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Executive Director Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization

Metropolitan Area Planning Council – Boston, MA



Position Overview
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (Boston MPO) and Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) seek an experienced and innovative urban transportation professional to lead Greater Boston s regional transportation planning agency. The Executive Director reports to the Chair of the Boston MPO, currently MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack or her designee, and plays a key role in implementing the mission and goals of the Boston MPO.

We are seeking an Executive Director with the capacity to lead a mission-driven agency of planning professionals in an inspiring manner, to expand the development and application of quantitative decision support tools and methods, and to enable innovative planning that addresses the changing transportation landscape of the 21st century.

The successful candidate for this role will have considerable knowledge of the theory and practice of transportation planning and forecasting; the federal transportation planning process and regulatory requirements; community outreach and engagement; and organizational and financial management.

About Boston MPO and CTPS
The Boston MPO envisions a modern transportation system that is safe, uses new technologies, provides equitable access, excellent mobility, and varied transportation options -- in support of a sustainable, healthy, livable, and economically vibrant region. (Charting Progress to 2040, the Boston MPO s Long-Range Transportation Plan)

CTPS was created in 1974 as a permanent resource of expertise in comprehensive, multimodal transportation planning and analysis for the Boston MPO. CTPS oversees the cooperative, comprehensive, and continuing (3C) transportation planning process required by federal law, and provides direct technical assistance to MassDOT, MBTA, other government agencies, and cities and towns in the region.

The MPO region encompasses 97 cities and towns, covering approximately 1,361 square miles from Cape Ann in the north to Interstate 495 in the west and the South Shore in the south. The region is home to approximately 3.3 million people and supports about 2 million jobs. The communities include major urban centers such as Boston and Cambridge, regional urban centers like Salem and Framingham, maturing suburbs like Brookline and Newton, and many developing suburbs. Therefore, transportation planning must take into account the demographic, cultural, and environmental diversity of the region, and consider the various means by which residents and visitors travel. The region is also home to substantial Environmental Justice communities. Serving these communities is an important focus for CTPS and the Boston MPO.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), which is the Regional Planning Agency established under state law for the Greater Boston region, serves as fiduciary agent for CTPS, and the two agencies collaborate closely on many ongoing planning responsibilities and individual projects.

Examples of Duties

The Boston MPO seeks an Executive Director with the skills, experience, and desire to lead and help evolve CTPS to be able to deliver the planning, forecasting, and thought leadership that the Boston MPO needs to shape the region s transportation future.

The Executive Director is responsible for managing approximately 70 professional and support staff and an operating budget of over $6 million on behalf of the Boston MPO in order to carry out the mission of the MPO in compliance with federal requirements for the 3C transportation planning process. This responsibility includes ensuring that funds awarded to the MPO are properly managed, contractual obligations are fulfilled, work described in the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) is performed well, and administrative and personnel policies of the MPO and its fiduciary agent are fully implemented.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Build and lead a staff that consistently provides the MPO and the implementing agencies with outstanding transportation planning products and services
  • Oversee the fair and effective recruitment, employment, evaluation, retention, and release of employees and contract personnel, either directly or indirectly through senior staff:

- Coach and motivate all employees to achieve their potential and to innovate in a rapidly changing technical and planning environment
- Encourage and facilitate appropriate professional training opportunities
- Provide clear direction of priorities, roles, and responsibilities
- Create an environment conducive to teamwork, esprit de corps, and staff productivity
- Fully and fairly apply personnel policies and administrative procedures in collaboration with the fiduciary agent
- Review and comment on work scopes, technical reports, and memoranda
- Implement quality control and assurance procedures

  • Ensure compliance with the 3C transportation planning process:

- Interact with the MPO s federal partners, its members, and municipalities in the MPO region to understand their issues, needs, and priorities
- Monitor progress on projects and make adjustments as required
- Communicate progress, results, and conclusions to the MPO
- Allocate staff resources in response to the MPO s direction and priorities
- Oversee the development of both short- and long-range investment plans, including the Transportation Improvement Program, the Long-Range Transportation Plan, and the Unified Planning Work Program, in accordance with federal guidelines

  • Oversee the fiscal operations and financial health of the MPO, in collaboration with the fiduciary agent:

- Develop and monitor the MPO s operating budget:
- Manage individual contract budgets
- Administer cash management activities as they relate to balance, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and funding availability
- Review and approve purchases, payments to vendors, and budget performance measures
- Act as primary contact with the organization s fiduciary agent (MAPC) on all financial transactions, legal communications, and personnel issues

  • Lead the MPO staff on planning, analysis, and technical matters
  • Provide guidance on complex planning and technical issues
  • Ensure that CTPS remains up-to-date with the latest planning approaches and technical products in modeling, analysis, community engagement, and recommending investment priorities
  • Meet with clients at key project junctures both to support project managers and to provide decision-making authority if needed
  • Ensure that project work is supported with all necessary resources, within the agency s annual budget
  • Recommend and sponsor strategies that facilitate CTPS role in achieving the agency s goals and priorities

Typical Qualifications

  • A master s degree in planning, engineering, public policy, public management, or a closely related field
  • At least 10 years of experience in transportation planning or public management, with progressively more responsible managerial experience for at least five of those years
  • Knowledge of the 3C planning process and familiarity with federal planning regulations
  • Understanding of transportation modeling, forecasting, and quantitative methods
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to interact well with all levels of employees, to inspire staff, and to encourage innovation
  • Capacity to work collaboratively with elected and appointed officials of local, state, and federal governments
  • Experience working with or for an MPO is desirable but not required.

Supplemental Information

Compensation and Benefits
The starting salary ranges from $125,000 - $150,000 annually, depending upon qualifications and experience. This is a full time exempt position. CTPS offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family friendly work environment and a commitment to ongoing professional development. Our office is located in downtown Boston, in a transit-oriented and bicycle-friendly environment.

How to apply
The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. A review of applications will begin immediately. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume
Additional information about the Boston Region MPO and CTPS can be found

Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is CTPS s fiduciary agent and legally employs its staff. MAPC/CTPS is an EOE/AA employer which takes pride in the diversity of its workforce and encourages all qualified persons to apply.

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $125,000.00 to $150,000.00 /year


  • Administrative: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Forecasting: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Regulations: 1 year (Preferred)
  • Transportation Planning: 1 year (Preferred)


  • Master s (Preferred)

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