Economic Development Director

City of Fresno

The City of Fresno is the largest city in the San Joaquin Valley, the fifth largest city in California, with a population of 538,330 residents and the 34th largest city in the country.  The city’s name was derived from the Spanish word for ash tree, a common sight along the San Joaquin River. Fresno is the financial core of the San Joaquin Valley and its economy is transitioning from a reliance on large-scale agricultural production to a more diverse and resilient model.  Revitalization of Downtown Fresno’s core and the construction of High Speed Rail are two of many exciting projects that continue to successfully support Fresno’s growing economy. 
Located in the geographical center of California, Fresno offers many sights. From fertile agricultural fields, an abundance of lakes, and the snowy Sierra Nevada mountain range, the scenic variety in Fresno is large. Fresno also features a diverse selection of dining, shopping, farmers markets, vibrant arts and culture, wineries, as well as a variety of attractions.  With 300 days of sunshine a year, the Mediterranean climate in Fresno is the source of its agricultural productivity, and allows year-round recreational activities including sailing, snow and water skiing, fishing, backpacking, and golfing.  With so much to see and do, Fresno is truly California’s year-round playground.
Traveling to other major metropolitan locations in California from Fresno is easy; Los Angeles is about four hours south and the San Francisco Bay Area is about three hours north. Fresno is located in proximity to three sites of natural beauty; Yosemite National Park (90 miles away), Kings Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Park. Residents and visitors alike enjoy these scenes and others, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Central Coast region of the Pacific Ocean is less than 3 hours away. 
Another advantage to living in Fresno is the exceptional housing that is available at lower price levels than California’s other large metropolitan areas. The current median home price in Fresno is approximately $243,700. There are four large school districts in the Fresno area: Fresno Unified, Central Unified, Sanger Unified and Clovis Unified. Fresno is the home of California State University, Fresno, as well as a number of other colleges and universities. 
Residents consider Fresno to be a community of unique charm, with the amenities of a large metropolitan city and the pleasantness of a smaller town. The people of Fresno enjoy a wide variety of social, cultural, athletic, educational and recreational activities in an affordable and clean living environment.
Fresno is a full-service charter city operating under a strong mayor form of government. There are seven Council Members. The Council appoints the City Attorney and the City Clerk. The Mayor is elected at- large and does not serve on the Council, but has veto power over certain actions taken by the City Council. The City Manager, who is appointed by the Mayor, is responsible for appointing all department heads in the City, including Airports, Development and Resource Management, Finance, Fire, Information Services, Parks, After School,  Recreation and Community Services, Personnel Services, Police, Public Utilities, Public Works, and Transportation.
The Economic Development Director reports to City Manager, Wilma Quan and is responsible for directing the activities of the City’s Economic Development Program.  The primary duties of this key position include, but are not limited to:
  • Directing, developing and implementing comprehensive economic development programs with an emphasis on development of new business as well as expanding and retaining existing businesses. 
  • Develops and directs short and long term economic development plans, programs and activities including marketing plans to maximize development potential. 
  • Develops and implements policies, procedures and programs supporting the goals of the economic development program as well as collaborative solutions to facilitate expeditious permitting.  
  • Meets with site locators, developers as well as existing and current business owners regarding projects, business location and opportunities for growth within the community. 
  • Participates in the preparation of reports, agreements, contracts, resolutions, and ordinances, and attends City Council meetings. 
  • Monitors implementation of agreements; devises solutions to problems; if necessary, seeks the assistance of appropriate City staff for further research and action. 
  • Researches and analyzes a variety of administrative, management, budgetary and fiscal practices, procedures and issues and makes sound policy and procedural recommendations and decisions as to their solution.
  • Works closely with the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation to attract and support expansion of existing businesses and attract new businesses to Fresno. 
  • Performs related duties as required or directed by the City Manager. 
This is an unclassified position in which the incumbent serves at the will of the City Manager.
 The City of Fresno (City) is seeking an experienced Economic Development Director who can grow and diversify the City’s economic base through implementation of the Mayor’s 10 Year Path to Prosperity.
The ideal candidate will have a record of effectively implementing sustainable economic development programs that demonstrably improve the community.  In addition, the ideal candidate should have excellent interpersonal and project management skills and be adept at leveraging resources. The ideal candidate personifies sound judgment and character as well as being consistently solution-oriented, responsive and proactive.
The Economic Development Director must have the ambition and drive to succeed in achieving the strategic initiatives of the Mayor.   To that end, the ideal candidate will possess a record of effectively collaborating with internal and external stakeholders in the execution and implementation of key projects and strategic initiatives.  Candidates for this position should have demonstrated effective use of knowledge in development,   planning, public administration, economics, community relations, project management, and a strong understanding of applicable laws, rules and regulations governing the affairs of a Charter City.
A background that includes a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with major courses in urban or regional planning, economics, business administration, public administration or a closely related field, and five years of responsible management experience in economic development will be considered qualifying for this position. 
Possession of a valid California Driver’s License may be required at time of appointment.
 In collaboration with the City Manager, the Economic Development Director will support and work towards accomplishing Mayor Lee Brand’s key strategic initiatives including economic prosperity, public safety, quality of life and a unified community. By using this simple framework, and the Economic Expansion Act, the City administration can target its resources for maximum, continuous City improvements that will ultimately bring 10,000 new jobs to the City by the year 2027.  The Economic Development Director will build on the recent successes, including Amazon, Ulta and Gap E-commerce warehouses opening in Fresno.

The City offers an attractive and competitive salary and benefits package. The salary for the Economic Development Director is dependent upon qualifications.  The current annual salary range is $133,980 up to $192,276. The employee benefits package, as noted below, is subject to change and includes:
  • Retirement: Fresno City Retirement System; reciprocity with other public California systems. The City’s pension funds are among the best funded public systems in California. The City does not participate in Social Security.
  • Health Insurance: City contributes toward the current monthly premium for medical, dental, and vision for employee and dependents.
  • Flexible Spending Account: IRS 125 Plan for health/dependent care.
  • Auto Allowance: $300 per month.
  • Deferred Compensation: 457 plan available.
  • Administrative Leave: 60 hours per fiscal year.
  • Annual Leave: 20 days per year of annual leave with cash out provision upon separation from the City.
  • Holidays: Ten (10) City-observed holidays annually, plus birthday and one (1) personal day per year.
  • Life Insurance: Equal to annual salary up to $150,000; premium paid by City.
  • Long-Term Disability: City pays premium for 66.66% of monthly salary up to $7,500 per month after 30 days.
Additional information regarding the City of Fresno is available at
If you are interested in this outstanding opportunity, please submit a letter of interest, your resume, and five references to:

Jeff Cardell, Director of Personnel Services
2600 Fresno Street, Room 1030
Fresno, California 93721-3614
Or email:
Attn:  Jeff Cardell - Economic Development Director Opportunity
Filing Deadline: June 28, 2019
A select group of candidates will be invited to interview for this excellent opportunity.
The City of Fresno is an equal opportunity employer.