Office of Equity & Human Rights Director with the City of Portland

Effective December 2018 the City of Portland will adopt a new classification and compensation structure, adjusting the pay range of this role to $111,696.00 - $189,842.00.  

The City is seeking a Director to lead the Office of Equity & Human Rights. 

About the Office of Equity & Human Rights 
The mission of the Office of Equity and Human Rights is to provide education and technical support to City staff and elected officials, leading to recognition and removal of systemic barriers to fair and just distribution of resources, access and opportunity, starting with issues of race and disability.

The Office was created in 2011 and charged to:
1. Promote equity and reduce disparities within City government;
2. Provide guidance, education and technical assistance to all bureaus as they develop sustainable methods to build capacity in achieving equitable outcomes and service;
3. Work with community partners to promote equity and inclusion within Portland and throughout the region, producing measurable improvements and disparity reductions;
4. Support human rights and opportunities for everyone to achieve their full potential;
5. Work to resolve issues rooted in bias and discrimination, through research, education, and interventions.

The Office of Equity & Human Rights Director reports to a Commissioner assigned by the Mayor, and provides reports and recommendations to the entire City Council. Commissioner Amanda Fritz is currently the Commissioner-in-Charge. The Director will initially lead a team of 11 and manage a 2018-19 budget of $1,919,615.00.
The incumbent will be responsible for strengthening the impact of the Office, building credibility and trust, improving measurable outcomes, and implementing a strategic plan with keen focus on the following areas:

  • Intentionally build collaborative systems within City bureaus to implement Equity Plans utilizing tools and guidelines to operationalize equity throughout the fabric of all that the City does. This includes building cohesive relationships and practices with equity staff across bureaus, as well as leveraging the work of affinity groups.
  • Partner with the Bureau of Human Resources to ensure equitable hiring, development and engagement practices.
  • Provide resources promoting safe work and community environments and interrupting bias and discrimination issues.
  • Strengthen the capacity and impact of the Human Rights Commission and the Portland Commission On Disability through work plan development, including goals, policies and strategies.
  • Develop reporting mechanisms to articulate the outcomes of the Office's strategic plan, and Citywide equity plans.
  • Create system wide methods to hold all bureaus accountable to institutionalize equity throughout the City of Portland, and to guide and support elected officials in implementing City equity policies.

Additional information regarding the Office of Equity and Human Rights is available here (, and City Racial Equity plans are available here( ADA Title II Transition Plans are available here
Competencies for Success: 
The next leader of the Office of Equity & Human Rights must be influential, collaborative, community oriented and exhibit a track record demonstrating success in the following:
Lived experience: Direct experience working with marginalized communities, particularly communities of color and persons with disabilities.
Familiar with the local context: Understands Portland's history around race and its unique brand of racism. Familiar with the city's history over the past 150 years, particularly the persistent disparities and systemic disenfranchisement policies and practices since WW II.
Committed to the role: Invested in making a sustainable change in Portland. Committed to staying here and devoting full attention to the needs of Portlanders.
Relational: A connector and community builder who demonstrates exceptional interpersonal skills and is comfortable engaging a diverse range of partners and stakeholders.
Receptive: Listens well and incorporates input from diverse sources. Approaches the work with humility and an openness to learn.  
Change agent: An advocate and champion who is committed to creating systemic change. Able to work with stakeholders and leaders to cultivate a vision and engage them in moving forward that vision. Ability to build trust both internally and externally to motivate others to buy-in to the work.  
Community focused: Values the community as experts and partners. Accountable to the community. Committed to spending time building ongoing relationships in the community. 
Inclusive: Able to forge relationships across differences. Able to represent and work well with diverse communities. Demonstrates good cross-cultural communication skills.
Collaborative: Effectively builds partnerships and works collaboratively. A skilled facilitator and convener. Recognizes the essential importance of collaboration for this work.
Courageous: Willing to take risks. Not afraid to rock the boat. Able to say hard things, create discomfort, and handle criticism.
Servant leader: Shares power with others. Supports others in developing their skills and abilities. Builds effective teams and delegates responsibility appropriately.
Diplomatic: Able to hold people accountable while still maintaining effective working relationships. Able to lead without being confrontational.
Emotional intelligence: Self-aware, empathetic, and compassionate. Effective at managing relationships and defusing conflict.
The ideal candidate will possess the following, as well as the items listed in the "To Qualify" section: 

