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Government Affairs Program Specialist - Reimagining San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, United States of America Req #82
Friday, October 27, 2023

About the Opportunity:
Reimagining San Francisco is a new and developing citywide alliance of individuals and organizations that will act collectively to increase the ecological health of San Francisco and equitably distribute the benefits of nature to all. This collaborative was launched in October 2022 as part of the California Academy of Sciences’ Thriving California initiative, which aims to translate community-driven conservation science into policy and management outcomes and individual on-the-ground actions to regenerate ecosystems.

The Government Affairs Program Specialist will be a passionate, innovative, and dynamic leader responsible for shaping and growing this collective impact initiative alongside government, community, and nonprofit leaders. The Program Specialist will be instrumental in helping to define the future of this alliance and setting a path to reaching goals around building a San Francisco where people and nature thrive. The Program Specialist will be based at the California Academy of Sciences and will report to the Director of Government Affairs. They will also work closely with the Thriving California initiative Co-Directors, with Reimagining SF governance committee members playing an active role in annual goal setting and performance reviews. This is a full-time, temporary 2-year position, with the possibility for extension.

Organizational Culture
Join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are intrinsic to Academy culture and operations, from recruitment and retention to science and advocacy.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Staff are currently expected to work from the Academy offices at least 2-3 times per week, which may fluctuate based on business needs. Please do not apply if you are not able to work onsite. This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 1021.  Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy. The California Academy of Sciences is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace, to protect its employees, volunteers and guests.

About Reimagining San Francisco:
Starting in the Fall of 2022 as part of our Thriving California initiative, the Academy convened individuals and organizations working at the people-nature interface in San Francisco to consider how we might collaborate on impactful projects aimed at connecting people to nature and to each other, boosting biodiversity, and increasing environmental justice in the city. After two half-day meetings to discuss the group’s vision of the future for people and nature in San Francisco, and an all-day strategy and governance meeting, a Planning Committee was formed to take all the input and feedback received from these meetings and bring a draft strategic plan back to the group.

The draft vision of Reimagining San Francisco is: A San Francisco where all people and nature thrive together.

The next steps for Reimagining San Francisco include finalizing the strategy laid out by the Planning Committee, establishing a governance and decision-making structure, and starting one or more collaborative projects that align with the vision and values of the group. The Reimagining San Francisco Program Specialist will be instrumental in all of these processes.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Help guide the early formation of Reimagining San Francisco, a cross-sector collaborative with diverse member organizations including government agencies, civic planning groups, education partners, cultural institutions, Tribes, and community-based organizations by setting up the structure and governance, determining decision-making processes, creating guidelines for membership, setting up working groups, developing evidence-based outcomes, among other duties
  • Set and run meetings; serve as a neutral and skilled facilitator who can guide the team, partners, and stakeholders through discussion and planning
  • Work with alliance members to develop, coordinate, and implement strategic objectives and initiatives, including outcomes-focused action plans, which further advance the collaborative’s vision and goals
  • Strategize and make recommendations on Academy engagement with relevant San Francisco stakeholders, and recruit additional cross-sector stakeholders to participate in Reimagining San Francisco work
  • Monitor and evaluate progress towards objectives and initiatives and support in report creation
  • Collaborate to create and manage the annual program budget
  • Help to research, design, and produce resources to support the collaborative’s goals
  • Build and maintain relationships with community partners, cultivate working relationships with community leaders, and help identify and recruit additional cross-sector stakeholders to participate in the Reimagining SF work
  • Manage internal and external communications including regular communication with stakeholder groups and committees
  • Help build and manage digital assets and engagement, including website and social media presence across different platforms
  • Represent the collaborative across a range of audiences and forums
  • Local travel (within the City and County of San Francisco) as needed

A qualified candidate will possess a combination of the following education and equivalent experience:

  • Three to five years of experience in project management, cross-sector collaboration, or collective impact
  • At least two years experience tracking budgets
  • Bachelor's degree, prior work experience, or a combination of these qualifications focused on some or all of the following areas: public policy and government affairs, community building or organizing, creating equitable public spaces, urban nature or ecology, civic planning, communications and advocacy, social sciences
  • Passion for the Academy mission: Knowledge of and passion for the Academy’s mission, vision, and strategic plan

Knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Values diversity, equity, and cultural differences, bringing cultural competency to their daily work
  • Familiarity with the culture, history, and governance of San Francisco and its built and natural environment, familiarity with local funding norms
  • Organized, strategic, and analytical thinker with strong attention to detail and the ability to shift from big picture to specific areas while making meaningful connections 
  • A high degree of emotional intelligence, demonstrating the ability to discern and solve for complex interpersonal interactions with external parties
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills; ability to prioritize multiple responsibilities and deadlines; ability to manage projects and see them through to completion; ability to shift responsibilities quickly as circumstances require
  • Thrives in a less structured environment under minimal supervision
  • Entrepreneurial ability to create a structure where ambiguity exists
  • Demonstrated ability to build authentic relationships with and coalesce diverse groups of stakeholders
  • Experience with grant reporting and deliverables
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to analyze and convey complex information quickly and succinctly.
  • Proficiency with Google apps
  • Proficiency in Spanish or Cantonese a plus, but not required

Physical Environment:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

The majority of this job will be computer-based. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to work at a computer for a large portion of the day (90%); review a variety of materials, including printed and electronic documents, websites, and emails; move from place to place around the Academy; and communicate with others in person, on the telephone, and online.

Compensation and Benefits
Starting salary will vary based on experience and relevant skills/knowledge set. The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits based on the hours per week worked. Please scroll down to "Other details" for this position's hiring range.

Schedule: Full Time, 40 hours per week

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Please apply no later than December 1, 2023.


Please upload your resume, cover letter, and complete the brief online application 

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).


We are committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants shall receive equal consideration and treatment. All terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, placements, transfers, promotions, compensation, benefits, terminations, training, and social and recreational programs, will be on the basis of qualifications of the individual for the positions being filled. The Academy does not discriminate against qualified applicants or employees with respect to any terms or conditions of employment on account of any characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance. Read our full Equal Opportunity Statement here.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Employment Indicator Regular FT
  • Min Hiring Rate $79,000.00
  • Max Hiring Rate $89,000.00
Location on Google Maps
  • California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California, United States of America