Director, Urban Mobility, Washington

We are seeking a thought leader and multi-talented candidate to fill the role of Director of Urban Mobility within WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Reporting to the WRI Ross Center Global Director and a core member of the Executive Team of WRI Ross Center, you will help guide the overall strategy for the Center. You will lead the Urban Mobility work stream which is delivered by expert teams in 10+ countries working on public transport, transport demand management, walking and cycling, new sustainable mobility, mobility planning and road safety.

Your objective is to:

  • Ensure effective strategy alignment across the network;
  • Lead a global strategy for the Urban Mobility work stream, with a research agenda and work plan, in coordination with other work stream leads;
  • Raise funds to initiate and develop a coherent and compelling portfolio of projects, ensuring alignment with the global and country strategies; and
  • Coordinate a community of practice and experts across the globe, managing and mentoring a cadre of professional staff.

In addition to the internal responsibilities, you will also serve in an external capacity, collaborating with Executive Team members, to shape and develop a strategy for how we engage with local and regional political leaders, and engage at a strategic level on the city's vision and future urban growth. You will interact directly with city leaders and policy makers in developing countries. You will also interface with key donors.

Job Responsibilities

As Director of Urban Mobility for WRI Ross Center, you will:

  • Refine and steer a strategy and work plan for the Urban Mobility work stream to lead innovative research and deliver measurable local, national, and international outcomes.
  • Lead or play an instrumental role in significant fundraising efforts, particularly on multi-sector topics, from developing the opportunity and pitching the proposal, to stewarding the donor and managing outcomes, impact and budgets.
  • Provide inspirational leadership, manage, guide and nurture a qualified team of experts across the network.
  • Collaborate across WRI's programs and across WRI Cities work streams on a range of topics such as integrated public transport and mobility plans, walking and cycling, road safety, transport demand management, and new mobility services.
  • Represent the program externally on key topics of expertise, at conferences or meetings, in writing, and with media. In partnership with country teams, represent the WRI Cities approach on urban mobility through direct engagement and interaction with cities, national governments and other global actors.

Job Qualifications

Required Qualifications:

  • Master's degree in engineering, transport, urban planning, environmental sciences or related field
  • Experienced and recognized leader with 15+ years of relevant work experience and 8+ years in senior management roles with a successful track record of leading organizations, integrating and working with existing teams, and building teams in a multi-cultural environment
  • Experience leading successful, large fundraising efforts from multiple donor types
  • Experience leading strategy development and implementation, managing people, ensuring program delivery and flow of knowledge
  • Experience across multiple global contexts, and well aware of international policy debates and challenges in the field of urban mobility
  • Significant experience working directly with city governments or at the metropolitan scale to implement large scale real-world projects with measurable positive results
  • A mix of professional background experience in public and private sectors
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills; demonstrated ability to be an outgoing spokesperson, relationship builder and fundraiser
  • Flexibility to travel internationally

Management style and personal attributes:

  • Sense of urgency about WRI mission and the need to address the environment and developing challenges confronting humankind
  • Patience, resiliency, and tenacity along with an abundance of energy, enthusiasm, creativity, common sense, and well-honed strategic judgment that quickly establish credibility and ease of partnerships with other members of the team
  • Management style that is open, inviting, collaborative, and results-oriented; a style that inspires trust and motivates staff to work hard and well together, provides them with a clear sense of direction, respects their capabilities and independence. Be an effective mentor and guide to all staff
  • Superb cross-cultural interpersonal skills with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders, strong listening skills, and an ability to relate well to people at all levels
  • Stamina for the task at hand, including the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and under deadline pressure; personal grace in dealing with a broad spectrum of personalities; and good humor in leading the day-to-day work of the department

Preferred qualifications:

  • PhD degree in transport, urban planning, environmental sciences or related field
  • Working knowledge of one or more of the following languages is highly desirable: Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Mandarin, French

Program Overview - About WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

The decisions that national leaders, local officials, developers, and planners make today will determine how billions of people in urban centers will thrive over the next century. Already, half the global population resides in cities. That figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050.

Traditional models of city development can lock us into congestion, sprawl, and inefficient resource use. However, compact, connected, and efficient growth can help ensure more competitive cities, and provide a better quality of life for citizens. WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities (WRI Ross Center) works to ensure cities drive economic opportunity while sustaining natural resources. We use technical expertise, cutting-edge research, and on-the-ground partnerships to design solutions that enable sustainable city growth.

Our analysis and tools allow cities to effectively manage their natural resources and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Working across our network, we develop and support the implementation of research-based solutions in sustainable mobility, urban development, as well as urban efficiency & climate that reduce pollution, improve health, and create safe, accessible public spaces for all people to thrive.

WRI Ross Center builds on WRI's global and local experience in urban planning and mobility, and uses proven solutions and action-oriented tools to increase building and energy efficiency, manage water risk, encourage effective governance and make the fast-growing urban environment more resilient to new challenges. Aiming to influence 200 cities with unique research and tools, WRI Ross Center focuses on a deep cross-sector approach in selected megacities on two continents, and targeted assistance to additional 50 urban areas, bringing economic, environmental and social benefits to people in cities around the globe.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world's greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people's lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $100 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI's policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI's global agenda requires a staff that is diverse - with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.

Deadline/closing date: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018