Senior Manager, New Mobility Initiative

Program Management Washington, District of Columbia


Job Summary

In this position reporting to the Director of the WRI Ross Center network, you will work in close collaboration with the Executive Director of the New Mobility Initiative Steering Committee. You share a vision and commitment to sustainable urban development and WRI’s mission and culture, characterized by intellectual enquiry, rigorous analytics and transparency toward the public and its donors.

We are seeking an accomplished, sophisticated, and results-oriented external professional with a minimum seven years of technical and international collaboration experience. Some international travel may be included as part of the role.

Job Responsibilities

Your main areas of responsibility will include the following:

  • Help set up and launch the New Mobility Initiative, developing the organizational and governance structure, and hiring and on-boarding the core team
  • Contribute to developing the overall strategy for the initiative, including liaising with the Steering Committee and advisors of the initiative
  • Curate and work in partnership with members of Task Forces to identify gaps and opportunities that can potentially transform mobility in cities
  • Develop work plan and guide its implementation according to strategic goals
  • Identify, assess, and execute on opportunities for coalitions, partnerships, and pilots in global north and south cities with a wide range of partners and a particular focus on decision makers in cities and state / national governments
  • Work closely with the Senior Manager – Private Sector Coordinator to coordinate and align with efforts to partner with actors in the private sector
  • Ensure coordination with research and awareness campaign activities.
  • Make site visits and collate learnings from on-ground pilots
  • Manage, guide, and nurture a qualified team of experts
  • Represent the New Mobility Initiative through direct engagement and interaction with cities, partners and other global actors
  • Contribute to significant fundraising efforts, particularly on multi-sector topics, from developing the opportunity and pitching the proposal, to stewarding the donor
  • Coordinate across programs at the institute and within the program to contribute to the overall success of WRI Ross Center

Job Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in transportation, urban planning or equivalent work experience, with an excellent understanding of cities and government operations
  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant full-time work experience
  • Minimum of 3 year of additional experience in program or project leadership
  • Strong managerial skills and prior experience leading a dynamic team
  • Past work focus addressing climate change (in addition should have experience in at least one of the following areas: urban planning, transportation, labor, cities and government operations, technology for social benefit)
  • Demonstrated ability to create partnerships and collaborations, to work with wide range of stakeholders and see things from multiple perspectives
  • Experience in managing people and budgets; especially those requiring definite specific deliverables
  • Open-minded life-long learner; listens to others experience
  • Able to present well: in writing, in meetings with both high level leaders as well as people of all kinds, and on stage at conferences
  • Ideal candidate would have a deep network in relevant areas
  • Work or significant life experience in emerging economies/global south
  • Experience leading successful, large fundraising efforts from multiple donor types
  • Ability to work independently and also within a complexly structured and evolving team
  • Collaborative problem solver who can take initiative and set priorities
  • Team-oriented thinker and strategist able to effectively respond to complex situations involving numerous and sometimes competing organizational constituencies
  • A strong advocate for the vision of the WRI Ross Center
  • Attention to detail and thoroughness in completing assigned duties
  • Adept at navigating complex institutional environments with evolving priorities and communication plans
  • Sense of humor, and enjoys learning
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally
  • Enjoys working with a diverse group of talented individuals across the globe
  • Demonstrated interest in and/or knowledge of transportation, energy, climate change, environment, health, and urban planning

New Mobility Initiative Description

The purpose of the New Mobility Initiative at WRI Ross Center is to channel the tech-driven disruption in the mobility sector to (re)build cities that are sustainable, livable, and just. Urbanization pressures, personal car ownership at its limits, and the closing of the climate stabilization window provide a host of very-focusing problems for all stakeholders. The arrival of Autonomous Vehicles provides a concrete and visible time horizon for action, with a built-in refreshing of investment in our vehicle stock. We have a unique and irreplaceable window of opportunity to re-do cities. We will be considering not just the types of vehicles that ply the roads, but the impacts and opportunities of shared mobility (from metros to taxis) on land use, labor, government revenues and user fees, energy and the environment. We will also be thoughtful about how to engage the public to imagine cities where shared and active modes dominate, and not personal cars.

Given the urgency of this transformation, the short time frame, and the global scope, this initiative will only succeed through deep and broad collaboration with as many stakeholders as possible. We will succeed insofar as we are able to generate awareness of the problem and opportunity, work closely and synergistically with those also working on these issues, and create and empower new champions through research, pilots, and solution platforms. Initially, this will be a two-year position with the expectation of extending it if the program is successful.

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 AfricaBrazilChinaEuropeIndiaIndonesiaMexico 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. You will be expected to identify and advance opportunities to strengthen attention to gender and social equity within your work to ensure WRI elevates solutions to climate and other urgent environmental issues through approaches that improve human well-being.

How to Apply

Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

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.