National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
Close date: 
Monday, June 17, 2019

Location:New York City, NY

Director of Design for National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

About Position: The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is seeking an expert ‘plangineer’ with experience and a proven track record designing and implementing people-oriented streets to join our team as a full-time Director of Design. This role will oversee NACTO’s street design guidance, trainings, and technical assistance and will report directly to the Executive Director. The ideal candidate will have a deep knowledge of street design practice, including NACTO design guidance; substantive experience working with or for city transportation departments; and excellent people and project management skills. The position will be based in New York City with some travel to NACTO member cities and NACTO events as needed.

Who we are

NACTO is a nonprofit association of 82 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. Our members include cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, Cambridge, and San Antonio, and transit agencies such as Portland Tri-Met and Chicago Transit Authority. Our mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. Our staff team is passionate, results-oriented, and committed to challenging the status quo in transportation and raising the bar for city streets.

What you’ll do

Your job will be to direct and manage NACTO’s street design program and projects, marshalling a network of peer city experts to advance the field of people-oriented street design in North America. You will do this by overseeing the development of NACTO’s street design guidance and trainings, building partnerships with other organizations in transportation engineering to effect change, and providing strategic direction within NACTO to maximize our impact on city transportation practice. You will work with a strong, progressive group of city transportation officials and a NACTO team that aims to turn big ideas into real projects on the ground, resulting in more just and sustainable communities throughout our network. More specifically, your responsibilities will include:

  • Serving as an authoritative senior voice for NACTO on street design and engineering.
  • Effectively communicating NACTO’s message and expertise on street design to a variety of audiences.
  • Guiding NACTO’s partnerships with transportation engineering organizations and external partners.
  • Representing the organization externally with partners and member cities, at conferences, trainings, workshops, and other events.
  • Directing and managing NACTO’s street design program and projects.
  • Overseeing the development, production, and publication of NACTO’s street design guidance.
  • Overseeing the planning and execution of street design trainings and digital design charrettes, including the development of a street design curriculum and a process for delivering consistently excellent trainings and workshops.
  • Overseeing the provision and quality assurance of street design support to member cities; developing a process for planning and evaluating NACTO’s technical assistance.
  • Managing the NACTO street design team.
  • Providing thoughtful and intentional management to direct reports to support staff success and professional development, and managing across teams to achieve programmatic results.
  • Providing strategic input on organizational direction.
  • As a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, providing strategic input on overall organizational direction and working closely with other senior staff to coordinate programmatic initiatives and staff management.

Who you are

The ideal candidate will bring extensive experience in street design and engineering practices, policies, barriers, and opportunities. Your nuanced understanding of city transportation project implementation processes and practices, gained through years of direct experience working in a city government, related field or consulting role, will also be welcomed. A P.E. or the equivalent is strongly preferred.

To be successful in this job, you will also excel in the following key areas:

  • Collaborative style: You are eager to partner with colleagues to solve problems, seize opportunities and advance the mission of the office. You actively listen and communicate well because you know that increased understanding and collaboration leads to better results.
  • Critical thinking and organizational leadership: As a member of NACTO’s senior leadership team, you must be able to think strategically about how the organization makes change and contribute positively to a productive and effective leadership team.
  • Excellent people management skills: Experience managing staff (as direct reports and across teams) including ability to deliver feedback, build trust and accountability, encourage professional development, and manage staff towards results.
  • Proactive opportunity seeking: An inclination to proactively build partnerships and find solutions to challenges, seeking opportunities to influence the field of street design and prioritizing opportunities for maximum impact.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills: Ability to communicate concisely, persuasively, and effectively through written publications, presentations, and verbal interactions.
  • Comfort engaging on race, gender, and equity: NACTO staff work in a wide variety of cities and contexts across North America, and a strong understanding of and ability to engage on the issues and power dynamics around race, gender, equity, and transportation policy are essential to this work.

NACTO’s work is primarily funded by foundations. Though not a requirement for the job, our preference would be that you join the team with grantseeking skills, experience managing project budgets and reports, and the ability to build and maintain partnerships with funders. Experience publicly representing street design projects will also be relevant to NACTO’s relationship-driven fundraising.

Application Instructions: Send a cover letter, resume, 1-2 page writing sample, and a street design project sample from your portfolio as one PDF file to with subject “Director of Design” by June 17, 2019. Please note, we will consider applications on a rolling basis, and may not wait until the application deadline to interview suitable candidates and extend offers, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. No calls please.