Director I – Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) – Updated

City of Portland, Oregon
October 13, 2021
Portland, OR
Job Type


The Position

Workplaces across Portland, the United States and the world are making tough decisions about how to protect their employees and community from COVID-19. We, too, find ourselves in the middle of this complex situation at the City of Portland. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety for our employees and our community. As a part of this commitment, all City employees are required to be fully vaccinated, effective October 18, 2021. Proof of full vaccination, or documentation of plans to become fully vaccinated (e.g., partially vaccinated however too soon for second dose, etc.) will be required prior to being hired by the City of Portland. The required vaccination is a minimum qualification requirement to be hired by the City of Portland. We understand that some are unable to be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, including medical and religious/spiritual reasons. Should you be offered employment with the City of Portland, there is an exception process that provides for an exception and reasonable accommodation based on a qualified medical condition or religious/spiritual reason. Exception Request Process for COVID-19 vaccine

Are you experienced and committed to continuous improvement, innovation, and public service? We seek a leader with a track record of successful change management, tactical leadership, and equitable outcomes to be the next Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM). PBEM is proud to lead emergency management for the largest city in Oregon and engage the largest community emergency volunteer program in the country. Through the pandemic response, wildfires, and the national racial reckoning, the dedicated PBEM team has risen to the occasion to both prepare for and respond to emergency events.

This position presents an important opportunity. The incoming Director for this bureau will lead the development of a multi-year strategic plan and work to strengthen collaboration among City bureaus, the community, and elected officials to ensure a holistic response to the emergencies Portland faces. Your tactical expertise, trauma-informed decision making, employee engagement, and resiliency skills will be essential.

About the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
The Bureau of Emergency Management leads the city's readiness, coordinates response, and builds resilience for Portland. This includes developing and implementing strategic plans, leading change, and developing and deploying tactical programs and policies to continually advance Portland's mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities.

The bureau's work is aligned around four strategic goals:
1. Continue to develop the City's suite of response and recovery plans.
2. Advance Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) readiness.
3. Foster connected and resilient neighborhoods with diverse populations.
4. Spur innovation and workplace excellence to reduce the City's disaster risk.

The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Director will report directly to Mayor Ted Wheeler. The leader of this bureau will oversee a dedicated team at PBEM in their work in emergency preparedness and neighborhood-led resilience efforts. The Director will continue the bureau's efforts in building robust systems that enable the city's resilience initiatives development of strategic plans to serve our residents in a way that continually advances the city's core values of anti-racism, equity, communication, transparency, and fiscal responsibility.

Learn more about our Bureau of Emergency Management at

The ideal candidate will demonstrate the following competencies for success, in addition to items listed in the "To Qualify" section:

Executive-Level Management: Demonstrate a track record of verifiable accomplishments leading a complex department, ideally within the field of emergency management/preparedness. Ability to delegate work, build relationships, make difficult decisions with an understanding of intended and unintended consequences, and set strategic priorities for the bureau.

Change Management: Stewards effective, engaging, and intentional change management processes. Leverages change management principles to direct sustainable change including assessing and determining the best approach for the bureau. Develops strategies to engage stakeholders to understand intended and unintended impacts of change. Demonstrates agility and willingness to collaborate through organizational, departmental, programmatic and policy shifts.

Leadership: Ability to lead, inspire, and motivate an intersectionally diverse workforce, volunteers, and subject matter experts in emergency preparedness. Be able to plan and implement large, complex, and comprehensive emergency management and disaster preparedness operations and programs. Evaluate and effectively respond to emergency and crisis situations. Resolve problems and gain support for policies, programs, procedures, processes, or services. Develop a vision, innovate, and lead/facilitate an inclusive strategic planning process. Be able to identify and recruit community leaders and staff.

Anti-racism, Equity, Inclusion: Proven experience supporting and maintaining an organizational culture that elevates and centers equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. Be able to develop resiliency in partnership with the bureau's Chief Resilience Officer and understand the effects of trauma on underserved communities. Knowledge and experience addressing the disproportionate impact of disasters on underserved neighborhoods. Understands the history of racism and works to dismantle systemic barriers to inclusion. Solves for the disparate impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities.

Collaboration: Ability to work collaboratively across the city, state, region, and jurisdictions. Be able to establish and maintain effective relationships with elected officials, City of Portland bureaus, other governmental agencies, volunteers, community-based organizations, schools, businesses, the media, employees, and residents. The PBEM director may be called on to support incident response outside regular work hours and typical work duties.

