Director, Urban Mobility

Program Management Worldwide

Job Summary

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, road safety, and electric mobility (co-leading with Urban Efficiency & Climate area).

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
  • Bring creative thinking and develop innovative solutions to address complex urban challenges
  • Raise funds to initiate and develop a coherent and compelling portfolio of projects, ensuring alignment with the global and country strategies;
  • 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.

You can work from any of the WRI Ross Center International Offices: Africa (Addis Ababa), Brazil (Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo), China (Beijing), India (New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore), Mexico (Mexico City), Turkey (Istanbul) or United States (Washington-DC). The position includes international travel.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at any one of the above mentioned WRI’s office once restrictions have lifted.

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 Ross Center work streams on a range of topics such as integrated public transport and mobility plans, walking and cycling, road safety, transport demand management, electric mobility and new mobility services
  • Convene experts from different areas of work to identify synergies across projects, establish strategic offers and develop processes to fortify communication and collaboration across areas
  • 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; or MBA if the candidate has an engineering or transport planning background
  • Experienced and recognized leader, 15+ years of relevant work experience with at least 10+ years in senior management roles
  • 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
Desirable 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
How to Apply 
submit a cover letter with resume. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Potential Salary: $124,000 - $167,000 if based in our Washington DC office. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors. 

Program Overview:
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 seven 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, watersustainable cities, and the ocean. 

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 $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

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.