Executive Director Search

June 11, 2019

It’s been a great year at Zephyr, and we now have funding secured to hire our first paid position - our Executive Director! We are seeking a motivated, ambitious Executive Director to oversee and advance the Zephyr mission: to advance rigorous transportation and land use decision-making for the public good, by advocating for and supporting improved travel analysis and facilitating its implementation.

This is a hands-on position: we want someone who can jump in and handle operational responsibility for the Zephyr programs and volunteers, following the strategic direction set by the Board of Directors. As a new organization, Zephyr needs someone who is excited about our mission, who can manage the varied tasks of running a nonprofit foundation, as well as an executive who can prioritize fundraising: since without funding it will be impossible to realize any of the foundation’s goals.

I hope you are as excited about tackling this challenge as we are about funding and providing this position! We do not expect any one person to have a long pedigree in each of these areas: rather, it’s a position that has many facets which a candidate can grow into.

Here’s a reminder of what Zephyr’s all about, and specifically what the Executive Director position entails.

Zephyr Principles:

  • Respectful, honest, technical-based interaction;
  • Collegial and collaborative;
  • Driven by useful innovation that leverages our unique position;
  • Acting in support of the public good, specifically inclusion, equitable outcomes, and shared prosperity;
  • User-friendly packaging and licensing;
  • Consistently high-quality work products;
  • Faithful implementation of standards;
  • Respectful of time and resources;
  • Diversity of opinions and backgrounds are proactively sought out and welcomed; and,
  • Lawfulness as mandatory.



  • Primary staff liaison to Board of Directors, ensuring operational efficacy in organizational policies and practice.
  • Work closely with project management groups, volunteers, members, and related organizations.
  • Engage with the Board on strategic planning, regarding organizational structure, financial health, governance, priorities, and vision.
  • Serve as liaison with legal counsel and accountant. Manage all contracts.
  • Works with board and staff to ensure that all programs are consistent with Zephyr’s strategic vision.
  • Oversee communication efforts.


  • Manage monthly and annual budget, ensure that the organization operates within the approved budget and is sustainable.
  • Fundraise and develop other resources necessary to support the mission, including fostering relationships with other foundations, drafting and submitting grant applications, and developing contacts with high impact donors.
  • Responsible for Zephyr’s fiscal integrity, working hand-in-hand with the Board-appointed Treasurer and board members.


  • Communicate effectively with the Board; ensuring they have all information necessary to make informed decisions
  • Work with the Board to develop a strategic plan for the organization and execute the plan.
  • Regularly measure and evaluate Zephyr’s progress towards its goals; redirect efforts and propose changes as warranted by evaluation.
  • Nurture a healthy organizational culture that is mission-focused, dynamic, and consistent with the Zephyr principles
  • Represent Zephyr nationally with media, partners, decision-makers, and members.


The ideal candidate will have experience with government decision-making in transportation and land-use, travel analysis methods, and non-profit structures. A background that includes transportation or planning is essential, but we do not expect any incoming member of the team to have expertise in all areas.

A willingness and enthusiasm for collaborating with experts and young professionals is critical to success in this role. Applicants should have a passion for (and, preferably, a background in) centering diversity and inclusion in the organization.

Additional Qualifications:

  • High integrity leadership.
  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • A willingness to roll up your sleeves and join in on any tasks necessary – that means that some days will find you running high-level meetings with CEOs in the morning and manually updating a mailing list in the afternoon.
  • Strong organizational skills including program development.
  • Management experience. Experience managing remote teams preferred.
  • Budget management experience.
  • Experience in fundraising – grant writing a plus.
  • Ability to both lead and work as a member of the team.
  • Facilitation skills and experience.
  • Ability to oversee and collaborate with a diverse group of volunteers, staff, and partners.
  • Technological savvy and grit.

Position details

  Salary Range: Dependent on experience
  Time: 30-40 hours per week
  Travel Requirements: 10%
  Location: Flexible, within U.S.

How to Apply

If you have any questions about the Executive Director search before applying, please send them to [email protected].

Submit your application materials to [email protected]. Applications must include:

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae / resume including employment history, educational background, etc
  • Brief written answers to the following questions. We don’t need long essays at this stage; a paragraph or so will suffice:
    1. Given the Foundation’s established mission, goals, and principles, what would be on your near-term todo list for Zephyr to achieve its mission and have a real and lasting positive impact on travel forecasting?
    2. Tell us about your experience in raising money and managing back-office functions. What would you take on and what would you seek outside assistance with?
    3. What would you, as an Executive Director, need from the Board and volunteers?
    4. The Zephyr constituency is diverse and wide-ranging in many dimensions. What are ways that Zephyr can embrace diversity of ideas while also making decisions and moving forward?
    5. What should Zephyr do to bring and keep diverse and qualified people into the travel analysis workforce?


Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Thank you for your interest!

Billy Charlton, Chair, and the Executive Search Committee:

  • Joan Walker
  • Mario Scott
  • Greg Erhardt
  • Lisa Zorn