Senior Director, External Relations

Website SanDiegoAirport San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Let's Go.

Together we’ll GO far.

We’re dedicated to shaping the future of world travel and delivering the best possible experiences for our passengers. We operate the most efficient single runway airport in the United States 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Running such an intricate machine takes skill, dedication and a go-getter attitude. We rely on a motivated, skilled and collaborative workforce fulfilling a wide variety of roles that come together like a symphony.

At San Diego International Airport (SAN), we want to set the gold standard for airport service, and to be known for our warm welcome, ease of use, on-time performance and exemplary partnerships with the local community. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is proud of its team members, we have a high performing culture and challenge ourselves through innovations…we work fast, value each other and have fun along the way.

The External Affairs division is searching for a leader with demonstrated experience stewarding an organization’s brand and delivering communications and outreach initiatives that promote visibility and partnerships. A successful candidate will be able to identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization and develop strategic relationships with key stakeholders to positively influence the outcome.

A keen understanding of the San Diego economic and political landscape is required. If selected for this role, you will be the primary community and government liaison for the Authority. Essential for success in this role is the ability to build relationships and engage key influencers in government, labor, and business on issues and initiatives central to the Authority’s vision and strategy.  As a primary advocate for the Authority, you will provided guidance to staff and board members on communications subjects, maintain currency and connect with professional and community groups on Authority initiatives and affairs to facilitate solutions and mitigate issues.

You will also develop a strategic communication plan and oversee all aspects of public affairs and public relations, including traditional, social, and web media and crisis communications. You will be leading our Communications, Government Relations, and Board Services departments and coordinating collaborative efforts to assure effective, coordinated outreach.

Significant time is spent building and maintaining relationships. The role requires a non-traditional schedule with extended days and a significant number of weekend and evening commitments at meetings and events. To be successful in this role, it is expected that you will be accessible whenever issues arise.

     Essential Functions:

  1. Develops and executes departmental strategies and measures progress toward goal accomplishment aligned with the organization’s vision and customer experience objectives; directs development department budget and work practices required to meet strategic and operational objectives.
  2. Formulates, oversees and integrates comprehensive communication strategies and community outreach plans; presents content and influences perspectives of audience with diverse opinions; represents organizational vision, programs, imprint, priorities in meetings and social media platforms.
  3. Networks on and advances organizational community and social commitment; fosters engagement opportunities on stakeholders’ feedback and broadens awareness and increases visibility of programs; cultivates partnerships and collaborative relationships with stakeholders, community organizations and influencers; designs and facilitates internal and external communication engagement.
  4. Serves as the organization primary advocate with government officials and agencies, professional and community groups; provides guidance to staff and board members on communications subjects; maintains currency and connects with stakeholders on organizational initiatives and affairs; facilitates pursuit of solutions to mitigate issues.
  5. Provides leadership and coaching necessary to attract, develop and retain a highly competent, diverse, customer oriented staff; coaches and fosters teams, performance, accountability, development and productive work environment; recognizes and rewards achievements.
  6. Ensures alignment of work efforts with organizational values, priorities, performance measures, and programs; tracks work delivery and documentation of work activities; facilitates process designing and integration of practices, metrics and benchmarks; performs other duties as assigned.



Required Education, Training and Experience: 

  1. Graduation from a four-year college or university in communications, marketing, public relations, business administration or a closely related field.
  2. Ten years of government affairs, public information or community outreach program management experience of which five years were in a leadership capacity.
  3. Or an equivalent combination of training and experience.


  1. Relationship Skills: Builds and maintains rapport with stakeholders, identifies and relates information and problems, champions initiatives and ideas based on mutually acceptable solutions with others of diverse background.
  2. Interpersonal & Presentation Skills: Seeks and proficiently present information in writing, verbally and digitally, clearly present information, facilitates and persuades others in a group and one-on-one forum.
  3. Executes Strategy: Develop and execute departmental strategies designed to support organizational vision and goal attainment.
  4. Change Agent: Drive organizational change by creating a sense of urgency and fostering cross-functional collaboration and conflict resolution.
  5. Influencing Skills: Develops and engages stakeholders to shape outcomes, collaborates with others to deliver solutions, gains commitment and support for course of action, change culture and deliver on outcomes.
  6. Integrity: Exercise diplomacy and discretion in dealing with highly sensitive, complex, and confidential issues and situations.
  7. Agility & Problem-Solving Skills: Analyzes situation or factors and collaboratively generates alternative solutions, readily adapts behavior or new work methods to evolving and unexpected situations, flexible approach to work situations and manages change.



Depending on experience, hiring reward is up to $160,000.



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