The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is seeking a skilled and visionary Deputy Director for Capital Project Delivery, to provide strategic leadership to three SDOT divisions with high community profiles and to serve as a member of the department’s executive leadership team.
Our Vision: Seattle is a thriving and equitable community powered by dependable transportation.
Our Mission: To deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities.
About the Department The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is a nationally recognized municipal transportation agency at the leading edge of multi-modal transportation. In our quickly growing city, accessibility, safety, affordability, and reliability are top of mind for us every day! Our core values drive our work toward creating an equitable, sustainable, and vibrant city. SDOT’s core responsibilities include maintenance and operations of the city's transportation rights-of-way, expansion of the city's bicycle and pedestrian network, care of over 240 bridges, permitting use of public spaces and enhancing access to the regional transit system. With approximately 950 dedicated staff, SDOT maintains an operational presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all weather conditions to serve and ensure Seattle’s public mobility.
We are seeking a Deputy Director who can provide strong executive leadership in the following areas:
Organizational Development and Management
This position reports to the SDOT Director and is part of the SDOT Executive Leadership Team, which works together to support one another and advance the broader needs of the department.
This position provides executive level management, is authorized to act on behalf of the Director on matters of department-wide importance when called upon, and provides strategic leadership to the following divisions:
The Capital Projects Division, which oversees all aspects of project management, engineering, construction management, environmental management, right of way and real property for our over $100 million annual program of public works/capital construction projects.
The Project Development Division, which develops conceptual designs for capital projects prioritized in the City's modal and community plans, including the pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and freight master plans, and designs and supports delivery of smaller capital/crew implementation projects. The Department’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030 is led from this Division. Other division programs include Safe Routes to School, and programs that implement the Bicycle Master Plan and the Pedestrian Master Plan.
The Roadway Structures Division, which is responsible for overseeing the inspection, operation and maintenance of the city's roadway structures including fixed and movable bridges, retaining walls, public stairways, areaways and other structures. This group is comprised of structural inspection engineers, movable bridge operators and skilled trade craft electricians, mechanics, carpenters, concrete finishers and installation maintenance workers. Division responsibilities also include delivery of several capital programs in conjunction with the Capital Projects and Project Development Divisions including Bridge Painting, Bridge Load Rating, Bridge Seismic Retrofit, and Bridge Rehab and Replacement.
Race and Social Justice Initiative The City is committed to eliminating racial disparities and achieving racial equity in Seattle. All members of the executive team provide leadership and support for this work, and this deputy position has specific areas of focus including advancing equity in contracting opportunities, recruitment, advancement and retention of staff, and community engagement.
Project and Program Delivery
In this position you will be responsible for the development and delivery of pivotal transportation projects and programs that significantly affect the City and the region, and that can be highly political in nature and involve a great deal of public and media interest. These projects play a critical role in developing and implementing regional transportation initiatives. They often require balancing between competing priorities, have multi-million-dollar costs and impacts, and can be extreme in complexity and consequence of error.
This position provides guidance to staff and develops recommendations for the SDOT Director and elected officials on complex issues related to the construction and maintenance of major elements of the City’s transportation infrastructure, including bridges and other structures. This requires sound technical knowledge and an understanding of risk assessment.
This position has a lead role in accountability for the Levy to Move Seattle, which provides funding to improve safety for all travelers, maintain our streets and bridges, and invest in reliable, affordable travel options. Responsibilities including working closely with the Levy Oversight Committee and monitoring and communicating progress of Levy projects and programs.
In order to effectively deliver projects and programs, this Deputy Director has significant interaction with elected officials and government partners at the city, regional, and state levels, as well as with the public, other jurisdictions, and key players in the City's and the region's transportation and public infrastructure systems.
Other duties include but are not limited to:
Work closely with elected officials (City, State, County and Federal).
Make routine decisions that have significant impact on the policies, programs, and projects that SDOT will implement.
Work in a multicultural workplace and with diverse customers, emphasizing communication for cooperation, collaboration, and inclusiveness in support of department goals to advance diversity and the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.
