Position Description

Challenge Grant Fellowship Overview

Now more than ever, leaders across California and the nation are looking toward the Bay Area for innovative solutions that will lead our communities toward a more inclusive future. At the same time, the region is at a crossroads. Our economy is one of the strongest on the planet, yet inequality is skyrocketing, and we face a housing and displacement crisis that has hit low-income and communities of color particularly hard, which has had a ripple effect throughout the region.

Partnership for the Bays Future is a collaborative regional effort to address these pressing challenges and is one of the most ambitious investment and policy initiatives in the nation. Through two separate funds, the Partnership focuses on both policy, such as tenants’ rights, and investments in housing development, to tackle these issues holistically and at an unprecedented scale. The San Francisco Foundation will select up to 10 jurisdictions that propose the most high-impact, yet achievable plans to receive Challenge Grant support. Challenge Grant jurisdictions will be matched with a mid-career fellow to increase the city’s capacity to pass meaningful protection and preservation legislation.

This fellowship creates an opportunity for ambitious leaders to work with the nation’s most forward-thinking housing and economic leaders to advance the next generation of housing policy in one of the most influential regions in the world. Fellows will be responsible for championing the development, adoption, and implementation of innovative and high‐impact policies in collaborative partnership with community and staff from departments across the jurisdiction. Apply your skills to build an equitable Bay Area where everyone can be housed.

Fellowship Support

In partnership with the San Francisco Foundation, PolicyLink—a research and action institute that advances racial and economic equity—will manage the fellowship program. This includes recruiting, hiring, and managing the Challenge Grant fellows, while supporting them with technical assistance necessary to advance the work in their assigned jurisdictions. PolicyLink will also convene the Challenge Grant fellows cohort regularly to foster the exchange of ideas, in addition to convening the fellows’ jurisdiction and community partner teams.

Specifically, PolicyLink will support fellows with:

  • Professional development with an emphasis on data analysis and racial equity, as well as help responding to emerging technical and adaptive needs.
  • Providing ongoing support for fellows as they navigate varied political and legislative realities.
  • Providing comprehensive technical assistance support for fellows and their jurisdictions including data-driven policy impact analysis, strategic best practices, and case studies to advance the work.
  • Hosting monthly meetings for fellows to provide best practices, identify gaps and areas of opportunity for regionalism and advancing the work.
  • Hosting quarterly convenings of the Challenge Grant jurisdictions from across the region to share critical analysis and strategy recommendations, best practices, access to relevant education, and advance regional strategy.

Challenge Grant Fellow Qualifications

  • Strong desire to advance, pass, and implement progressive tenant protection and preservation policies within local government.
  • 5+ years of experience working in/with local or county-level government.
  • Experience conducting data analysis and research to support policy development, advocacy, or organizing.
  • Demonstrated adaptive leadership skills and the ability to work collaboratively with local and regional partners.
  • Policy experience, with a preference for experience in housing and the development and implementation of protection and preservation policies.
  • Familiarity with the cultural, political, policy, and market dynamics at play in the Bay Area.
  • Demonstrated experience working in integrated partnership with community and advocacy organizations, related to governmental planning or policy processes.
  • Understanding of, and demonstrated commitment to, racial equity.
  • Experience working with low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Experience/commitment to working with grassroots leaders.
  • Demonstrated personal integrity and commitment to the work and the ability to engender trust, credibility, and confidence with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong communication skills, including public speaking, critical thinking, diplomacy, and discretion.
  • Contributes to the diversity of the cohort.

Start: February 2020

Salary: $110,000 a year, with comprehensive benefits package.


To apply, click here.