  • Deep understanding of equity: Highly knowledgeable about the work with a strong background in all of the dimensions of equity under the purview of the office. Strong understanding of intersectionality and how intersecting identities can play a compounding role in creating inequities and disparities.
  • Expertise in how to advance equity in government: Demonstrated experience successfully advancing equity in a government setting. Has a strong grasp of regional and national best practices, and a clear understanding of how to move the work forward in Portland.
  • Expertise in institutional and systems change: Demonstrated skill and results in understanding institutional change processes and managing organizational transformation. A proven track record of changing institutions and systems to advance equity. A systems thinker who can assess where the City is currently in the change process and map out the next steps.
  • Management expertise: Proven effectiveness in managing an organization and leading a team. Able to set clear direction and expectations and hold staff accountable for achieving results. Proficiency in managing a budget, setting priorities, developing work plans, and operationalizing a vision.
  • Effectiveness in building a strong team: A collaborative leader with a strong track record of developing and nurturing effective teams and fostering a supportive workplace culture.
  • Strategic planning skills: Demonstrated effectiveness at working with diverse stakeholders to facilitate a thoughtful and inclusive planning process that results in a clear strategic direction and detailed implementation plan.
  • Demonstrated results: Proven success at working with staff and stakeholders to move forward effective strategies that achieve concrete deliverables with a measurable impact.
  • Effective communication skills: A good communicator who is able to use verbal and written communication to strategically advance the office's goals. Doesn't necessarily need to be a powerful public speaker but needs to be able to communicate effectively.
  • Political savvy: Experience working effectively in a highly politicized environment. Able to skillfully navigate the commission form of government and internal City politics. Able to educate and motivate elected officials to champion and advance the equity work in every bureau.

About the City of Portland
The City of Portland comprises an area of approximately 145 square miles in northwestern Oregon.  With a 2016 population estimated at 627,000, Portland is the center of commerce, industry, transportation, finance, and services for a metropolitan area with a 2016 population estimated at 2.4 million people.  Portland is the county seat of Multnomah County, and is the largest city in Oregon and the second largest city in the Pacific Northwest.
Lauded as one of the best places to live in America, Portland has a vibrant downtown, diverse neighborhoods, natural beauty, good schools and friendly people. This job offers huge opportunities and incentives for the next Director to be a much-needed change-maker, building on the work done over the past 10 years.  Portland is listed among the top 25 arts destinations in the United States, named one of the best cycling cities in North America, and is one of America's best walking towns.  Portland maintains deep ties to the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty, with Mount Hood, the Cascade Mountain Range and the renowned Oregon Coast each just over an hour away. There are 37,000 acres of parks and green spaces within the metropolitan area, including the 5,000-acre Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness in the U.S.  Average temperatures range between 34° in winter to 80° in summer and Portland receives 37" of rain annually, less than Seattle, Houston, Baltimore, Boston and Atlanta. 

Portland has a reputation for being unique, and our governance structure is no exception. Portland voters adopted the commission form of government in 1913, and over 100 years later, Portland is the only large city in the country continuing to operate under this structure. The five members of the City Council are each elected at-large, and have legislative, administrative, and quasi-judicial responsibilities. The Mayor assigns bureaus to each Council member.

Portland is a full-service City government with approximately 6,000 represented and non-represented permanent employees and a budget of over $3.46 billion.  The City has maintained its triple-A bond rating for over 40 years, reflecting its strong financial management policies and practices. 
Why join the City of Portland?
The City of Portland offers competitive pay and comprehensive benefits, offering medical, dental, vision, basic life, and long-term disability coverage that provides quality care, support and value to eligible employees and their family members. Additional benefits such as flexible spending accounts, supplemental life insurance and employee assistance program coverage is available to ensure employees have the appropriate tools to safeguard themselves and their family.  The City of Portland also participates in PERS, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. For more information on the City of Portland's benefits please click here.

