San Diego – CA

The City:

With more than 1.3 million people, the City of San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest in California. The City of San Diego’s strong economy, diverse population, great educational institutions, unsurpassed quality of life and world-renowned location makes it the ideal place to work, live and play. With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches and major attractions, San Diego is known worldwide as “America’s Finest City.”

As one of the region’s largest employers, the City of San Diego has a combined Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget of $2.97 billion and employs approximately 10,000 highly dedicated employees. Additional information about the City of San Diego can be obtained on the City’s website:

The Department:

The Planning Department includes three divisions: Long-Range Planning, Environmental & Resource Analysis, and Facilities Financing. The Department operates with a staff of approximately 78 employees and a budget of $11.6 million. The Environmental & Resource Analysis Division (E&RA) supports the Long-Range Planning Division’s mission to engage San Diegan’s to envision, plan, implement and maintain a sustainable City through the wise use of land, resources, and aesthetics, ensuring a high quality of life for all generations, including sustainability planning, grant applications and administration, and coordination with other City departments and government agencies. E&RA serves as the wheelhouse for all environmental policy in the City, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) authority, citywide CEQA policy, and environmental review of all community plan updates and other planning projects and plans, all CIP projects, and all other City-initiated projects, such as real estate transactions. The Division is responsible for implementation of General Plan policies related to Historic Preservation, the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP), and Park Planning through the review of all planning and development projects.

The Position:

This position offers an outstanding opportunity to join the management team of the Planning Department. With approval of the FY 2015 Budget, the City Council added a Program Manager to the Planning Department to manage the Citywide Urban Forestry Program. Under the direction of the E&RA Deputy Director, the Urban Forestry Program Manager will play an important role in contributing to the Department’s goals to pursue innovative planning that leads to on-the-ground results. The Program Manager will play a leadership role in policy development and in furthering implementation of the General Plan Conservation Element, particularly the goals and policies related to Urban Forestry including protection and expansion of a sustainable urban forest, incorporation of community street tree master plans in community plan updates, requiring the planning of trees through the development permit process, and public outreach efforts to educate City staff, the business community, and the general public on the environmental and economic benefits of trees.

Furthermore, the position will manage the Citywide Urban Forestry Program to identify strategies and policies for proactively managing the City’s trees; coordinate citywide tree services; serve as a liaison to the Community Forest Advisory Board (CFAB) and other community groups; and provide technical and professional guidance to property owners and other City departments. The focus of the program is on policy, planning, coordinating among City departments, and managing existing and future urban forestry and greening grants. Initially the position will outline the Citywide Urban Forestry Program and manage existing grant funds for programs underway. The functions for the Urban Forestry Program Manager position also include contributing to community plan updates, community plan amendments, and grant projects; providing recommendations on policy development, projects and programs; supervising the work of staff; contributing work product and ideas to planning projects and programs; conducting staff development and training; participating in the development of project and division budgets, and coordinating with other government agencies.


The ideal candidate will be an experienced urban forest professional capable of developing and implementing urban forestry initiatives, and will possess, at a minimum, the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge of urban forestry principals and best arboricultural and horticultural management practices;
  • Knowledge of tree physiology and pathology;
  • Ability to identify tree species, understand what species grow best in different environments and knowledge of tree placement in urban settings.
  • Knowledge of local, state and federal laws, ordinances, codes and regulations related to urban forestry.
  • A commitment to public service, responsible stewardship and innovation in government.
  • Strong quantitative analytical abilities, including a thorough understanding of common data analysis tools and programs;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills;
  • Grant writing and reporting experience;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to communicate complex and technical information in a simple, clear and straightforward manner, including the use of graphs and tables as needed;
  • Ability to communicate effectively to different audiences, including elected officials, various levels of City management and members of the public;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team in a fast-paced, high pressure environment with tight time constraints;
  • Highly ethical and objective, with the ability to navigate in a political environment without being political; and
  • Energetic and motivated with the ability and desire to take initiative.


Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in horticulture, landscape architecture, forestry, or other related field.


Five years of full time supervisory or management experience with an urban forestry program or similar program involving planning and management of urban forestry programs; management, planting, inspecting and evaluating trees in the field; education on urban forestry; certification as an Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture.

Management Compensation and Benefits:

The successful candidate will be eligible for participation in the City’s Flexible Benefits Plan that offers several optional benefit plans or a taxable cash option; $50,000 in City-paid life insurance; paid annual leave accruing at 22 days per year for the 1st through the 15th year of service. For further information, please contact the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-6600. Retirement benefits differ for this unclassified position depending on the candidate’s eligible status (new hire, rehire, etc.). For further information, visit Risk Management, Employee Benefits at Some benefits currently offered to employees may be modified in the future.

Pre-Employment Requirements:

Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes that are applicable to this job, which may include but are not limited to the following: Proof of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review/exam (which may include drug alcohol testing); reference checks; and a fingerprint check. The fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and/or the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes which may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, illegal drugs or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening/selection process may be cause for disqualification and/or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an expressed or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego.

Medical Evaluation:

A City medical examination including drug screening and documentation of medical history may be conducted following a conditional offer of employment or promotion. The individual must be able to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. The City of San Diego is committed to a drug and alcohol free work place.

Selection Process:

To be considered for this position, please submit your: 1) current resume; 2) a letter of interest highlighting your relevant work experience and qualifications for this position; and 3) a list of three professional references via email to

Following the closing date, resumes will be screened according to the qualifications outlined above and the most qualified candidates will be invited to an interview.

If you have any questions, please contact the City’s Human Resources Department at (619) 236-6313.

The City of San Diego has an active Equal Opportunity/ADA Program for employment and vigorously supports diversity in the workplace.

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