City of Fort Collins, CO

Chief Sustainability Officer

Location: City of Fort Collins, CO
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The Community
Fort Collins, home to Colorado State University, has a population of 155,400 within 56 square miles and is located at the northern edge of the picturesque Rocky Mountain Front Range.  Fort Collins is consistently ranked among the top cities by national magazines and organizations for its great schools, low crime, good jobs in the high-tech field, and fantastic outdoor life.  The community is highly educated with 79 percent more college graduates than the national average.  In addition, the community's median family income is $76,700 which is 20 percent greater than the national average.  Fort Collins is sixty miles north of Denver and the Denver International Airport.

Fort Collins has a strong economy anchored by the Colorado State University (CSU) campus with nearly 25,000 students and 7,000 employees. Founded in 1870 as a land grant college, students from every state and 95 foreign countries attend CSU. Graduate and undergraduate degrees are offered in nine colleges, and CSU is known for major research advances in agriculture, engineering, veterinary sciences, technology, and water.

Major private sector employers in Fort Collins include Hewlett Packard (1,250 employees), Poudre Valley Hospital (3,000 employees), and Woodward, Inc. (1,300). Innovation occurs across industry sectors in Fort Collins. Craft brewer, bioscience, software, hardware, water innovation, and clean energy companies contribute ideas, inventions, and products that positively impact the local economy.

In 2010, 225 patents were registered to researchers, scientists, and entrepreneurs in Fort Collins.Known as the community's "crown jewel" Downtown Fort Collins has a large selection of eclectic, unique shops and restaurants. In the summer public plazas invite social gatherings and outdoor concerts. Old Town Square, a pedestrian only business district, is a vibrant hub of activity for all ages with outdoor patios and regularly scheduled entertainment.

The Poudre School District (PSD) serves approximately 24,000 students and includes four high schools in Fort Collins and the surrounding area. In addition there are several charter schools in Fort Collins including Ridgeview Classical Schools which was rated among the top ten charter high schools in the nation (U.S.News & World Report, December 2008). For more information about PSD, please visit Additional educational institutions in Fort Collins include Front Range Community College, the Institute of Business and Medical Careers, University of Phoenix, and Regis College.

With 875 acres of developed park land including six community parks and 49 neighborhood/pocket parks, recreation opportunities abound in Fort Collins. The City also maintains 30,000 acres of natural areas and more than 32 miles of recreational trails.


  • 2012 Top Downtown in the Country,, November 2012
  • Money Magazine ranked Fort Collins, 6th Best Place to Live in the Nation in 2010
  • Platinum Bicycle Friendly Community, League of American Bicyclists, May 2013
  • Robert Havlick Award for Innovation in Local Government recognizing the Sustainability Services Area formation, Alliance For Innovation, March 2013

Fort Collins was incorporated in 1873 and has operated under the council/manager form of government since 1939. The City Council consists of six district Council Members elected on a non-partisan basis for four-year terms and a Mayor elected at-large on a non-partisan basis for a two-year term. The Mayor Pro Tem is chosen from among the entire Council and serves a two-year term. The City has 27 Boards and Commissions that provide advice and recommendations to the City Council on issues such as affordable housing, art in public places, the environment, human relations, and the needs of senior citizens, youth, and women.

The City Council appoints a City Manager who is responsible for managing municipal operations that consist of a $504 million calendar-year budget and 2,299 FTE's. The current City Manager has worked for the City for 17 years and was appointed City Manager in 2004. In addition to traditional municipal services, the City has an electric utility, a regional airport jointly owned by the City of Fort Collins and the City of Loveland, and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery which was created through a unique public/ private partnership.

Fort Collins' voters have approved many capital improvement initiatives over the last forty years that have created new amenities and addressed municipal needs including two additional parks, a new City office building, a transit center, a downtown parking structure, and a horticulture center. The City has implemented these initiatives in a fiscally prudent manner as evidenced by its AAA bond rating.

Each year the "World Class People" program recognizes City employees for their outstanding service, teamwork, individuality, and creativity. This is an opportunity to demonstrate how City employees contribute to making Fort Collins a great community. When past honorees were asked what they liked most about working for the City, most cited the people they worked with and the opportunity to make a difference in their community. Also, in a recent survey of City employees 60 percent indicated the City of Fort Collins is the best place they have ever worked.

The City and community have received more than 60 honors and awards over the last several years that recognize the quality of life and economic and environmental sustainability that exists in Fort Collins. To view a list of these honors and awards, please visit the following web site

To provide world-class municipal services through operational excellence and a culture of innovation.