Provide oversight and direction to encourage intra- and inter-agency communication and coordination between public and private stakeholders from across the City and the region.
Work and coordinate regularly with executive members of other agencies, including the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Represent the department on executive teams that advance project delivery, communications, and department-wide priorities.
Represent the City on highly visible, sensitive, and controversial issues before external constituencies.
Exercise authority to develop and execute program policy and to allocate program resources
Oversee and develop Department-wide policies.
Provide oversight and management of multiple highly visible projects delivered on time and on budget.
Evaluate and establish division performance measures and modify, as appropriate, to ensure alignment with the Department's strategic direction.
Emphasize strong communication and build effective partnerships across the department, with partner agencies and community leaders.
Occasionally serve as Executive Duty Officer, as well as provide incident management leadership as needed.
Minimum Qualifications We are looking for a highly-accountable, people-oriented leader who cultivates an inclusive and welcoming culture, has a passion for creating environments where people can do their best work and is an effective collaborator, relationship builder, and communicator.
The successful candidate will be a results-oriented leader, grounded by a commitment to equity, inclusion, empowerment, and people, can transform strategy into operational goals and objectives, and produce measurable outcomes. They will be a proven, caring leader with a career history that demonstrates outstanding leadership expertise coupled with data analysis skills and the ability to embrace and celebrate the culture, diversity, community values, and all that Seattle represents. This candidate will also have a strategic mindset and a deep understanding of office workplaces.
The preferred candidate will have at least a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Transportation Planning, Urban Planning, Public Policy, Architecture, Business Administration, or another closely related discipline. They must have experience leading organizations responsible for delivering public sector services and programs. Consideration will be given to candidates who have limited public sector experience but who have held leadership positions where they have led significant engineering-oriented project development and delivery, organizational changes, and initiatives. They have held a leadership role within a large and complex publicly accountable organization that involves leading a diverse staff and fiduciary management of a sizable budget. Demonstrated knowledge in working with elected officials, employees at all levels, and the public is critical to success in this role, as well as extensive experience in building strong teams and fostering an inclusive workplace culture. They are detail-oriented, transparent, efficient, data-driven, and can navigate difficult conversations and empower others.
Desirable Qualifications The strongest candidates will possess many of these desirable qualifications or be able to demonstrate comparable experience and expertise:
Ten (10) or more years of substantial management and leadership experience in transportation planning, engineering, urban design, construction, or project management.
Seven (7) or more years of senior management experience in a large-scale organization.
Professional Engineer (PE) License.
Graduate degree in engineering, planning, or public policy.
Experience serving elected officials and the public and working across department lines.
Experience working on inter-governmental relations and with management staff from other agencies.
Possess good judgment, creative and strategic thinking, and the ability to develop program plans and increase productivity through cost efficiencies and system improvements.
Experience in local governments and a commitment to progressive transportation policies and programs.
Ability to handle sensitive issues with diplomacy and poise.
Demonstrated ability to creatively manage limited resources.
Knowledge of public sector organizational practices, including labor relations and public works contracting.
Exhibit a high level of management and personnel expertise.
Ability to effectively adapt to changing conditions as they arise and work well under pressure.
Ability to provide performance management through feedback and coaching and address performance issues in a timely and responsible manner.
Ability to support the development of employees that results in enhanced performance while creating and maintaining a work environment that builds talent to ensure the continuity of leadership for the organization.
Work Environment/Physical Demands:
Most work is performed in a normal City work/office environment, although occasional offsite meetings and field visits may be required.
May require overnight travel and working nights and weekends to attend public meetings/community events.
Additional Salary Information: includes generous benefits package
Internal Number: 2021-00003
About Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT)
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) mission is "to create and maintain for Seattle a safe and reliable transportation system which enhances neighborhoods, the environment and the economy." Everything the department does is aimed at enhancing mobility within the city; this department has as its vision "to be the most innovative and responsive transportation agency in the region." The viability of our neighborhoods and the health of our region's economy are dependent upon access and mobility.