Operations Division Director (Executive 2)

City of Seattle / Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)

Seattle, WA

Experience Level: Senior

Salary: $52.87 - $87.22 Hourly + full benefits

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To see how to apply directly, please go to this site: Operation Division Director (Executive 2)


Operations Division Director (Executive 2)

Vision: Seattle is a thriving and equitable community powered by dependable transportation.
Mission: To deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities.
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is a nationally recognized municipal transportation agency at the leading edge of multi-modal transportation.  In our quickly growing city, accessibility, safety, affordability, and reliability – are top of mind for us every day! Our core values drive our work toward creating an equitable, sustainable, and vibrant city for all. SDOT's core responsibilities include maintenance and operations of the city's transportation right-of-way, the expansion of the city's bicycle and pedestrian network, care of over 240 bridges, permitting use of public spaces and enhancing access to the regional transit system. With approximately 1100 dedicated staff, SDOT maintains an operational presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all weather conditions to serve and ensure Seattle's public mobility.  

Position Overview

Are you a collaborative leader with deep knowledge of public works construction and field operations? If so, SDOT has a challenging opportunity for you!

SDOT's Maintenance & Operation Division (MOD) presents an exceptional opportunity to join a   high-functioning team of professionals whose mission is to deliver safe, reliable, efficient, and socially equitable transportation system that enhances Seattle's environment and economic vitality. The Operations Division Director directly supervises six managers with a total of 171 staff and provides the strategic direction and leadership of the Concrete & Asphalt Paving Unit, Signs and Markings Unit, Customer Service and Dispatch Unit, SDOT Response Team, and Pavement Engineering and Management Unit.  Manages and oversees the Pavement Engineering & Right-of-Way (ROW) programs, which includes the City Asphalt & Pavement Engineer group. This position is responsible for the asphalt paving maintenance and repair programs on streets and sidewalks throughout the City of Seattle (COS).  This position manages other SDOT’s facilities, such as Airport Way, Haller Lake and Charles Street.

The Division operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, oversees the division’s $62 million operation approximately, capital and reimbursable budgets. In all, this position is the asset owner for the City’s 2300 miles main arterials, 5000 miles of residential roads, worth $10 billion and $7 billion worth of sidewalks. This operationally focused Division provides a range of functions such as direction, planning, analysis, and implementation of paving projects completed by City of Seattle crews. This leader provides accountability for translating City and departmental objectives into specific outcomes in project delivery through effective utilization of the City’s human capital, budget, and other resources. Additionally, this individual leads the full lifecycle of several pilot programs for the City of Seattle such as the small crew capital delivery program.  

This position is part of SDOTs Emergency Management and Response Team that works with managers, executives, and communication experts to maintain, update, and develop programmatic and tactical approaches to ensure a state-of-the-art emergency response program with an emphasis on major infrastructure disasters and weather-related emergency conditions including snow and ice, and other emergencies (traffic incidents, windstorms, landslides, earthquakes, etc.) as needed. In the event of an emergency, this role may be called upon to act as the Incident Response Commander and must coordinate and communicate with other experts within the department to fully understand impacts of decisions and proposed solutions. This position will report to the Deputy Director of Maintenance Operations.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Works directly with, and present to, high-level staff throughout the Department, other City Departments, elected officials including the Major’s office, City Counsel, and community, business, and residential groups.
  • Represents the City on highly visible, sensitive, and controversial issues before external constituencies; defuses troublesome issues related to City policies and procedures; manages and promotes relationships with significant external constituencies; regularly facilitates public involvement processes for policy input, to resolve significant issues, and to achieve important City objectives. 
  • Ensures the City meets its targeted levels of service during response operations and Levy deliverables and other high-level reporting.
  • Ensures that the City’s pavement and sidewalks are safe and accessible, while adhering to strict environmental regulations, SDOT Pavement Opening and Restoration Rules, COS Standard Plans & Specifications, and all applicable State and Federal regulations.
  • Manages and supervises subordinate supervisors, with total direct and indirect supervision of 140 or more FTEs. 90% of the employees are located at the off-site of operation facilities and 10% located in the Bank of America Building.  
  • Develops, implements, and tracks performance measures.
  • Continually evaluates quality of improvements completed (workmanship), assess costs of construction, and identifies opportunities to improve efficiency.
  • Provides constructability reviews and cost estimates to both internal and external customers.
  • Works with multiple divisions within SDOT, other City departments, union representatives, the public, and external agencies to evaluate concerns, respond to questions, solve issues, coordinates efforts on solutions, and fosters positive working relationships.
  • Coordinates with Finance & Administrative Services (FAS) department to ensure operations are fully functioning and facility and yard space needs are met.
  • Responsible for a fleet of 150 rolling assets including specialized paving and construction machinery.



