Program Manager, Climate Challenge


Date Posted



Urban Planning November 20, 2018 National Association of City Transportation Officials NYC, NY, USA

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The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is seeking a motivated problem-solver to join our team as a full-time Program Manager. This role will oversee NACTO’s efforts in supporting the American Cities Climate Challenge by developing and coordinating in-depth transportation technical assistance in select U.S. cities.

The Program Manager will be responsible for developing a strategic package of events, trainings, and other programing to help cities implement key transportation projects and meet their carbon reduction and climate change mitigation goals. The ideal candidate has excellent organizational and project management skills and a proven track record of juggling and completing multiple projects. While experience working for a city or in a city transportation department is not required, the ideal candidate will have a strong sense of how city governments work and how best to guide and encourage city staff who are tasked with implementing projects. Strong communication skills (verbal and written) are essential. The position will be based in New York City, with regular travel to selected cities in the U.S. and other North American cities and NACTO events as needed.

The American Cities Climate Challenge is a two-year acceleration program that provides 20 U.S. cities with technical resources and support to help them meet – or beat – their near-term carbon reduction goals. More information about the Climate Challenge and the selected cities can be found here.

Who we are

NACTO is a nonprofit association of 64 major North American cities and 10 transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues. Our members include cities such as Denver, Los Angeles, Cambridge, Philadelphia, and San Antonio, and transit agencies such as Portland Tri-Met and Chicago Transit Authority. Our mission is to build cities as places for people, with safe, sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation choices that support a strong economy and vibrant quality of life. Our staff team is nimble, passionate, results-oriented, and committed to challenging the status quo in transportation and raising the bar for city streets.

What you’ll do

Your job will be to manage NACTO’s efforts to help a cohort of U.S. cities reach their climate change mitigation goals as part of the American Cities Climate Challenge. You will do this by working closely with transportation staff in selected cities and connecting them to transportation resources and expertise throughout NACTO’s city network. You will help galvanize city resources into rapid implementation of high-quality, high-impact bike and bus infrastructure. In addition, you will work to highlight successes and learnings in Climate Challenge cities to the rest of the NACTO network and beyond, helping to expand the expertise of transportation practitioners across North America. You will work with a strong, progressive group of city transportation officials and a NACTO team that aims to turn big ideas into real projects on the ground, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and resulting in more just and sustainable communities throughout our network.

More specifically, you will do things like:

  • Manage NACTO’s direct technical assistance efforts in selected cities under the Climate Challenge
    • Coordinate and communicate regularly with city transportation leadership, staff, and policy makers in selected cities to identify needs and ways NACTO can advance their efforts to implement transportation projects that will help the city reach its climate change mitigation goals.
    • Supervise and coordinate with NACTO staff and others to develop and deliver high profile/high-impact programming (e.g. events, trainings) that support the implementation of bike and bus network infrastructure projects identified by the cities as key climate change mitigation tools.
    • Identify and coordinate technical street design and implementation assistance from NACTO staff and peer network.
  • Develop and deliver ongoing programming and training (e.g. events, trainings, webinars, network connections, etc) for the Climate Challenge cities cohort
    • Develop and coordinate transportation policy programming and assistance around key issues such as transportation parking management and pricing, new mobility, congestion pricing etc.
    • Keep a pulse on transportation-related activities in all Climate Challenge cities and identify ways to connect learnings from the Climate Challenge and Accelerator Cities into the larger NACTO peer network and vice versa.
  • Coordinate with the NRDC City Strategist and other Climate Challenge partners to ensure that NACTO’s work has maximum impact
    • Coordinate additional requests from Climate Challenge cities, and identify opportunities for coordination across focus areas of the Climate Challenge.
  • Monitor and fulfill all of NACTO’s grant reporting requirements under the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge.
  • Attend and participate in Climate Challenge gatherings and events and other NACTO events.

Who you are

We seek candidates who have excellent project management skills, excel in relationship-building and communicating with multiple stakeholders, and are results-oriented. You have experience or expertise in city transportation projects and policy, especially as it relates to reducing vehicle mode-share and increasing bus or bike ridership.

To be successful in this job, you should have:

  • A deep understanding of how city governments work and how staff in cities can make rapid progress on project implementation. You can empathize with the complexity of being a changemaker in municipal government while recognizing opportunities for innovation and improvement.
  • Experience or comfort with basic traffic engineering concepts such that you can lead and guide conversations with city traffic staff and know how and when to bring in other technical experts to get the right results. Note, an engineering degree is not required.
  • A track record of being able to keep multiple projects moving forward at the same time. You can oversee project work in multiple cities, and keep a guiding hand on both programmatic and project goals.
  • Strong ability to build relationships with multiple stakeholders and in a variety of contexts in order to move projects forward. You will be the lead transportation advisor to cities, so ability to encourage, persuade, and guide without direct power will be essential.
  • A forward-looking, results-oriented approach: You get things done and can design and execute programs that produce measurable results toward a city’s climate change mitigation goals.
  • Some experience or ability in overseeing staff, consultants, partner organizations, or clients.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Closing date: January 7th, 2019