ABOUT THE HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE
The County Judge is not a judicial position. It is instead the county executive, and the head of Harris County’s governing body, called the County Commissioners Court. The County Judge and four County Commissioners oversee a $4.3 billion budget that helps pay for key services in Harris County - from the justice system, to flood control, infrastructure, and public hospitals. Harris County is the third largest and most diverse county in the nation - with a population of greater than 4.5 million people - equivalent to the population of Colorado.
Judge Elect Hidalgo has a bold, new vision for what is possible through Harris County government. As a member of the County Judge’s leadership team, the Policy Director will help develop and implement the County Judge’s policy agenda, liaise with experts in the issue areas of importance to the office from across the country, and use evidence and research to inform the direction of the Judge’s actions and advocacy. The Policy Director is a Cabinet-level position and be expected to bring rigor, innovation, and creativity to discussions about the office.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
• Work with Judge Hidalgo to develop her policy and research agenda
• Oversee a team of 3-5 policy advisors who will focus on various issue-specific topics, such as Harvey recovery, climate resilience, criminal justice reform, affordable housing, gun safety, and early childhood education
• Oversee management of grants and proposals, including managing project budgets, writing reports, and executing sub-grants that advance larger policy initiatives
• Identify and work to adapt and adopt best practices for relevant policies and innovation; engender an office culture that also seeks out best practices and innovative thinking for Harris County
• Keep and maintain for public consumption metrics against which Judge Hidalgo’s year one action plan is evaluated
• Develop Judge Hidalgo’s positions on pressing policy and legislative matters as they arise
• Work with Judge Hidalgo’s staff to ensure that equity and transparency are guiding principles in every effort
• Liaise with Harris County Departments to facilitate the institutionalization of new policy issues and assist in building the knowledge capacity of the Departments to address those issues
• Understand budgets and work with Judge Hidalgo’s budget staff to identify the resources needed to execute her policy agenda
• Represent the County Judge in national policy, research and innovation conversations
• Produce briefs and oversee the production of briefs for the County Judge
• Engage with offices across the County to drive a reform agenda in all aspects of administration and policy-making, including the budget
• Minimum 10 years of experience in relevant positions with increasing levels of responsibility
• Excellent oral and written communications skills
• Proven track record and relevant experience in one or more of the following areas: urban policy, affordable housing, resilience, criminal justice, education, or land use
• Proven ability to meet multiple deadlines and balance numerous projects in a fast paced and changing environment
• Ability to develop and drive new initiatives, work cross-departmentally, work within multidisciplinary teams, oversee projects to completion and measure results
• Must demonstrate a strong sense of urgency and initiative; highly organized and with the ability to achieve systematic delivery under tight deadlines
• Ability to prioritize effectively; superb time management skills
• Excellent teamwork skills and ability to work autonomously with accountability
• Must possess a good sense of humor and comfort with change; must possess agility to adapt to and lead through change
• Knowledge of federal, state, and Harris County housing programs or land use strongly preferred
• Increase transparency and remain accountable to the people of Harris County
• Be innovative and creative in developing innovations, solutions and funding sources
• Have a driving interest in developing successful working relationships with governments at every level throughout Harris County, Texas and the U.S.
This position will require many meetings across Harris County outside normal business hours.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Harris County is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all applicants and employees. Accordingly, the County judges applicants and employees on individual merit and qualifications, without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. The only exceptions are based on bona fide occupational qualifications.
Please send cover letter and resume to HCRecruit@hctx.net with the position to which you are applying in the subject header.