Director, Community, Ratepayer & Government Relations

Director, Community, Ratepayer & Government Relations

Reporting Relationship
VP, Advocacy & Economic Development

Full-time, exempt


The Downtown Seattle Association’s (DSA) mission is to create a healthy, vibrant downtown. For over 60 years, DSA has provided vision and leadership on the critical issues and opportunities facing Seattle’s urban core, including economic competitiveness, transportation and mobility, housing and the quality of downtown Seattle’s public realm. As a member-based organization, a core activity of DSA is to advance economic competitiveness issues and advocacy for downtown businesses, nonprofits and residents. DSA works closely with city and county leaders, neighborhood organizations, nonprofits and government agencies to advocate for more affordable housing, better transportation options and making downtown Seattle attractive and accessible to businesses, workers, residents and visitors. DSA also serves as the program manager of the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), a city-established Business Improvement Area (BIA), first initiated with the support of property owners in 1999. The district encompasses more than 1,500 properties across 285 blocks and funds cleaning, safety, hospitality, public space, marketing/promotion and economic development programs. The MID maintains contracts with public agencies to extend the impact of these programs within the district with public funding. The DSA also manages a subsidiary nonprofit, Commute Seattle, to provide commute trip reduction services and consultation to downtown employers and property owners under contracts with local transportation agencies.

Essential Duties and Tasks

  • Develop and lead all activities related to community and government relations to support successful implementation and operations of MID programs and initiatives
  • Negotiate contracts and partnership agreements and serve as the primary point of contact for all contracts and partnerships between the MID and public agencies
  • Serve as the primary point of contact on behalf of the MID with the City’s Office of Economic Development (OED)
  • Develop strategies to influence public sector investment and action in cleaning, safety, homelessness and public realm services to enhance areas managed by the MID
  • Coordinate with DSA’s Advocacy and Economic development team on policy and advocacy priorities impacting downtown, DSA members and ratepayers
  • Develop and execute strategies to increase the impact of MID cleaning, safety, outreach and public spaces programs where public sector support and action is needed
  • Manage external relations involving potential new services, contracts and initiatives within the MID with community groups, ratepayers and public agencies
  • Represent the MID in legislative hearings and stakeholder processes
  • Develop and maintain strong working relations with elected officials, senior public agency staff, media and other policy makers on behalf of MID funded programs
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with other downtown groups whose interests are aligned with and/or overlap with the MID’s business plan and programs including with neighborhood, economic development groups, transportation advocates, retail and hospitality associations, developers, social service and affordable housing providers and arts and culture organizations
  • Develop plans and strategies to support renewal and potential expansion of the MID

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree plus five (5) years working in public policy, government relations or economic development. In addition, the following are also minimum qualifications:
  • Demonstrated leadership skills exhibited in the public policy, government and community relations arena
  • Familiarity with city and county government structures and legislative and political processes. Familiarity with similar state and federal political processes are also desired
  • Experience with grassroots advocacy, community organizing and lobbying are desired
  • Ability to exercise strategic judgment and diplomacy in a wide variety of public situations and high-profile issues
  • Ability to work with a variety of constituencies including business leaders, public officials and community representatives
  • Extensive experience and knowledge of community issues
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Strong collaboration and consensus building skills
  • Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills
  • Well-developed presentation and facilitation skills
  • Ability to effectively represent DSA, its mission and values

Specialized Skills

Experience with the following types of software and/or Windows-based applications is preferred: word processing, databases, internet, email.


  • Reflect the Downtown Seattle Association’s core values of Collaboration, Perseverance, Innovation, Excellence and Integrity
  • Deep commitment to equity and social justice with an understanding of the role that racism, ableism, sexism and other forms of bias and oppression play in perpetuating inequity
  • Commitment to growth mindset, collaborative leadership and a learning-based philosophy
  • Humility, sense of humor, comfort with ambiguity and servant leadership
  • Ability to weave and work within all DSA mission areas associated with creating a healthy, vibrant downtown
  • Willingness and comfort to engage with evolving and shifting portfolio of job duties


Salary range $85,000-$90,000 DOE, plus medical and dental benefits, health insurance, paid time off, long-term disability, 401K retirement plan and annual ORCA transit pass.

To Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume to for consideration.

Apply Today

The Downtown Seattle Association is proud to step up for safety by requiring COVID-19 vaccination of all team members. We’re prioritizing safety for our team members and their families and our communities by requiring the COVID-19 vaccination. To be considered for employment, applicants must supply verification of vaccination during the initial interview process.

The Downtown Seattle Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.