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Title: Executive Director, Transportation
Company: TriMet (Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon)
Location: Portland, Oregon
Job Status: Full-time
Job ID: 118507
TriMet provides bus, light rail and commuter rail service in the greater Portland, Oregon region. The Agency’s transportation options connect people with their community, while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution — making the region a better place to live. TriMet is governed by a seven-member board of directors. They are appointed by the Governor to represent certain geographical districts, in which they must reside. Each member’s term of office is four years, but board members serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The board sets agency policy, enacts legislation (taxing and policy ordinances) and reviews certain contracts. TriMet’s mission is to connect people with valued mobility options that are safe, convenient, reliable, accessible and welcoming for all.

TriMet is seeking a dynamic, highly skilled and effective Executive Director of Transportation. This executive directs and manages all operational activities of the Transportation Division, which includes integrated fixed-route bus, light rail and commuter rail transportation, accessible transportation programs (LIFT), route scheduling and service delivery. The position also has direct responsibility for field operations and the Operations Command Center. The Executive Director of Transportation participates as a member of the agency's Executive Team, which is responsible for implementing agency policies and direction.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, this executive ensures a commitment to safety through effective leadership, role modeling and implementing practices that demonstrate safety is a fundamental value and a priority in all aspects of work. The position is not only responsible for identifying and developing short, medium, and long-range operational strategies to ensure strong on-time performance, cost-effective operations, a positive customer experience, and a safety-focused culture, but also performs other related duties as assigned and required to ensure that the Agency offers a high quality experience to its customers.

The Executive Director of Transportation is responsible for directing activities to develop a multi-modal transportation system characterized by reliable, high-quality transit services to customers. The Executive Director manages the Transportation Division, which includes bus and rail transportation, WES commuter rail, accessible transportation programs, field operations, the Operations Command Center, and scheduling and service delivery functions. This role develops and oversees budget development, manages fiscal performance, and participates in capital strategic planning to ensure sustained high standards of performance. In addition, the Executive Director develops key operating and performance metrics for the operating areas reporting to this position, measures performance against goals and recognizes achievements. This executive develops and leads strategic initiatives with Transportation Division staff in support of agency goals regarding service reliability, cost efficiency, safety, continuous improvement, and customer satisfaction.

The Executive Director creates and maintains a work environment that instills safety as a fundamental value and supports employee development and uses a model of continuous improvement to achieve a strong customer-focused culture. It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to ensure an engaged workforce though a variety of workforce initiatives, including contributing operational leadership in the development and implementation of the TriMet's Safety Management System (SMS). This role encourages professional development and evaluates staff performance while maintaining open, honest and transparent communication. The Executive Director will work closely with Labor Relations, both directly and through subordinate managers, to ensure various collective bargaining agreements are implemented and administered appropriately.

The Executive Director of Transportation develops and implements strategies that focus on high-quality delivery of daily service that results in an improved customer experience and aligns with agency goals. The Executive Director develops, administers, and communicates standard operating procedures consistent with TriMet policy, and ensures consistent application of TriMet's operating policies and adherence to regulatory requirements. The Executive Director ensures cross-organizational communications and inclusion in the development of service recovery and general planning initiatives.

The Executive Director of Transportation will have the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a large and diverse workforce, especially in a unionized setting that requires intense attention to customer service and the customer experience.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage people in operational and corporate support programs for a large organization.

  • Demonstrated ability to budget, plan, and allocate corporate resources in a large organization.

  • Demonstrated ability to exercise critical thinking, analysis and managerial judgment.

  • Demonstrated ability to inspire, create and establish effective working relationships with peers, staff, customers and diverse constituents.

  • Ability to develop and implement strategic plans.

  • Ability to effectively organize, access, and have produced a variety of written materials for different audiences.

  • Ability to consistently meet deadlines.

  • Ability to communicate with effectively with diverse audiences, including the media and external stakeholders concerning operational issues.

  • Ability to establish and maintain productive working relationships with employees, subordinate managers, consultants, and the general public, including those from culturally diverse backgrounds, the elderly, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable populations.

  • Ability to convey confidence and self-awareness with regard to interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Ability to establish credibility and influence constituencies quickly.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead the implementation of strategic and operational initiatives.

  • Demonstrated skills in managing large, complex organizations that are multi-modal, decentralized, and use multiple technologies.

  • Demonstration of intense commitment to customer service.

  • Results orientation with a strong work ethic in a multi-tasking environment.

A Bachelor's Degree is required.

A minimum of twelve (12) years total credited experience*. Executive or senior level position and working with a unionized workforce is required. Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Management, Transportation or related field is required, or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Experience within public transit or the transportation industry is very desirable.

Or any equivalent combination of training or experience.

*The amount of credit a candidate receives for prior years of experience is based on the relevancy of that experience to the required or preferred prerequisites of the job description. Experience is prorated based on hours worked. LRHR assigns and validates the "credited experience".

As applied to the workplace, applicants and employees must be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Essential functions may include required job functions performed infrequently as well as production standards related to the quality and quantity of work.

If a person with a disability could meet job qualifications with a reasonable accommodation, TriMet will work with the employee to accommodate the need. If TriMet's accommodation is effective in allowing the employee to perform the essential functions of the job, it need not be the employee's preferred accommodation.

TriMet has engaged Krauthamer & Associates (“K&A”), a retained executive search firm, to assist with the recruitment of the Executive Director of Transportation. Interested parties should contact Gregg Moser, Principal at K&A, via email at to obtain more information or to apply for the position with an attached cover letter and resume.

TriMet is an equal opportunity employer, committed to developing an organization that is reflective of and sensitive to the needs of the diverse community we serve, including veterans, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.

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