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14 Apr 2022

Full-Time Executive Director-Portfolio Services Office – EXECU002207

Sound Transit – Posted by Seattle, Washington, United States

Job Description


Under the general direction of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief System Officer (DCEO), this position provides leadership of shared project portfolio management services that enable the achievement of long-term strategic and financial goals for the agency’s physical assets.  The Executive Director, Portfolio Services Office (ED-PSO) works to achieve standardization and resource optimization for efficient project delivery; increases continuity and consistency of the agency’s capital projects; builds and maintains an adaptable portfolio management framework; defines agency-wide program and project management processes; centralizes project requirements, governance and reporting; unifies project technical standards and engineering authority; and ensures proper resourcing of talent, tools and processes for the agency’s portfolio of System Expansion and Non System Expansion projects. This position will be responsible for leading and managing the culture change necessary to create a best-in-class transit system and to act as a change agent by communicating the need for change while modeling and enforcing new behaviors and norms.

This position plans, directs, manages, and provides strategic direction to the following divisions: Engineering, Portfolio Management & Integrity, and Project Controls. The role translates portfolio management vision into strategy and leads teams to collaboratively find practical solutions while ensuring the delivery of safe, reliable and high quality capital projects. This position manages, directs, and provides leadership of the programmatic functions above and integrates their work with other Agency departments and outside agencies, and may represent the CEO and/or DCEO internally or externally to ensure efficient delivery of the agency’s capital program.

The ED-PSO is passionate about efficient and effective project delivery using collaborative methods to ensure the highest levels of project performance, provide clarity and consistency of project decision making, establish project requirements and technical standards, and support project teams to meet voter commitments.


The following duties are a representative summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties.

• Participates as an active member of the agency’s governance council(s) by assisting the DCEO and the executive team to identify key challenges and opportunities. This includes developing and implementing effective responses to ensure excellence in portfolio management, working to position Sound Transit for ongoing success.

o Informs and provides strategic advice to the CEO, DCEO, and other organization leaders of project and portfolio issues to efficiently build, activate, and operate a safe, high-quality transit system.

o Seen as a valued and collaborative partner with high integrity across the agency.

o Works closely to support the CEO/DCEO’s decision-making by maintaining communications, responding to requests, and presenting details as necessary; responds to and resolves difficult project and portfolio management issues, in consultation with relevant departments.

• Drives high performance through influence, relationship building, and rational thinking.

o Creates and supports an agency-wide culture of excellence that maximizes efficient delivery of the agency’s portfolio.

o Drives performance by actively leading and managing the culture change necessary to create a best-in-class transit system, and acting as a change agent by communicating the need for change while modeling and enforcing new behaviors and norms for the department and creating and promoting an inclusive and positive work environment.

• Sets clear and challenging department goals and ensures the PSO department collaborates and creates efficient cross-functional processes to work effectively while addressing the agency’s mission.

o Guides and mobilizes teams to implement ideas and recommendations.

o Defines portfolio management vision, goals, actionable performance metrics, and creates a dashboard to report progress and provide indicators of improvement.

o Translates broad organizational goals and strategies into operational objectives and practical action plans for the Department; provides high level direction in terms of department goals and provide effective strategic management and direction that supports those goals and objectives; provides strategic level advice and counsel to the Deputy CEO as well as executive management team regarding major policy and problem solving issues; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence; negotiates solutions to major conceptual issues involving policy and direction change.

• Defines and upholds an agency-wide governance approach for capital projects.  Ensures relationship structure, governance processes, and project management norms and technical standards are effective, consistent, well-controlled, monitored and continuously improved.

• Works with internal and external stakeholders to build and maintain a project portfolio operating model that ensures efficient and consistent project delivery from inception through transition.

• Maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the fields related to public transit, project and portfolio management, and technical standards of excellence.

• Participates in organizational design, staffing, recruitment, and succession planning efforts.

• Coaches, trains, and motivates staff; facilitates staff training; manages employee relations and staff performance and takes appropriate corrective action when necessary; and provides advice and counsel to staff as well as guidance to agency leaders on establishing professional growth and development plans for staff. Ensures a safe and equitable work environment where staff can be their work-appropriate authentic selves and bring their best work to the agency to achieve department and agency goals and deliver our mission.

• Provides leadership and direction to the PSO Department directors, managers, and staff to ensure that all project delivery and governance programs are performed to appropriate standards.

o Identifies and develops programs to assist in attainment of Agency and departmental goals for project delivery, cost efficiency, reliability, safety, and overall continuous improvement.

o Identifies areas in need of improved processes and management approaches to generate higher productivity, compliance and efficiencies and to optimize workflow.

o Provides guidance to deputies and program managers.

o Assesses and monitors workload, administrative and support systems, and internal reporting relationships.

o Recommends appropriate staffing level to realistically achieve goals. Allocates resources accordingly.

o Identifies opportunities for improvement, directs, and implements changes.

• Leads efforts to identify risks and mitigation strategies that affect project and portfolio management and governance.

• Establishes work groups and supporting working policies.

• Provides support to the DCEO on matters as directed; serves as a lead or staff on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees; coordinates and collaborates with internal and external stakeholders to include executives, governmental officials, and regulatory representatives of other local, state, and federal agencies; develops strategies and communicates with federal and local legislatures; prepares and presents staff reports and other necessary correspondence; attends and participates in professional group meetings; maintains awareness of new trends and developments in the fields related to area of assignment; incorporates new developments as appropriate; ensures processes, policies, and practices are interpreted and applied consistently and effectively; ensures accountability and compliance with all current and applicable state and federal laws, Agency policies and procedures, rules and regulations.