We are looking for:

  • A highly organized, proactive, and engaged team member.
  • The candidate for this role should have a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Public Administration, Business Administration, Transportation planning or related field or combination of education, training and/or experience that provides and equivalent background to perform the job.
  • Ideally, the top candidates bring seven (7)+ years of extensive experience of progressively responsible managerial experience in engineering, transportation planning, public works.
  • Must have thorough understanding of pavement management, sidewalk, and curb ramp principles and systems as well as pavement design knowledge.
  • Strong background in public policy, business management, project management, construction management and asset, work, risk, strategic, and performance management.

Your success in this position will depend on your ability and/or experience in the following: 

Leadership – Proven success in leading an organization in a multi-disciplinary, complex, and fast-paced urban government environment. Experience in facilitating, negotiating, and building consensus among diverse constituents and stakeholders. This position is a member of SDOT’s Senior Leadership team, and routinely coordinates and communicates with other SDOT Division Directors to ensure consistent implementation of broad policy direction. In the absence of clear policy or procedures, this position works with other Division Directors to recommend policies, procedures, or approaches to complex problems.

Strategic and Visionary Thinking – A leader with a creative and entrepreneurial spirit, who is open to new ideas and can readily identify and prioritize issues and recommend and implement effective solutions.  This leader must collaborate with SDOT’s leadership team, implementing strategic plans for the City’s development and managing relationships with stakeholders.

This leader must be a systems thinker, reevaluating and adjusting maintenance program approaches that involve personnel changes, fleet and equipment adjustments and coordination efforts to maximize impact across a broad spectrum of City assets.
Relationships – Ability to establish and maintain highly effective, collaborative working relationships with elected officials, directors and managers, employees, the media, and diverse users of the City's multiple service systems. This leader must bring a strong commitment and ability to cultivate sustainable partnerships such as UW, Sound Transit, Metro, WSDOT among others and demonstrated skill in addressing politically challenging situations with tact, diplomacy, and sensitivity.
Communication – Inspirational leader with excellent verbal and oral communication skills, including experience communicating successfully with a broad range of stakeholders – Council, bureau directors, employees, and community partners. Passionate advocate and effective public speaker, with the ability to represent the bureau and City of Seattle locally and nationally. Must be able to articulate the mission and values of SDOT, clearly explain information to a variety of audiences, negotiate and problem solve.
Management of People – Experience supervising a diverse workforce, including union-represented employees. Skill in creating a culture of respect, collaboration, and accountability. Experience with full range of personnel management duties. Ability to be firm and hold people accountable while maintaining relationships. Ability to work with elected officials as well as peers, staff, and diverse community members. Demonstrated experience in evaluating needs, managing staff and resources, designing programs, a good understanding of bureaucracy. A Proven track record of leveraging public-private partnerships and other resources. Experience using statistical data, financial information, and outcome measures to develop budgets, evaluate operational performance, and strengthen organizational accountability and effectiveness.

Race & Social Justice- This position is responsible to ensure that the Division develops people and programs that deliver services effectively, efficiently, and equitably for all people living, working and visiting Seattle. This work is accomplished through training, hiring, workforce development, and adapting performance management procedures to include racial, social and environmental justice perspectives. Programs and procedures must be constantly reviewed and updated formally through existing RET (Racial Equity Toolkit) analysis as well as through more tactical and informal processes such as receiving and responding to community feedback in real time. On consistently basis, coordinates, integrates, and provides leadership for teams and other organized work groups with diverse representation across functional, departmental and/or jurisdictional lines, to achieve important outcomes requiring coordination and integration of diverse perspectives, skills set, competencies, and resources. Supports department goals in promoting diversity and social justice.


Your application will not be reviewed if these items are missing or incomplete.

Applications are reviewed after the posting closes. Qualified candidates must submit the following to be considered:

  1. Completed NEOGOV online application.
  2. Cover letter describing how your skills and experience align with the stated job responsibilities and qualifications.
  3. Current résumé indicating relevant experience and education.
  4. Supplemental questionnaire responses. 


Offers of employment are contingent on verification of information provided by the applicant as part of the application process, including potential background check and full driver's abstract.

Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Posted July 9, 2021, 2:47 PM PDT

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