Economic Research Division
Three key elements affecting regional prosperity are the economy, the environment, and social equity. Each of these elements is essential to sustaining the vitality of the San Diego region. The Regional Economic Prosperity Strategy identifies the demographic and economic challenges facing the San Diego region and promotes a set of strategic goals and recommendations to meet these challenges and improve the competitiveness of our local economy. SANDAG is working with a coalition of local leaders to implement policies that foster economic growth and provide capital outlays to sustain the environment and promote equity.
With the Prosperity Strategy as a framework, SANDAGs Economic Research team periodically compares the San Diego region to other similar metropolitan areas using economic, environmental, and equity indicators, and conducts complex benefit-cost analyses, economic impact analyses, and other technical research projects related to regional plans, programs, and projects that lead to recommendations for policy-makers regarding infrastructure investments in the region.
Senior Economist Role
The Senior Economist will lead the development of complex long-range regional economic studies and programs, and will serve as project manager for economic research studies for public and private organizations through SANDAGs Service Bureau. Responsibilities include managing project teams and supervising staff, overseeing project budgets and contracts, writing and responding to Requests for Proposals, and full project responsibility for economic and fiscal impact studies.
This position is ideal for an economics professional with a strong interest in furthering their expertise in regional economic and fiscal issues. We anticipate career development will occur while completing the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:
- Design and implement economic research methodologies and fiscal analyses in support of regional policies, plans, and programs including San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan, and TransNet; analyze, interpret, and report on the results of economic research projects of broad scope and complexity.
- Serve as project manager of the Regional Economic and Municipal Finance Services work program; perform project management functions for a variety of economic analyses and fiscal impact studies; prepare and update the Economic Prosperity Strategy and Indicators of Sustainable Competitiveness reports; and contribute to other agency planning and program initiatives.
- Design and conduct quantitative research and non-routine data analysis to evaluate and monitor current economic conditions, forecast future trends, and analyze the impact of proposed projects/programs/ policies on the regions economy.
- Evaluate the economic impact and perform risk assessments of alternative actions; analyze various demographic and socioeconomic factors and public policies to recommend specific actions to improve the regions economy.
- Prepare written technical, analytical, and policy reports and present findings and recommendations to technical and policy committees, the SANDAG Board of Directors, other elected and appointed officials, and SANDAG clients.
- Provide advice and consultation on economic matters to agency executives, project managers, technical and policy committees, and the Board of Directors.
- Develop successful long-term networks and business relationships with private and public sector organizations.
- Provide direct supervision for a small team including assigning work tasks, setting priorities, training, and performance management; oversee and coordinate projects assigned to the team; review and evaluate work products, methods, and procedures.
- Engage in business development activities that lead to greater awareness of the agencys economic programs, services, and resources throughout the region.
- Apply for and respond to grants, develop RFP's, evaluate competitive project proposals and make recommendations for consultant selection; manage project consultants and ensure projects are completed on schedule, within the prescribed budget, and with a high-level of effectiveness.
- Participate in the development and administration of the overall Work Program budget; forecast additional funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; monitor and approve expenditures; prepare and implement budgetary adjustments as necessary.
- Provide highly technical and complex assistance to managers and executives.
Experience and Qualifications
Numerous factors contribute to an individuals ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate with an aptitude for analytical thinking and problem solving who is organized, flexible, and can be relied upon to meet deadlines while working on multiple projects. Excellent communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively with a variety of end-users to build consensus, and the use of sound judgment are important.
The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a bachelors degree with major course work in regional economics, economics, public finance, demography, statistics, or a related field, and five years of recent, relevant experience in an economics or related research field. A masters degree is desirable.
The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position.
- Demonstrated knowledge of the principles of economic theory and their application to transportation, regional planning, public facilities, government finance, and related fields.
- Demonstrated knowledge of the principles of economic research methods, including input-output models and econometric methods; experience conducting/managing primary and secondary economic research studies.
- Demonstrated ability to analyze and evaluate complex economic and financial issues, develop and evaluate solutions and prepare recommendations.
- Demonstrated knowledge of data sources used in economic studies; experience overseeing the development, validation, and documentation of economic databases.
- Ability to perform complex mathematical and statistical calculations to identify and forecast trends; analyze and interpret fiscal, economic, demographic, and other related data.
- Demonstrated knowledge of the principles and practices of project management and administration; ability to plan, coordinate, and manage concurrent major projects to ensure they are completed on time, within budget, and at a consistently high level of quality.
- Ability to prepare reports that document research procedures; effectively present, analyze, and interpret research findings; and make conclusions and recommendations for consideration by elected officials and other decision makers.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; ability to prepare and deliver public presentations and recommendations to Boards, community groups, and others, including the ability to effectively communicate technical information to non-technical audiences.
- Experience supervising and evaluating the work of professional and technical personnel; experience providing administrative and professional leadership for assigned programs and projects.
- Successful project management experience, including development of RFPs, scopes of work, budgets, and schedules, consultant selection, and contract management for plans and analyses.
- Demonstrated customer service skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work including local, state, and federal agencies, other government officials, community groups, the public, and media representatives; ability to gain cooperation and consensus through discussion and persuasion.
- Demonstrated ability to foster strategic business partnerships and alliances with regional economic development agencies.
- Knowledge of local, regional, and national trends and market analysis techniques.
- Familiarity with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis and mapping, demographic and economic studies, transportation modeling and analysis.
- Demonstrated computer software proficiency using various programs from the Microsoft Office Suite and other PC-based applications.
- Proficiency with the Spanish language, both oral and written, is highly desirable.
Salary and Benefits
SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.
This Senior Economist position has an annual salary range of $64,963 to $103,940; the starting salary will depend on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.
Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. And to support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.
How to Apply
We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.
The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG Web site. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org . Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via e-mail, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply Web page for additional information.
This position is Open until Filled. The first review of applications for the Senior Economist position will begin on Monday, April 8, 2013.
Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability should state their needs in writing when submitting an application.
Additional Application Requirement
To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 500 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.
1. Describe your experience presenting technical information to a non-technical audience. What strategies do you use to ensure a successful presentation when highlighting unpopular (or controversial) information?
2. Describe your experience developing a benefit-cost and/or economic impact analysis in support of a project. How did your analysis influence acceptance/approval of the project?
Candidate Selection and Notification
Following the first review date for applications, candidates will receive written confirmation that their application has been received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the first review date. Based on this evaluation, the best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.
The SANDAG Web site contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.
In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.
SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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