Community Transit, a special purpose municipal corporation providing public transportation services, began operations in 1976. The Agency’s service area encompass a land area slightly in excess of 1,300 square miles including most of urbanized Snohomish County, except for the city of Everett. Community Transit serves more than 576,000 residents, about 73 percent of Snohomish County’s population. Although the city of Everett is not part of Community Transit’s service area and taxing authority, Community Transit provides Swift Blue Line bus rapid transit service to Everett Station and receives payment from the city of Everett for this service.
Community Transit is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of nine voting members and one nonvoting member. Voting board members are elected officials who are chosen by delegates from their respective jurisdictions and serve a two-year term.
Community Transit’s objective is to help the economy grow and protect quality of life by offering appealing choices for customers to travel to their destinations. Community Transit aims to accomplish this objective by providing quick and safe trips from neighborhoods to jobs, schools, and errands while seamlessly integrating with transit partners to serve communities throughout Snohomish County.
This is an exciting time in Community Transit’s history. The Agency is in full expansion and future growth orientated. With high capacity transit build out happening and plans for further expansion in the years to come. Light rail will be coming to the service area in six years calling for future aggressive plans to grow services to compliment changing transportation needs of customers.
About the Position
The Director of Communications and Public Affairs leads Community Transit’s strategic communications, public engagement, and government relations programs. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and serving as a member of the Agency’s Executive Leadership Team, the Director collaborates cross-functionally to create and implement internal and external communications that enhance positive relationships with employees, customers, community and government stakeholders, tribes and regional partners. This important work builds trust with employees and is viewed as strategically critical to building on the Agency’s established success and reinforcing its positive reputation. The Director provides executive leadership to the department with an emphasis on cooperation and alignment across all programs, and departments; working closely with the Director of Customer Experience and Marketing to share stories that are impactful to broad audiences within and outside the Agency.
This position partners to advise the CEO, Executive Leadership Team, and the Board of Directors on matters of corporate positioning, Agency messaging, public policy, and legislative action. The Director ensures the Agency’s strategic framework is clearly articulated and communicated to support Agency alignment on organizational priorities, strategies, and goals. As a trusted voice for the Agency, the Director maintains productive relationships with external stakeholders and champions a customer-centric organization by collaborating effectively with individuals across the Agency to continuously integrate customer insights into operational strategy. The incumbent executes innovative communications strategies to manage new and emerging trends, best practices, and technologies, and adjusts priority and strategy to achieve results in a rapidly changing industry.
Additional responsibilities include:
Formulates and executes a comprehensive internal communications plan that aligns with business objectives and company culture; adjusts the strategy in response to or anticipation of changing business needs and conditions. Develops key performance indicators to measure outcomes of work.
Directs the development and implementation of effective corporate communications strategies in order to position the Agency for success and attainment of goals. Coordinates cross-functionally to ensure messaging across the Agency is consistent, purposeful, and part of an overall strategy to provide timely and meaningful information to internal and external audiences.
Plans, directs and oversees legislative activities; legislative analysis, advocacy and the impact on the organization’s planning and management in relation to local, state and federal issues. Supervises contract lobbyist(s).
Manages the Agency’s engagement with elected officials, community and business leaders, and regional partners. Collaborates to develop strong partnerships with foundations, agencies, non-profits, tribes, local leaders and others to align and leverage investments that support communities.
Promotes a positive employment experience for department staff and across the Agency via a strategic internal communication plan that engages, educates, and invites input from employees.
The Ideal Candidate
For this important role Community Transit seeks an experienced communications and public affairs professional who is deeply committed to the success of the Agency and is a strategic big-picture thinker.
The ideal candidate is a proven leader with extensive experience creating innovative communications plans and strategies for engagement and alignment. Must have a track record of success building and maintaining positive relationships with the public, media, tribes, community and business leaders and elected officials at the local, state and federal levels.
The preferred candidate will have experience and demonstrated success in the following areas:
Strategic public relations leadership with an understanding of the relationship between public agencies, the media, and the community.
Familiarity with federal transit grant funding opportunities.
Understanding of the news media, its structures and technology for reporting news.
Familiarity with trends in communications, identity building, and public relations strategies for public entities.
Experience working with diverse constituencies, including elected officials; committees and staff; state, local and federal agencies; tribes; public policy interest groups; and citizens.
Excellent communicator with strong analytical, written, and verbal communication skills; particularly in translating complex policy and advocacy work to a diverse range of stakeholders.
Demonstrates cultural competency that enables effective working relationships in cross-cultural situations. Able to work effectively with diverse constituencies.
Integrity, honesty, compassion, courage, optimism, and good judgment.
Creative problem solver, bringing fresh ideas and a progressive approach.
A Bachelors degree and at least seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in communications or public affairs. A Masters degree and public sector experience are a plus.
Persons interested in this position must submit a cover letter and a current resume.
The position will remain open until filled; however the screening process will move quickly. Please submit your application materials as soon as possible but no later than November 26th by visiting www.karrasconsulting.net and clicking on “view open positions.” The annual hiring range for this position is $126K-$170K. The initial salary will depend on the candidate’s overall credentials. Community Transit offers a generous benefit package including 95% company-paid medical for employee and family, 100% company-paid dental and vision for employee and family; retirement pension through the State of Washington; life insurance; short term and long term disability insurance; paid holidays; ORCA card; transportation incentive program; tuition reimbursement; wellness program with free personal trainer and nutritionist; free on-site physical therapy services; vacation and sick leave; and optional deferred compensation plan and Roth IRA.
Community Transit is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and to compliance with all Federal, State and local laws the prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, marital status or veteran status or any other legally protected status. We will provide assistance in the recruitment, application and selection process to applicants with disabilities who request such assistance.