In posting the job, Mayor R.T. Rybak shows a desire for a department insider.
Jackson, now one of two assistant chiefs, will step up on March 29, when current Chief James Clack heads to Baltimore to head that city's department. Rybak said he plans to name a new chief by late April.
Jackson, 50, has worked for the department for 27 years, most recently overseeing the department's administrative operations and serving as deputy chief for personnel. In 1997, Jackson helped lodge a city civil rights complaint that although black firefighters were getting hired by the city, they weren't advancing. He is a past president of the African-American Firefighters Association.
The city's description for the permanent job expresses Rybak's preference for someone with experience within the department. "He looks at the department and sees a wealth of experience," said Rybak spokesman Jeremy Hanson. Jackson said he is among the internal candidates.
Jackson's interim appointment needs only confirmation by the city's Executive Committee, which meets on March 26.