Executive Director Search

December 11, 2018

The Zephyr Foundation (“Zephyr”) is seeking a motivated and ambitious Executive Director to oversee and advance its 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.

The Executive Director will have the overall operational responsibility for the Zephyr staff, volunteers and programs according to the strategic direction set with the Board of Directors. As a new organization, Zephyr needs an executive who can prioritize fundraising, since without funding it will be impossible to realize any of the foundation’s goals. In addition, the Executive Director will be responsible for building organizational culture and an operational environment that aligns with the following

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.



  • Responsible for Zephyr’s fiscal integrity.
  • 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.
  • Manage monthly and annual budget, ensure that the organization operates within the approved budget and is sustainable.


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


  • Work with the Board to develop a strategic plan for the organization and execute the plan.
  • Communicate effectively with the board; ensuring they have all information necessary to make informed decisions
  • 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.
  • Experience in fundraising – grant writing a plus.
  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Management experience. Experience managing remote teams preferred.
  • Budget management experience.
  • Strong organizational skills including program development.
  • Ability to both lead and work as a member of the team.
  • Facilitation skills and experience.
  • Possesses a high level of social awareness and a continual desire to grow in understanding of other perspectives and identities.
  • 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.
  • Ability to oversee and collaborate with a diverse group of volunteers, staff, and partners.
  • Technological savvy and grit.
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills.

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. Note that many Zephyr members will be at the Annual TRB Meeting in Washington in mid-January, so applications received before then will be prioritized.

Thank you for your interest!

Billy Charlton, Chair, and the Executive Search Committee:

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