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10 Oct 2019

Full-Time Executive Director

Active Transportation Alliance – Posted by activetrans Chicago, Illinois, United States

Job Description

Active Transportation Alliance seeks an influential and innovative Executive Director to elevate the organization’s vision and enhance its efforts to expand the impact of the mission. The Executive Director will oversee daily operations and will lead a highly valued team. They will manage with a collaborative style while attracting, nurturing and retaining high-performing talent. The role requires a dynamic relationship-builder who can cultivate and grow critical partnerships for organizational growth, accompanied by leadership and communications skills that can inspire, support and accelerate change across Chicagoland. The Executive Director will work with an ever-expanding and diverse constituency of community partners, donors, volunteers, and city and state officials, and will champion the principles and practice of racial, social and economic equity both internally and externally.


Visionary Leadership
• Shepherd the ongoing development, interpretation and implementation of Active Trans’ vision and strategic plan to achieve the long-range organizational goals as set by the Board. Develop annual program plans to support implementation of strategic objectives.
• Ensure that campaigns and programs are mission-driven and aligned with strategic plan goals, meet the needs of the membership, and support the advancement of multi-modal transportation.
• Empower staff to equalize access to and safety of active travel for transportation-disadvantaged individuals and communities, including low-income communities, people of color, those with disabilities, children and older adults.
• Champion an inclusive and equitable organizational environment that advances the racial equity plan goals and actively increases and sustains diversity as a collective effort among all stakeholders.
• Provide collaborative leadership in maintaining a positive and productive working relationship among the Board of Directors, staff, membership, partner organizations and volunteers.

Philanthropic & Revenue Growth
• Optimize the organization’s financial health by supporting and empowering the development team, ensuring the necessary resources are invested to lead the needed research, sourcing, communications, recruitment, cultivation and stewardship of members, donors, grantors and event participants.
• Lead board members and staff in establishing aggressive fundraising and revenue goals that challenge and motivate all to excel. Ensure such goals are resourced and maximize individual and collective talents.
• Amplify the agency profile through individual and team efforts around fundraising events, including the Fifth Third Bike the Drive (the organization’s largest fundraising event), the Chicago Bike Week Rally, and other community events.
• Ensure a solid process is led by the development team to identify and cultivate major donors and maintain positive relations with current and past contributors. Maintain a personal portfolio of relationships and support the staff and the board in their fundraising efforts.
• Identify and advance strategically advantageous relationships that elevate Active Trans, increase unrestricted revenue and support the work of the Advocacy team to create lasting change.
• Encourage board leadership and involvement in fundraising efforts, programs and member engagement. Provide training, ongoing education and support to all board and volunteers that propel philanthropy.

Strategic & Financial Management
• Empower, lead, develop, motivate, mentor, supervise and maintain a highly effective, productive and cohesive team. Guarantee the team has the resources to optimize performance in individual job success and overall team effectiveness.
• Ensure senior leadership and functional areas have the resources necessary to excel and provide guidance as needed to:
– Resource the revenue/financing for current operating needs and long-term goals. – Ensure the policy and advocacy agenda advances the mission and reflects the organization’s diverse constituency.
– Champion equitable policy and systems change at the local, regional, state and national levels.
– Support the organization’s transportation planning and policy consulting staff and help identify and secure new opportunities that are mission-aligned.
– Expand and increase visibility (with existing and new audiences) by leveraging technology and social networks.
– Prepare a comprehensive budget reflecting organizational goals and priorities and manage finances to ensure transparency and financial stability. Also, ensure compliance with nonprofit fiscal regulations.
– Promote Active Trans to potential partners and evaluate the organizational, financial and political viability of all potential partnerships.
– Organize administrative support for board meetings and activities and report key organizational performance and financial indicators to the board in a clear and transparent manner.
– Guard brand identity and key messaging.
• Hold final accountability for timely and consistent reporting on the organization’s financial position, key trends and outlook to ensure fiscal responsibility.

Coalition & Relationship Building
• Represent Active Trans on select high-priority coalitions and committees and determine where others on the advocacy team can be leveraged/positioned to best build/ maintain relationships with key local, state and national government officials, community stakeholders, nonprofit allies and others around multi-modal policy, projects and program issues.
• Support staff to ensure their robust recruitment and mobilization of members and other supporters and maintain positive relationships with key decision makers.
• Provide strategic direction for all communications and serve as lead media spokesperson for Active Trans. With communications team, utilize media relations and earned media to develop support for Active Trans’ campaigns and goals.
• Serve as an advocate of Active Trans at the policy level, championing policies that seek to equalize access to and safety of active travel for transportation-disadvantaged individuals and communities. Examine all policy solutions through an equity lens.
• Research and identify opportunities to engage new community partners. Capitalize on opportunities to collaborate on projects and advance Active Trans’ mission.

Specific Requirements Include:
• A passion for the transformational nature of walking, bicycling and transit on community livability and sustainability. Incorporation of walking, bicycling and/or transit into daily life.
• Demonstrated leadership successes in advocacy, policy and coalition building, particularly among diverse and transportation-disadvantaged populations.
• Firm understanding of basic nonprofit structures, operations, and finance.
• Prior and proven experience in developing and nurturing successful teams and managing group dynamics. Significant experience hiring, mentoring and managing professional staff.
• Leadership experience leading internal and external change related to equity and inclusion.
• Familiarity with the operations and development of an effective nonprofit Board of Directors.
• Proven track record of successful fundraising for public interest or advocacy work from a diverse range of sources. Demonstrated program management experience. Experience with fundraising events is highly desired.
• Strong analytic and strategic-thinking skills, with demonstrated ability to create, implement and monitor complex plans, and then translate those plans into goals and concrete strategies.
• Superior skills in written communications, public speaking and media relations.
• Career track record that shows stability with an organization and capacity to develop and nurture relationships culminating in overall success.
• Local and/or state government relations experience preferred.
• Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degree in a related field preferred.

This position offers a competitive salary with strong benefits. Relocation assistance will be negotiable based on circumstances. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. Active Transportation Alliance is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, gender identity, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria.

How to Apply

To assure confidential tracking of all applicants, no applications will be accepted via email. This search is being managed by Heather Eddy, President and CEO, and Megan DeVoe, Project Manager of KEES. Questions may be addressed to KEES is a retained executive search and consulting firm that builds transformative teams and leaders in the nonprofit sector. KEES was founded in 2013 as an expansion of Alford Executive Search. For more information, please visit

Job Categories: Transportation. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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