• Oversees the administration and management of assigned contracts involving consultants; directs, manages, oversees, and participates in contract negotiations; monitors administration of terms and conditions and budget performance; implements corrective actions when needed; oversees the management of third party partner agreements to maintain partnerships and ensure compliance and accountability; assists in the development of future contracting strategies and negotiation of terms and conditions; negotiates solutions to conceptual issues involving policy and direction change and effectively leads and influences internal and external decision makers and stakeholders; assists senior managers with development and administration of contract terms; ensures agreed upon services are completed within the scope, schedule, and budget and that all objectives are successfully met.

• Develops, administers, maintains, and oversees the department’s annual budget; makes recommendations and forecasts for future funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies; reviews and approves department expenditures and implements adjustments. Meets frequently with management to provide direction and supervision for the development and implementation of various Agency program plans that define the passenger-focused culture and requirements and standards of care for implementation of regulatory and contractual requirements; and defining the level of passenger-focused requirements of the Agency, its employees, consultants, and contractors, patrons, and facilities.

• Champions and models Sound Transit’s core values and demonstrates values-based behaviors in everyday interactions across the agency.

• Contributes to a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion in alignment with Sound Transit’s Equity & Inclusion Policy.

• It is the responsibility of all employees to follow the Agency safety rules, regulations, and procedures pertaining to their assigned duties and responsibilities, which could include systems, operations, and/or other employees.

• It is the responsibility of all employees to integrate sustainability into everyday business practices.

• Other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:  

Bachelor’s Degree with twelve to fifteen years of progressive experience providing high level administrative and management consultation to executive level staff related to project/portfolio management, engineering, participating on committees, and engaging people from diverse backgrounds, various cultures, education levels, physical, cognitive, and/or mental abilities, and ten years of leadership, budgetary, planning and workforce management experience; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Education and Experience:

Master’s Degree in Project/Portfolio Management, Engineering or closely related field and experience in managing transit passenger programs, that includes management experiences in a transit or public sector related environment.

Required Licenses or Certifications:


Required Knowledge and Skills:

• Demonstrated ability to participate in and advance goals and strategies of a collaborative executive leadership team.

• Strategic policy development, planning, and management principles and practices.

• Overall business operations, practices, and programs.

• Operations, services, and activities of a regional transit authority.

• Advanced principles and practices of public administration and local government administration.

• Advanced principles and practices of program development and administration.

• Principles and practices of governmental budget preparation and administration.

• Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes and regulations.

• Communication techniques and strategies to facilitate problem solving and initiate change.

• Customer experience principles and practices.

• Techniques to work effectively under pressure, meet deadlines, and adjust to changing priorities.

• Administrative practices for office management.

• Facilitation skills and techniques.

• Program/project management techniques and principles.

• Principles of leadership, training, and performance evaluation.

• Business/industry principles and practices for the area of responsibility and external and management reporting requirements and report preparation.

• Modern office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and statistical databases.

• Demonstrated ability to lead, improve, integrate, and strategically-transform business processes; driving organizational and culture change.

• Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other senior agency leaders, department staff, management, vendors, outside agencies, community groups, and the general public.

• Interpreting and administering policies and procedures sufficient to administer, discuss, resolve, enlighten, and educate staff and other constituencies.

• Leading strategic initiatives and implementing continuous improvement processes and programs.

• Working effectively under pressure to meet deadlines and adjust to changing priorities.

• Preparing, developing, and analyzing complex data, comprehensive reports, presentations, and public speaking skills.

• Leading and motivating staff. Fostering a positive and progressive attitude in a diverse technical and operational environment with competing priorities. Developing, managing, and directing assigned divisions, complex programs, and functional areas.

• Ability to think broadly about a topic and gain the viewpoints of others to ensure that a situation, task or goal and its potential impact is fully understood by all stakeholders.

• Strong active and equitable listening, problem solving and conflict resolution skills, proficiency in using self-assessment and self-management skills to participate effectively and constructively as a team member to ensure group success over individual goals.

• Responding to inquiries and in effective oral and written communication.

• Working cooperatively with other departments, Agency officials, and outside agencies.

• Participating in the overall management of a comprehensive regional transit authority with multiple lines of business and administrative departments/offices.

• Identifying and responding to sensitive community and organizational issues, concerns, and needs.

• Capability to use critical thinking and rational processes to analyze and synthesize information in a concise manner, make recommendations on strategies to resolve issues and build complex cross-group/department plans to drive, track, and report execution progress.

• Analyze and synthesize information in a concise manner and make recommendations on strategies to resolve issues.

• Interpreting and applying applicable federal, state, and local policies, laws, and regulations.

• Developing and monitoring departmental and program/project operating budgets, costs, and schedules.

• Utilizing personal computer software programs affecting assigned work and in compiling and preparing spreadsheets and reports.

Physical Demands / Work Environment:  

• Work is performed in a standard office environment as well as in the field throughout the Sound Transit bus and rail network.

• Subject to standing, walking, bending, reaching, stooping, and lifting of objects up to 25 pounds.

• The Agency promotes a safe and healthy work environment and provides appropriate safety and equipment training for all personnel as required.

Sound Transit is an equal employment opportunity employer. No person is unlawfully excluded from employment action based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or other protected class.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

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Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: #management, budgetary, Construction, consultation, design, engineering, executive, Leadership, planning, Portfolio, and  project management.

Job expires in 9 days.

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