Location: Madison, WI

Metropolitan Planning Organization Director/Planning Manager

Salary: $95,958.46 - $115,640.46 Annually

Closing: 1/25/2023

The Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is seeking a new Executive Director to lead a dedicated team of planning professionals committed to moving the region’s multi-modal transportation network forward. With the City of Madison at its geographic center, the MPO planning area includes 34 contiguous cities, villages, and towns in Dane County, Wisconsin. This position and the MPO staff team formally comprise a section of the City of Madison’s Planning Division, with support from City of Madison Information Technology, Human Resources, Finance, and other agencies. However, the MPO team is unique, working with a high level of independence in a separate downtown Madison office, and focuses on providing services and funding recommendations to the broader region through the Madison Area Transportation Policy Board.

Robust population and employment growth, a new Bus Rapid Transit system, increased investment in active transportation, and regional collaboration all contribute to the mix of opportunities ahead for the Greater Madison MPO. Ideal candidates will demonstrate leadership capacity, interpersonal skills, technical skills, and a commitment to equity and sustainability, and have:

  • Experience in project management, budget preparation and monitoring, and supervision.
  • Professional involvement as staff or committee participation with a Metropolitan Planning Organization.
  • Personal or professional experience working with diverse and/or underserved communities.

The MPO Director oversees and coordinates the activities of the MPO in carrying out the federally mandated continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive metropolitan transportation planning and programming process, including all supervisory, administrative, outreach, and technical tasks. This includes developing and managing the MPO’s Unified Planning Work Program and budget; managing the office and a staff of eight persons; performing administrative duties; providing staff support to the MPO policy board, MPO technical committee, and other local committees; overseeing the MPO’s public information and outreach activities and stakeholder engagement; serving as liaison to regional, state, and federal agencies and organizations; and assuring compliance with federal transportation planning, Title VI, and other regulations. The MPO serves as a forum for bringing local communities, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and other stakeholders together to collaboratively plan and make decisions on regional transportation policies and projects. Successful leadership of the MPO depends heavily on clear communication and collaboration with other local and state agency staff, elected officials, community organizations, and racially and culturally diverse populations. The position involves exercise of leadership and independent judgment and initiative. This work is formally supervised by the City of Madison Planning Division Director.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and access are core values at the City of Madison and the Greater Madison MPO. Every member of our team enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the broader community, identify challenges, and to design and deliver solutions. Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQI+ people, people with disabilities, and women are encouraged to apply.

Examples of Duties and Responsibilities
Plan and manage the Greater Madison MPO programs, projects, budgets, and activities, including:

  • Direct the development of transportation studies, alternatives and plans.
  • Ensure compliance with City, State and Federal regulations.
  • Supervise the development and maintenance of related transportation planning information systems, models, databases and maps.
  • Develop policies, prepare plans and work programs, establishing priorities and allocating state and federal funding for transportation capital improvements for pedestrian, bicycle, street and highways, as well as transit capital and operating assistance.
  • Research, organize, and prepare technical written reports.
  • Develop and manage associated consultant contracts.
  • Serve as a representative of the MPO and its adopted policies, acting as a liaison to federal, state, and regional agencies, and local governments, and oversee engagement with other stakeholders and the general public. Communicate and coordinate work activities with other City agencies and other units of government and their officials, advisory committees, interested groups, and public and private organizations.
  • Prepare staff recommendations for consideration by policy bodies. Provide administrative and technical assistance to elected officials, public boards, commissions and committees.
  • Supervise and coordinate staff engaged in transportation planning services. Hire, train, discipline, assign, support, and manage professional, administrative, and technical staff. Conduct formal investigations relating to performance issues, harassment, and other areas as needed.
  • Direct and oversee the development, maintenance, and analysis of Geographic Information System (GIS) databases and applications, and other data, and the development and use of the regional travel forecast model to support the MPO’s planning work.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of the MPO’s public information and outreach activities and stakeholder engagement. Respond to inquiries and questions from local officials, other agency staff, and the general public.
  • Monitor changes in planning laws and techniques, and recommend amendments to City Ordinances or related policy documents as appropriate.
  • Assist the Planning Division Director in developing policies and procedures for the Planning Division. Implement and interpret policies and procedures as required. Participate in other Planning Division programs, projects and/or services, as appropriate.
  • Perform related work as required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Four (4) years of progressively responsible professional-level transportation planning experience, which includes three (3) years of professional-level transportation planning experience comparable to that of a Planner 2 with the City of Madison.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning, Engineering, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Studies or other related studies and programs.

If an applicant does not possess the specific requirements outlined above, Human Resources will review the application materials to determine if the applicant possesses the following equivalent experience:

Four (4) years in applying the following:

  • Theories, principles, and practices of transportation planning and applicable land use, and community planning principles.
  • Land use and transportation planning process and transportation planning policies, principles, practices, and methodologies, including land use/travel demand relationships, accessibility, and integration of the different modes of transportation.
  • Relevant state and federal transportation budgeting and project compliance regulations.
  • Local ordinances and laws, governmental review processes, and design considerations and their application.

Two (2) years in applying the following:

  • Geographic information systems, and data collection and analysis methods related to land use and transportation planning.
  • Computer software use, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Full range of supervisory principles and practices, labor relations and personnel management.

Familiarity with the following:

  • Roadway, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian planning and facility design.
  • Racial and social equity as it relates to multi-modal transportation systems and the people who use them.
  • The relationship between ecological sustainability and regional transportation systems.
  • Federal metropolitan transportation planning and project programming process and requirements.

How to Apply
Apply online: