Assistant Director, Environmental Services Department – City of San Diego – San Diego, CA

Please see instructions on how to apply in the Selection Process section of this bulletin as this position cannot be applied for online.

The City:
With more than 1.4 million residents, 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 make it the ideal place to work, live, and play. With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches, and major attractions, San Diego has something to offer for everyone.

The City’s Mission, as stated in the Strategic Plan, is “To Effectively Serve and Support Our Communities.” The City’s core values are “Integrity, Service, People, and Excellence.” The City’s Vision is “A World-Class City for All.”

As one of the region’s largest employers, the City of San Diego employs approximately 11,300 highly dedicated employees and has a combined Fiscal Year 2022 operating and capital budget of approximately $4.6 billion.

The Department:
The Environmental Services Department ensures residents are provided with a clean and safe environment. The Department pursues waste management strategies that emphasize waste reduction and recycling, Zero Waste, organics management, and environmentally sound landfill operations. The Department consists of three Divisions: Collection Services, Disposal & Environmental Protection, and Waste Reduction.

Collection Services Division
Provides regular collection of residential refuse, recyclables and greens, and collection and maintenance of street litter containers in business districts.

Disposal & Environmental Protection Division
Operates the Miramar Landfill, an organic recycling facility, and a household hazardous-waste transfer facility; maintains eight closed landfills and eight inactive burn sites; ensures regulatory compliance of the City’s underground fuel storage tanks; and provides education on lead and asbestos, and management of household hazardous waste.

Waste Reduction Division
Is responsible for zero waste planning; provides education, training, and programs for residents and businesses; and enforces solid waste and recycling codes. The Division is also responsible for managing and implementing the Clean SD Program which includes illegal dumping removal, homeless camp waste abatement, planned curbside cleanups in neighborhoods, and sidewalk sanitization.

The mission is:
To reliably manage solid waste, conserve resources, and protect the environment.

The vision is:
Sustainable communities for all.

The Position:
Under the leadership of the Mayor and general direction of the Environmental Services Department Director, this position will exercise a wide range of management responsibilities related to managing the Environmental Services Department. The Assistant Director assists the Director in the day to day management of the Department by providing strategic direction, guidance and leadership for department projects, initiatives and the Capital Improvement Program. Participates in personnel related processes such as recruitment, discipline and supervision of the unclassified staff managing the department’s divisions detailed above.

Minimum Requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Environmental Science or a related field and,
  • Seven (7) years of increasingly responsible experience in Public Sector management with demonstrated ability to successfully lead a program and work with other professionals. An advanced degree is preferred and practical experience in specific environmental areas such as pollution prevention, environmental planning, landfill operations, sustainability practices, etc. in either the private or public sector is highly desirable.
  • Any combination of education and experience that demonstrates these qualifications may be qualifying.

Key Areas of Responsibilities:

  • Represent the department at City Council and Council Committee, Civil Service Commission, and various committees and professional forums;
  • Work collaboratively with Director and department’s management team and their staff to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the department;
  • Lead efforts to implement SB1383 and other solid waste mandates and regulations;
  • Provide Vision and Long-range planning to support the Zero Waste Plan and effective solid waste management;
  • Direct the department’s fiscal/budget activities, including the preparation and administration of capital and operating budgets;
  • Lead efforts to proactively identify and support creative and viable business solutions for efficient landfill operations, environmental services and programs;
  • Provide leadership, support, and development to the department personnel;
  • Plan, manage and implement department improvements and efficiencies;
  • Manage and address complex personnel issues;
  • Review policies, administrative regulations, department instructions and other related documents to ensure uniform compliance throughout the Department;
  • Monitor evolving technologies and implement process improvements as needed;
  • Frequently interact with field and professional staff and create a culture that supports diversity and inclusion;
  • Optimize the department’s organizational structure to ensure enhanced service delivery;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partners agencies and key stakeholders;
  • Perform related duties as assigned.

Desirable Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A commitment to public service, fiscal responsibility and innovation in government;
  • Unquestionable integrity with a strong commitment to environmental protection and resource conservation that guides all decisions;
  • Active and genuine commitment to managing diversity in the workplace and encouraging high performing teams;
  • Interest in municipal activities and services and how they impact the community;
  • Substantial, progressively responsible management experience that demonstrates the ability to lead and manage a major operation;
  • Demonstrated exceptional business and political acumen to work effectively with internal customers, external agencies and businesses, elected officials and the public;
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills, with the ability to successfully interact with a variety of stakeholders, both inside and outside the City structure
  • Excellent problem-solving skills with the ability to proactively identify and support creative and viable business solutions;
  • Strong negotiating and analytical skills;
  • Ability to balance competing interests in a regulatory and political environment;
  • Proven ability in budget development and management;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of strategic planning processes and goal setting practices;
  • Ability to balance competing priorities with externally imposed deadlines;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to successfully interact with a wide variety of stakeholders;
  • Focus on enhanced customer service and customer satisfaction;
  • Strong business and political acumen to work effectively with customers, elected officials, external businesses and governmental agencies;
  • Ability to comprehend technical details and understand how they relate to and impact the “big picture”;
  • Ability to align department goals with the City’s vision, values, and mission;
  • Ability to work in a fast paced, dynamic, deadline driven environment and to handle multiple projects simultaneously; and
  • Experience working collaboratively with represented labor groups.


This position is eligible for participation in the City’s Flexible Benefits Plan, which offers several benefit plan options or a taxable cash option; $50,000 in City-paid life insurance; paid annual leave accruing at a rate equivalent to 22 days per year for an employee’s first 15 years of service. Retirement benefits for this unclassified position depend on an employee’s eligibility status (new hire, rehire, etc.). To learn more about this position’s employee benefits, please review the Benefits Summary for Unclassified Employees or contact the Benefits Division of the Risk Management Department at (619) 236-5924. 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 applicable to the position, which may include but are not limited to the following: confirmation 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; confirmation of COVID-19 vaccination; and fingerprinting. Fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and 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, including marijuana, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening or selection process may be cause for disqualification or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes or should be construed as part of an express or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego. Candidates must notify the Personnel Department of any change in their name, mailing address, email address, or phone number, or they may miss employment opportunities.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

  • The City of San Diego is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 1, 2021.
  • Candidates may need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by their start date in accordance with City policy. “Fully vaccinated” means a person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Acceptable COVID-19 vaccines must either be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or the World Health Organization. Candidates who receive a conditional job offer will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Employees and candidates with a disability or medical condition that makes it medically inadvisable for them to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, as verified by their healthcare provider, or those with a sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, may request reasonable accommodation and exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Candidates who receive a conditional job offer and wish to make such a request for accommodation will be provided with more information. The City will review requests for medical and religious accommodation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). A candidate’s start date may be adjusted to allow for the accommodation process.

Medical Evaluation:
A City medical examination, including drug/alcohol screening and documentation of medical history, may be conducted following a conditional offer of employment or promotion. Candidates must be able to perform the essential duties of the position sought, with or without reasonable accommodation. The City of San Diego is committed to a drug and alcohol-free workplace.

Selection Process:
To be considered for this position, please submit the following via email to [email protected]: 1) your 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. Please reference Recruitment Number U2156 in the Subject Line.

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

If you have any questions, please email the City’s Human Resources Department at [email protected] .

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

Date Posted: October 14, 2021

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