To Qualify


The following minimum qualifications are required for this position.  Applicants must specifically address and demonstrate in their cover letter and resume how their education, training and/or experience meets each of the following minimum qualifications:

  1. Experience addressing social, political and environmental issues influencing equity and social justice programs.
  2. Experience leading institutional change management efforts with a focus on marginalized communities including people of color, and people with disabilities.
  3. Experience in visionary and strategic thinking to identify and define complex equity and human rights issues, develop sound conclusions and recommendations, and present recommendations in a way that is compelling to a variety of institutional and community audiences.
  4. Experience building effective working relationships and networks with communities of color, disability communities, and organizations that provide services.
  5. Experience building and leading an effective multicultural workplace reflective of programs and populations.
  6. Experience communicating effectively with the public, diverse stakeholder groups, as well as government leaders and community organizations.

In addition to providing a cover letter/resume please submit a separate equity statement outlining your commitment and track record to diversity, equity and inclusion. Please limit the equity statement to a maximum of one page. Experiences may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • lived experience as a member of an underrepresented group
  • experience living, working and meaningfully interacting with individuals with a variety of identities
  • track record of instilling equity and inclusion within operations

If your experiences are different from those listed and you have a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, please explain how you will manifest that commitment in this position.
Equity Commitment: 
For those applicants who meet the qualifications of this position, in accordance with the adoption of the Charles Jordan Standard and the City of Portland's commitment to equity, the highest qualified minority candidates, highest qualified candidates identifying as female, and highest qualified candidates who identify as a person with a disability will be included in the final interview process. To identify candidates who should be considered under the Charles Jordan Standard, we are asking applicants who meet the qualifications for this position to include information identifying their status as a minority, woman, and/or identification as an individual with a disability in the required equity statement. Please see the City's Charles Jordan Standard Portland Resolution No. 37180 for more information (Direct link:

Position closes: 11/13/18
First-round interviews conducted: Week of November 26th
Final interviews: Week of December 3rd or December 10th

The Recruitment Process

An evaluation of each applicant's training and experience, as demonstrated in their cover letter and resume weighted 100%. Do not attach materials not requested.  Only candidates who meet the Minimum Qualifications will be placed on an equally ranked eligible list. You have 14 days from the notice of the examination results to let us know if you disagree with your results. Please read the City of Portland Administrative Rule 3.01 for complete information. Additional evaluation may be required prior to establishment of the eligible list and/or final selection.

Additional Information

Applicants must submit a cover letter and professional resume online, specifically focused on your qualifications for this position as identified in the "Minimum Qualifications" section of this announcement, and in accordance with the following instructions:

  • Your resume and cover letter will be the basis for our evaluation of your qualifications for this position. Incomplete or inappropriate information may result in disqualification.
  • Your cover letter should include details describing your education, training and/or experience, and where obtained, which clearly reflect how you satisfy each of the minimum qualifications.
  • Your resume should support the details described in your cover letter.
  • If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, as identified below, please describe in your cover letter any transferrable skills obtained during your military service and how they relate to each of the required Minimum Qualifications.
  • Your resume and cover letter should be no more than a total of six (6) pages combined.

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm, on the closing date of this recruitment.  Allapplications must be submitted via the City's online application process.  Do not attach materials not requested.  Emailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted.

This position is exempt from Civil Service and is an "At Will" position. It serves at the discretion of the hiring authority, subject to the City of Portland Human Resources Administrative Rules and the Portland City Charter and Code. 

If you are requesting Veteran's Preference, attach a copy of your DD214 / DD215 and/or Veteran's Administration letter stating your disability to your profile, as well as checking the box identifying yourself as a Veteran. You must request Veteran's Preference ANDinclude a copy of your documentation for each recruitment you apply for. Veteran's Preference documentation must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on the closing date of this recruitment.

Non-citizen applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at time of application.

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply. If you wish to identify yourself as an individual with a disability under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and will be requesting accommodation, the requests must be made to the Recruiter(s) named below no later than the closing date of this announcement.

Enrique Sama
Executive Recruiter
Bureau of Human Resources


Last Indexed: 
Sunday, November 11, 2018 - 09:30