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Director of Economic Development

Location:  City of Austin, TX Download:  City of Austin, TX - Director of Economic Development Brochure

Director of Economic Development
City of Austin, TX 

About Austin, Texas

This vibrant and dynamic city tops numerous lists for business, entertainment and quality of life. One of the country's most popular, high-profile and "green" cities was selected as the "Best City for the Next Decade" (Kiplinger), the "Top Creative Center" in the US (, #1 on the "On Numbers Economic Index" as the fastest growing economy, and #9 on Forbes list of "America's Best Employers" making the City of Austin the highest-ranking employer in the government services sector.  Austin continues to lead the country with its vision of being the "Most livable city in the country" emerging as a player on the international scene with such events as SXSW, Austin City Limits, Formula 1 and being home to companies such as Apple, Samsung, Dell, Seton and St. David's Healthcare. From the home of state government and institutions of higher education to the "Live Music Capital of the World" and its growth as a film center, Austin has gained worldwide attention as a hub for education, business, health and sustainability. Since 1900, Austin's population has doubled every 20 years. 

Austin City Government

The City of Austin is a progressive, dynamic, full-service municipal organization operating under the Council-Manager form of government. Austin's mayor is elected from the city at large and ten council members are elected from single-member districts. Terms of the mayor and council members are four years and terms are staggered so that a general election is held every two years with half the council being elected at each election. Term limits for the mayor and council members provide for two consecutive four-year terms. The City Council is responsible for appointment of the City Manager who is the Chief Administrative and Executive Officer of the city, City Clerk, City Auditor, Municipal Court Judges and the Municipal Court Clerk.

The Mayor, Council and City Manager of Austin are committed to their mission of delivering the highest quality services in the most cost-effective manner. The organization's vision is to make Austin the most livable city in the country and the City Manager's resolve is to make it the best-managed city in the country. 

The Economic Development Department

The City of Austin has established itself as a world leader in technology, innovation, energy, workforce development, music and creativity. he Economic Development Department (EDD) develops and leads the innovative programs that increase the prosperity of Austin's citizens, businesses, arts groups and non-profits, and our diverse neighborhoods.

To effectively support and recruit business in Austin, the Economic Development Department has integrated a core global focus while supporting local initiatives through Cultural Arts, Music, Redevelopment/Downtown, Economic and Small Business Program.

We strive to create a sustainable cultural and economic environment that enhances the vitality of Austin.

Strategic areas of cultural and economic advancement:

  • Small Business Program: foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity building resources
  • Cultural Arts Division: encourage a strong cultural economy through cultural development, cultural contracts, film, and public art
  • Music & Entertainment: serve as a resource on live music issues and implements emergent music development programs
  • Global Business Expansion: create jobs in Austin through business attraction and assist local businesses with international expansion and trade
  • Redevelopment: facilitate sustainable growth of underutilized downtown assets in partnership with the community and project developers

The Position

Under general direction of the Assistant City Manager for Economic Opportunity and Affordability, the Director of Economic Development is responsible for planning, directing, managing, and overseeing the activities and operations of the Economic Development Department, including small, downtown services, cultural arts programs, and international programs. 

Duties, Functions and Responsibilities:

Essential duties and functions, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include the following. Other related duties may be assigned.

  • Manages the development and implementation of department goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for each assigned service area; establishes, within city policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; and allocates resources accordingly.
  • Acts as official departmental representative to other city departments, City Manager's Office, elected officials, and outside agencies; explains, justifies, and defends department programs, policies, and activities; and negotiates and resolves sensitive, significant, and controversial issues. Briefs and advises City management and the Mayor and Council regarding economic development and redevelopment projects, small business, cultural arts, and international programs in person and through written reports.
  • Manages and participates in the development and administration of the department budget; estimates funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; directs the monitoring and approval of expenditures; and directs the preparation and implementation of budgetary adjustments as necessary.
  • Responds to and resolves sensitive inquiries and complaints from both internal and external sources. Works with citizen groups to develop and implement short-term and long-term economic development objectives and programs.
  • Coordinates assigned activities with other city departments and outside agencies; provides highly responsible and complex administrative support to the City Manager's Office.
  • Assesses the local and state economy for strengths and weaknesses to assist in strategy formulation and program development.
  • Develops, coordinates, and implements strategies and programs to promote the City of Austin to outside businesses.
  • Develops and manages programs to assist new and expanding businesses in obtaining financing and to provide financial incentives to encourage companies to locate in priority areas.
  • Prepares and implements special strategies and action plans in marketing/promotional efforts for priority areas within the City, often in conjunction with community-based organizations.
  • Develops and negotiates contracts between the City, private developers and other governmental entities in major, high profile redevelopment projects, such as mixed-use development, including community benefits such as affordable housing and creative space.
  • Responsible for the full range of supervisory activities including selection, training, evaluation, counseling, and recommendation for dismissal. 

Education and Experience

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in public or business administration, economic development, urban planning, or in a closely related field, plus seven (7) years' experience in oversight or managing projects and programs in urban economic development, economics, business assistance, public facility or infrastructure development, commercial development, public and/or private finance, or workforce development.  A Master's degree may substitute for two (2) years of experience. 

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate should possess a record of accomplishment in urban redevelopment, economic development, and business assistance programs; experience in real estate will be beneficial.  Experience in fiscal planning, budget preparation, and economic development tools and incentives is required to be successful in this position.

The ideal candidate should have proven experience in building and maintaining a broad and diverse spectrum of partnerships with City Officials, business leaders, arts groups and non-profits, financial institutions, developers, citizen groups, and city departments.

The ideal candidate needs to be a strong administrator with effective communication, strong collaboration, and negotiating skills to be successful; advanced written and oral communication skills are imperative. 


The City of Austin offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and extensive benefits including a generous pension system. Relocation assistance will be available for a successful out of area candidate.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: COADED2

Affion Public
2120 Market Street, Suite 100
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Fax: 717.214.8004

**The deadline to receive resumes is January 04, 2019** 


The City of Austin is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. 

Posted: 03/22/2022