Analyst will perform critical research to inform the Commission’s policymaking. The Policy Analyst will apply solid analytical and strategic thinking skills, sound independent judgment, and exceptional communication skills in researching, developing, and recommending improvements to laws and programs. The Policy Analyst will be responsible for objectively evaluating the City’s ethics laws using sound practices of public policy analysis and development. This work will require a thorough understanding of the purposes the laws intend to serve and how they operate in practice. The Policy Analyst will have a demonstrated commitment to clean government.

The position reports to the Senior Policy & Legislative Affairs Counsel, who leads the division and reports directly to the Executive Director.

Collaborating closely with the Senior Policy & Legislative Affairs Counsel, the Policy Analyst will play a major role in the Commission’s Government Ethics Policy Project, a limited three year project designed to analyze, develop, and enact policy solutions to strengthen the City’s ethics laws to address problems revealed in ongoing federal corruption investigations of San Francisco officials and contractors. The Policy Analyst will be responsible for framing issues of public corruption, gathering and analyzing data, engaging with stakeholders, and developing creative and practical policy solutions. Following enactment of any new laws, the Policy Analyst will collaborate closely with Commission staff in other divisions to effectively implement the laws and will develop, monitor, and report on metrics to assess progress toward achieving the identified policy goals.

Important and Essential Duties

Essential duties of the position include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Participate in all stages of a policy project, including scoping, empirical research, stakeholder engagement, reporting, legislation drafting, legislative advocacy, regulatory rulemaking, program implementation, education, and evaluation.
  • Research and develop thorough knowledge base of recent investigations and prosecutions of City officials and contractors for allegations of unethical conduct.
  • Review state and local conflict of interest (COI) laws and assess local COI programs and outcomes, including production of comparative jurisdictional surveys summarizing particular ethics rules in other jurisdictions in the U.S.
  • Survey existing scholarship on municipal ethics, including pay-to-play schemes; build relationships with civil society institutions, including academic, NGO, and other research organizations.
  • Analyze the extent to which current laws and programs are effective in prohibiting, deterring, and detecting unethical behavior, including data gathering and analysis regarding current public disclosure practices and outcomes.
  • Engage with stakeholders, including other City departments, advocacy groups, the regulated community, and members of the general public to solicit input, including the administration of stakeholder engagement meetings.
  • Design policy solutions to address any shortfalls in current laws and programs, including legislation, regulations, administrative processes, and communications.
  • Secure adoption of proposed solutions by Ethics Commission, including through preparation and presentation of reports containing detailed findings and recommendations that are fully supported and cited.
  • Perform legislative affairs work to secure enactment of any new laws or regulations by Board of Supervisors, including preparation of targeted research memoranda that address issues raised in response to the initial findings and recommendations.
  • Consult with Commission staff throughout the legislative development process and collaborate on development of administrative processes and educational materials to support effective implementation of new policy solutions.
  • Perform administrative and program management duties as assigned, including development, monitoring, and reporting on metrics to assess progress toward achieving the identified program and policy goals.
  • Assist with conducting the Commission’s monthly public meetings and other duties as assigned.
  • Abstain from local political activities, disclose personal economic interests, and comply with outside employment restrictions.

Highly Desirable Qualifications

During the selection process the following desirable qualifications may be used to identify applicants selected to become a job finalist.

  • A Master’s degree in public policy, public administration, or a closely related field of study.
  • Prior experience and strong proficiency in performing empirical research, analysis of data, and making data-driven policy recommendations.
  • Experience interpreting and communicating complex laws to layperson audiences.
  • An established interest in government accountability programs, including ethics, lobbying, or campaign finance.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills; the ability to work in a remote environment and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to thrive in a dynamic work environment while effectively adjusting to changes in priorities and assignments.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Essential knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Knowledge of principles and methods of public policy research and evaluation, including quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Experience conducting targeted empirical research using a wide array of sources, including public disclosures, interviews, surveys, academic works, and legal sources.
  • Orientation to detail and accuracy and ability to synthesize information into conclusions and recommendations supported by strong research.
  • Ability to evaluate the costs,  benefits, and potential consequences of various approaches, including unintended consequences.
  • Ability to understand and explain the purposes behind laws and to translate these concepts into practice.
  • Written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking and report development and writing.
  • Computer and data analysis skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (in particular Excel), are required. Familiarity with PowerBI, Tableau, or other statistical/analytics tools is a plus.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, exercise initiative, and complete multiple competing projects within established timeframes while also ensuring accurate, high-quality work product.
  • Interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships that foster engagement and creative problem-solving as a member of a diverse staff team.
  • Ability to apply sound independent judgment and exhibit professionalism and respect in politically sensitive and highly visible contexts.
  • Ability to work objectively in a politically sensitive environment and a willingness to forego all local political activity.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of sensitive and confidential information while working comfortably in an open government environment.
  • Ability to exercise tact, initiative, sound independent judgment, and the highest standards of integrity in carrying out duties.

Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which the City and County of San Francisco requires for employment in the classification.

  1. Possession of a graduate degree (Master’s degree or higher) from an accredited college or university; and one (1) year full-time equivalent experience performing professional-level analytical work, as described in Note A; OR
  2. Possession of a graduate degree (Master’s degree or higher) from an accredited college or university with major coursework as described in Note B; OR
  3. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, and two (2) years full-time equivalent experience performing professional-level analytical work as described in Note A; OR
  4. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework as described in Note B and one (1) year full-time equivalent experience performing professional-level analytical work as described in Note A;

SUBSTITUTION: Applicants may substitute up to 2 years of the required education with additional qualifying experience in budget analysis, financial analysis and reporting, legislative/policy analysis, or contract/grant administration. One year (2000 hours) of additional qualifying experience will be considered equivalent to 30 semester units/45 quarter units.

Notes on Qualifying Experience and Education:

  1. Qualifying professional-level analytical experience must be in one or more of the following functional areas: complex budget analysis, development and administration; complex financial/fiscal analysis and reporting; development of complex contracting systems and administration of competitive bid processes and complex contractual agreements; development and evaluation of complex management/administrative policy; complex grant administration and monitoring; complex program evaluation and planning; complex legislative analysis; complex economic analysis; or other functional areas related to the duties of positions in Class 1822, where the primary focus of the job is complex professional-level analysis for evaluation, recommendation, development and implementation of major programs and functions of department/organization. Analytical experience equivalent to the duties of Class 1820 is considered qualifying.
  2. Coursework applicable to a baccalaureate or higher degree in specialized subject matter areas such as public or business administration, management, business law, contract law, public policy, urban studies, economics, statistical analysis, finance, accounting or other fields of study closely related to the essential functions of positions in Class 1822.

How To Apply

To apply for this position, please submit the following documents using the Apply Now link at the bottom of this document:

  • Statement of Interest that details your interest in the Policy Analyst position and describes your relevant skills and experiences, including any prior policy work you have performed on issues related to accountable government or public integrity.
  • Current Resume
  • Writing Sample of no more than 10 pages (single-spaced) in which you used empirical data to analyze a public policy issue and recommend solutions. The writing sample should reflect your own work that was not substantially edited by anyone else. The writing sample can be academic work produced in a graduate program or work product from a prior work experience. The writing sample should cite to all sources of information or data relied on in the document.

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 COVID19 public health restrictions all candidate interviews will take place online using remote technology. In addition, subject to further official notice from the City and County of San Francisco, the successful candidate should expect to perform their duties working fully remotely at least through June 30, 2021, however 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.

Apply Now

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