About the City of Somerville

Somerville is a city that upholds progressive principles for both employees and residents. The City of Somerville values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging throughout our hiring practices; these values are embedded in our mission and work environment—furthermore, we encourage applications from a diverse range of professional experiences and skillsets. We embrace and encourage an innovative, empowering, and collaborative workplace culture in a fast-paced, challenging environment. The City also offers a generous benefits package that embodies a strong work-life balance. Not only is Somerville a “Model City,” as termed by The Boston Globe, it is also a model employer.


  • Now Hiring: Director of Health & Human Services

Health and Human Services

For the first time in 18 years, the City of Somerville, Massachusetts will have a new Mayor. Katjana Ballantyne was elected with a mandate to bring her progressive vision and deep governing experience to advance an inclusive, equitable Somerville where all residents thrive. Mayor-elect Ballantyne seeks a new Director of Health and Human Services to join her incoming administration to help make her vision a reality. This leader will play a critical role in shaping and strengthening the Health & Human Services department in the City of Somerville as we continue our COVID-19 response and our efforts to recover from the pandemic.

The Director of Health and Human Services is responsible for the development, implementation, enforcement and administration of a variety of community-based human services and public health programs and services that impacts the quality of life and the environment for City residents. The Director works in partnership with key division leaders who oversee the work of a wide range of public health and human services efforts. These efforts include leading the City’s program and services related to COVID-19, homelessness, substance use disorder, seniors, veterans, school-aged health and wellness programming, youth and children’s wellness and more. The Director is responsible for all activities and authorizations related to the Board of Health. The employee is required to perform all other similar or related duties.

Essential Functions

  • Develops and administers the department’s operating budget.
  • Oversees the enforcement of state and local laws, regulations and ordinances as well as the development and implementation of services in coordination with other departments and agencies as needed.
  • Responds to ISD inspection requests and results in accordance with local and state regulations including sanitation, septage, hazardous waste, food service establishments and housing; supports and participates in communication with Inspectional Services Division on matters of shared responsibility.
  • Staffs the Board of Health.
  • On behalf of the Board of Health, coordinates and interacts with other municipal and state agencies on human services and public health initiatives.
  • Directs emergency preparedness issues regarding public health as well as partner with other departments for implementation.
  • Interacts with the public concerning events and incidents that arise as a result of programs offered and as additional needs arise.
  • Conducts research regarding possible new public health programs and services based on consumer interests and feedback.
  • Monitors contracts with special service providers to ensure quality programs and services.
  • Develops and monitors quality assurance indicators which include evaluating structure, process and outcome of public health services provided.
  • Identifies, applies and administers department grants in support of operations and services provided.
  • On behalf of the City and the Board of Health, serves as an advocate of Public Health and Human Services programs and related services.
  • Prepares and submits various administrative and programmatic reports as requested.
  • Conducts and participates in community needs assessments to ensure that programs meet the consumer’s needs.
  • Coordinates, as needed, and acts as a liaison to Somerville Community on collaborations involved with health and human services.

Education and Experience
Master’s Degree in Public Health, Public Administration, Nursing, Social Work or Education and at least seven (7) years’ experience or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.    A deep understanding of public health and experience working in a public health setting is preferred.

Knowledge, Abilities & Skills
Knowledge: Knowledge of the principles and practices of planning, supervising and evaluating community-based public health programs; considerable knowledge of the materials, methods, safety precautions and techniques related to disease control. Working knowledge of sanitary code and public health inspection procedures highly desirable. Working knowledge of The Americans with Disability Act required. Knowledge of the principles and practices of effective budgetary management. Working knowledge of computer hardware and software in support of department operations.

Abilities: A strong skill set working with diverse populations and on behalf of those underserved is critical. The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people of all ages, incomes and backgrounds; ability to develop innovative cost-effective programs to meet community needs; ability to prepare and administer budgets; ability to recruit, train and supervise subordinate personnel effectively. Ability to utilize data based systems to assist in the design and evaluation of programs; ability to prepare reports and maintain records in a detailed and organized manner. Ability to communicate with community members and other customers in a tactful and professional manner at all times, including under emergency or hazardous conditions. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both written and oral forms. Ability to handle confidential information in a discrete manner. Ability to function independently within the broad scope of municipal and department policies and goals.

Skills: Excellent customer service skills; skill in coordinating various programs and projects simultaneously; strong communication skills, verbal and written; training in interpersonal communication and mediation.

Work Environment
The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements. Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant. Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours to attend evening meetings.

Physical and Mental Requirements
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.

Physical Skills: Little or no physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as books, office equipment and computer paper (up to 30 lbs.)
Motor Skills: Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone system, computer and/or most other office equipment, typing and/or word processing, filing, and sorting.
Visual Skills: Visual demands include constantly reading documents for general understanding and for analytical purposes and routinely reviewing maps and blueprints with a need for color vision.

Application Procedure: 

Send your resume and cover letter:

City Hall HR Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851
Email: employment_opportunities@somervillema.gov

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Adrienne Pomeroy, at 617-625-6600 x2059 or apomeroy@somervillema.gov

$116,732.88 annually + benefits
Application Start Date: 
Tuesday, December 28, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Required

To better protect the health and safety of staff and the public, all City of Somerville employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of November 1, 2021. Exemptions and/or reasonable accommodations are not guaranteed and will be reviewed by the City of Somerville Human Resources Department on a case-by-case basis. Learn more at somervillema.gov/HR/COVID19.