Exceptional service for an exceptional community. 


  • Outstanding Services
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Stewardship

The Department
Approved by City Council in November 2011 and completed in 2012, the City of Fort Collins finalized a reorganization that combined the Economic HealthEnvironmental Services, and Social Sustainability departments under one umbrella--the Social Sustainability Area. The City of Fort Collins is among the first, if not the first municipality, to structure all three components under one service area.

The change enables the Sustainability Services Area to increase cooperation with the Fort Collins community, in pursuit of innovative alliances and continued improvements in the areas of economic health, environmental services, and social sustainability (a concept known as the "Triple Bottom Line").  

The City's Sustainability Services Area consists of Social Sustainability, Economic Health, and Environmental Services. The overarching goal of Social Sustainability Department is to have a positive impact on socio-economic needs such as poverty, homelessness, health, education, and jobs.  The Economic Health Department  follows the Economic Health Strategic Plan, which guides the department's priorities. With a focus on partnership, creating economic opportunities, and preserving our unique quality of place, the Economic Health Department works to prioritize business retention and expansion, incubation, and business attraction.  The Environmental Services Department focuses on improving outdoor and indoor air qualitywaste reduction and recycling, coordinating municipal sustainability activities, and providing environmental data management.

The Position
The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) directs, administers, and manages the activities of the Sustainability Service area in support of organizational policies, goals, and objectives as established by the Deputy City Manager/Chief Operations Officer and the City Manager. The CSO provides general oversight and direction of department work or division heads within Sustainability Services for each of the following departments: Environmental Services, Economic Health, and Social Sustainability. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The following duties and responsibilities are illustrative of the primary functions of this position and are not intended to be all inclusive.

  • Provides guidance and direction to Sustainability Services department or division heads in the planning, development, promotion, and delivery of services to the community.
  • Directs the preparation of short term and long range plans and the Sustainability Services annual budget based on overall City goals and growth objectives.
  • Maintains a sound organizational plan by establishing policies that ensure management development and provide for capable management succession.
  • Develops and implements procedures and the means to promote communication and adequate information flow.
  • Establishes and ensures operating policies within the Sustainability Services that are consistent with the City Manager and City's Deputy City Manager / Chief Operating Officer's (COO) objectives.
  • Evaluates the results of overall operations and service levels and provides regular reports to the City Manager and/or the Chief Operating Officer (COO)
  • Defines the responsibilities, authority and accountability of all direct subordinate managers and provides them with regular performance reviews and general feedback and guidance.
  • Ensures that all Sustainability Services programs, projects and operations are carried out in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations and laws.
  • Serves with other service directors as a member of the Chief Operating Officer's Team.
  • Initiates, directs, assists, and participates in communicating, coordinating, and cooperating with other City departments, divisions, service areas, and other for the purpose of representing the Sustainability Services.

 Education and Experience
Qualified candidates will have a minimum of 10 years experience demonstrating progressive management responsibilities. The position requires experience in managing personnel, establishing direction and vision, and a proven ability to work with the public. A Bachelor's degree in Land Use/City Planning, Sustainability, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Public Administration, or Business is required; a Master's degree is desired.   

The Ideal Candidate
 The ideal candidate should have a genuine interest in improving the community through economic opportunities and quality of place; economic development experience to include retention and expansion, incubation, and business attraction will be beneficial.  Socio-economic experience with a focus on poverty, homelessness, health, education, and jobs will be vital for the success of this position. In addition, this person will need to have an understanding of environmental sustainability to include improving air quality, waste reduction, recycling, and environmental data management.  The successful candidate should also have significant experience with community sustainability efforts involving economic, social, and environmental sustainability policy implementation. 

The ideal candidate should be a highly approachable leader, who can openly accept and work effectively in a climate of interaction, communicating up and down the organization. This person must display a willingness to work collaboratively with business, organizations, institutions and residents to develop solutions and implement action plans to address the challenges and opportunities inherent in the relationship between environment, equity and the economy. 

The successful candidate will need to possess advanced oral and written communication as well as a strong ability to educate, persuade and mobilize resources. He/she must have the ability to influence at all levels and functions in order to make sustainability a priority and inspire people into action. The ideal candidate must possess a demonstrated track record of setting a positive example of competence, professionalism, trust, energy, work ethic and promoting good organizational health and morale. 

The City of Fort Collins is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. Relocation assistance will also be available for a successful out of area candidate. 

How to Apply
Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:
Reference: FCCSO 

Affion Public
2120 Market Street
Camp Hill, PA 17011
Fax: 717-214-8004

**Deadline to receive resumes: February 02, 2015