Director (CEO) Multnomah County Department of Community Services (DCS), Portland Metro, OR

Department Director (CEO) – Multnomah County Department of Community Services (DCS), Portland Metro, Oregon

Acumen Executive Search is honored to once again partner with Multnomah County Department of Community Services (DCS) to find their next Department Director.

This role will work with the mission, equity, and innovation-driven leadership team at Multnomah County Department of Community Services (DCS) to preserve harmony between natural and built environments, keep people and pets safe, support election integrity, while ensuring every voice is heard.

Acumen has been fortunate to hire many high-impact, long-tenured leaders within the County. Beyond supporting the mission of making the County a great place to live, you will:

  • See the direct results of your work within the smaller department, while enjoying the resources and nationally recognized innovative work of the larger Multnomah County organization.
  • Receive stellar benefits to promote work-life balance (including a hybrid/work from home culture) and participate in the pension program (Public Employees’ Pension System – PERS).
  • Have opportunities to grow your career with this visible leadership position. 

The DCS Director oversees five divisions: The Director's Office, Animal Services, Transportation, Elections, and Land Use Planning. The DCS Director collaborates with the Division Directors to lead policy and strategy for all functions of the DCS. Represents the department to the public, key stakeholders and business partners, the County’s Board, and the Chair's Office.  

If You:

  • Have experience managing a large and complex organization, including budget oversight, varied funding streams, compliance standards, strategic planning, and staff oversight.
  • Are a strong communicator with experience in change management, organizational development methodologies, who relishes implementing cultural shifts.
  • Are versed in public sector leadership, including an understanding of complex decision-making processes, collaborative leadership structures, working with represented employees, and oversight of safety-net programs.
  • Have experience operationalizing equity and an understanding of how trauma impacts traditionally marginalized individuals and communities and how this should influence the design and delivery of programs and services.
  • Can represent DCS in interactions with external facing stakeholders including community and business partners, the County Board, Chair's Office, and the public.
  • Experience delivering complex capital projects encompassing multiple stakeholders, funding development, complicated delivery processes.
  • Have some experience with public sector transportation, land use planning, animal services and/or elections (preferred/not required)
  • Are able to identify meaningful KPIs and engage in data-driven decision-making.

Then the Multnomah County Department of Community Services (DCS) Director might be the next ideal leadership opportunity for you.

Salary: $124,916.38 – $199,865.94

Location: Hybrid telework/in-office schedule. With office locations and staff at the Multnomah Building (501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR) and Yeon Complex (1620 SE 190th Ave, Portland, OR)

Below is an overview of the duties for this role.

40% Administration and Operations

  • Acts as the key advisor and manager to organize, direct, and evaluate the programs and operations of the Department of Community Services.
  • Plan, organize, manage, and administer programs and functions of the department; develop and implement long-range strategic planning; implement and oversee in the development of department policies, procedures, and business practices; evaluate goals, objectives, priorities, and activities to improve performance and outcomes; recommend and establish administrative controls and improvements; develop procedures to implement new and/or changing regulatory requirements.
  • Assist the County Chair and Board of Commissioners in determining, implementing, managing, and administering county strategic plans, annual goals and objectives and county business, mission and goals; recommend effective programs, policies, procedures, ordinances and regulations; oversee and prepare reports, policy reviews and studies; present information regarding the department's business status, goals, objectives, operations, successes and challenges; execute special projects and studies.
  • Develop, administer, and monitor budgets; develop justifications for budgetary recommendations and/or adjustments; prepare forecasts for additional funds for staffing and resources; identify, obtain, and manage funding from grants and community partners; participate in the interpretation, negotiation, management, and enforcement of contracts and grants; coordinate the finalization of budgets to ensure the timely submission of the department budget.
  • Establish, track, and communicate on performance measures to ensure compliance with budgets and established goals.
  • Direct and lead countywide and departmentwide initiatives in collaboration with county and department leadership. This includes overseeing the four division topic areas, implementing the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan and DCS’s Equity Strategic Plan, implementation of the division's North Stars (directions of where the division is heading), and continuous process improvement.

40% Leadership 

  • Direct and approve through nine (9) subordinate director(s) and managers the planning, prioritizing, assigning, supervising, training, and review of the work of a diverse workforce; act as a resource, and provide direction, guidance, and leadership to staff; advise on the more complex and sensitive concerns and issues; select, direct, and manage the work of consultants.
  • Provide leadership to the department through the development of leadership capacity at all levels of the organization. This is done through mentoring, coaching, supporting appropriate training, and appropriate delegation of duties
  • Lead and facilitate the department’s leadership team meeting and create a culture of team cohesion and safety, trust and belonging.
  • Develop, define, and conceptualize new enterprise or joint ventures among various agencies to create innovative or more effective services; develop and execute special projects impacting department programs and operations.
  • Diagnose issues and challenges that are impeding the work of the department or divisions and impacting workplace culture or service provision to the community and lead the implementation of process improvement work.
  • Provide expert guidance to other departments, the general public, and/or outside agencies; represent the county to the public, elected officials, other agencies, governments, and organizations including making presentations, participating in meetings, and conducting community outreach; act as representative on committees, interagency task forces, and special projects; respond and resolve confidential and sensitive inquiries; investigate complaints and recommend corrective actions as necessary.
  • Lead the equity work for the department in partnership with the DCS Equity and Organizational Culture Manager and the DCS Equity Committee.

15% Policy and strategy development

  • Analyze and review federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and procedures in order to ensure compliance; conduct analysis on best practices and trends, and formulate and implement recommendations.
  • Support cross-departmental and cross-jurisdictional coordination to support strong partnerships to foster collaboration and innovation for effective service delivery and improved community experiences with departmental services.
  • Direct the revenue development for department capital funding initiatives (i.e.: the Earthquake Ready Burnside Bridge, Vance Property Development, New Animal Shelter) as well as other transportation funding strategies.
  • Ensure that all Federal, State, and local mandated activities are conducted in compliance with laws, regulations, and codes. Advocate at the federal, state, regional, and local levels for policy change and/or development.

5% Other duties as assigned

Diversity and Inclusion: Multnomah County doesn’t just accept difference; they value it and support it to create a culture of dignity and respect for their employees. Multnomah County is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. They evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran or protected veteran status, genetic information, and other legally protected characteristics. There is an EEO is the Law poster available for your reference. Multnomah County is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor. They request priority protected veteran referrals.

Veterans’ Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualifying veterans may apply for veterans’ preference. Review our veterans’ preference page for details about eligibility and how to apply.

Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act: They gladly provide reasonable accommodation to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing an application or participating in this recruitment process. Please contact the recruiter below in advance to request assistance. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may contact the recruiter through the Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing 711.

Procedure for Applying:
To apply or see our other positions available, please go to Acumen Executive Search to submit a resume and brief cover letter indicating your interest in the opportunity. If our current open positions are not the right fit for you and you would like us to share relevant opportunities, please send your resume and a brief cover to
Building a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace: Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. We at Acumen are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, so if you are excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Disclaimer: This announcement is intended as a general descriptive recruitment guide and is subject to change. It does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract.

Established in 2007, Acumen Executive Search prides ourselves on being a premiere boutique, woman-owned Executive Search Firm in the Pacific Northwest with global clientele. We deliver high-impact results while nurturing genuine long-term relationships. Acumen works shoulder to shoulder with our clients to deliver customized, meaningful, and proven leadership solutions empowering client success.

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