Strategic Communication: Ability to present information, proposals, plans, and recommendations clearly and persuasively in public settings, including to City Council. Ability to represent the bureau to the media. Responsible for ensuring emergency preparedness information is accessible to non-English speaking communities and people with disabilities.

About the City of Portland:
The City of Portland comprises an area of approximately 145 square miles in northwestern Oregon. With a 2019 population estimated at 655,000, Portland is the center of commerce, industry, transportation, finance, and services for a metropolitan area with a 2019 population estimated at 3.2 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. Portland is working to restore its vibrant downtown and is proud of the diverse neighborhoods, natural beauty, good schools, and friendly people. 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 is a full-service city 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.

City of Portland Core Values:
Anti-racism | Communication | Collaboration | Equity | Transparency | Fiscal Responsibility

These values guide our actions as we serve the community and engage our workforce. To learn more about the City's core values, please click here.

Work Location
Currently, many positions with the City of Portland are being performed remotely due to COVID-19. In the future, current positions classified as "full-time remote" could: 1) remain full-time remote, 2) become a remote/onsite mix, 3) revert to full-time at a city work location. As the situation evolves, the exact work location of the position in this recruitment may change based upon leadership direction and approval.

Why work at the City of Portland?
The City of Portland workforce serves a population of over 650,000. We are culture- and solutions-driven, viewing every challenge as an opportunity to learn, improve, and share our expertise. We are committed to removing systemic barriers to resources, access, and opportunity. The City is a believer in ALL people and continues to actively recruit and retain diverse top talent every day. We offer a comprehensive benefits package , including but not limited to medical, dental, vision, basic life, short- and long-term disability coverage to eligible employees and their families. If you are open-minded, motivated, community-focused, and self-aware, please apply yourself at the City of Portland today.

The City is offering an optional information meeting for this recruitment. Please see the Additional Information section below for details.

To Qualify

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

  1. A track record in managing a large, complex department ideally in Emergency Management, Fire or Police/Public Safety or Homeland Security for a city, county, state, tribe, or federal entity. Similar or comparable experience will be considered including non-profit emergency response agencies.
  2. Experience effectively engaging and communicating with internal and external stakeholders, while stewarding effective change management.
  3. Experience leading, managing, and developing an intersectionally diverse workforce.
  4. Experience developing and deploying trauma-informed strategic plans and education for emergency preparedness.
  5. Understanding of how the disparate issues of income, race, education, and poverty in our communities affect residents' ability to prepare for emergencies.

Applicants must also possess:

  • Must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 per City/State mandate. If unvaccinated, exception process must be completed by date of hire. Exception guidelines/process can be accessed here: Exception Request Process for COVID-19 vaccine

The Recruitment Process

In addition to providing a cover letter/resume please submit a separate equity and anti-racism statement outlining your commitment and experience successfully developing and delivering equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist approaches to emergency management, preparedness and resilience. Experiences may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Lived experience as a member of an underrepresented group.
  • Experience living, working, and meaningfully engaging with individuals with a variety of identities; and,
  • Track record of instilling equity, inclusion, and anti-racist practices within operations.

If your experiences are different from those listed and you have a commitment to equity, anti-racism, and inclusion, please explain how you will manifest that commitment in this position.

Equity Commitment:
For 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 link:

Position closes: October 25, 2021
First-round interviews conducted: November 5, 2021
Final interviews: November 15, 2021
Offer: November 17, 2021
Desired Start Date: December, 2021

All completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than the closing date and time of this recruitment. E-mailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted .

Additional Information

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

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

ADA, Pregnancy, and Religious Accommodations: If you identify as a person with a disability, are pregnant or nursing, or observe a religious practice(s), and would like to request a reasonable accommodation when applying for this job, please contact the Recruiter below for assistance.

Equal Employment Opportunity: 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.

Did you know ? The City of Portland offers How to Apply Classes that are free and review best practices for applying to the City. Follow t he link for the most recent list of scheduled dates: Events | Career Center |

Terrol Johnson, Senior Recruiter

Bureau of Human Resources

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

To assist you in understanding this position and the recruitment process, we will offer an Optional Information Session that will provide you with details about the position and about the application process. You are not required to attend to apply for this job. You are welcome to join us for the optional session below:
Topic: PBEM Director - Info session
Time: Oct 12, 2021 09:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 747 207 9668
Passcode: 267547


Topic: PBEM Director - I Info Session
Time: Oct 19, 2021 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 747 207 9668
Passcode: 267547Closing Date/Time: 10/25/2021 11:59 PM Pacific

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