LINK Houston seeks Director of Policy and Planning
LINK Houston is a non-profit organization advocating for a robust and equitable transportation network so that all people can reach opportunity. We envision a world in which all people in Houston can easily access not only jobs, but also educational experiences, medical appointments, grocery stores, parks and greenspaces, and other important destinations, regardless of mode of transportation. We move ideas into action through community engagement, research, and shaping public policy. Through our advocacy activities, we specifically aim to ensure quality mobility options; improve transportation access to affordable housing; and keep communities united in the face of highway and other transportation infrastructure developments. Across our work, LINK Houston maintains a focus on equity and climate justice in the processes and outcomes of transportation-related decisions.
Specific Responsibilities and Reporting Relationship
We seek a highly qualified professional whose values align with the organization’s:
- Commitment to transportation equity, accessibility, diversity, inclusion, and climate justice.
- Enthusiasm for pursuing equitable transportation and environmentally-just infrastructure for all.
- Personal, lived experience with multi-modal transportation options other than driving alone.
The Director of Policy and Planning will strengthen and manage the organization’s technical strategy, community-based participatory research, and involvement in local government processes. They will be an analytical thinker comfortable incorporating qualitative information from communities and quantitative data from various authoritative sources with a minimum of five years of experience leading legislative, advocacy, or research priorities. They will embrace community-based participatory research principles and democratic organizing methods, as part of understanding that research and advocacy without the alignment of community furthers the mentality of colonialism, exploitation, and extraction that LINK Houston fully resists (read our research guidelines).
The Director of Policy and Planning reports directly to the Executive Director.
LINK Houston staff work together, co-developing programs and collaborating during implementation. The Director of Policy and Planning’s principal role is to identify opportunities to pursue systemic change, followed by ideas for the requisite information and next steps. The successful candidate will be comfortable managing the following responsibilities:
- Serve as the principal legislative affairs and planning advisor to the Executive Director, staff, and Board of Directors.
- Assist the Executive Director, staff, and Board of Directors to craft programs designed to seek equitable and climate-just change in Houston.
- Identify opportunities to advance LINK Houston’s goals and methods to seek change through local, regional, state, and federal policy.
- Serve as a technical expert to the staff and stakeholders, including (but not limited to) the organization’s constituents, the media, and donors – liaise with technical experts in the field and stakeholder organizations.
- Apply a data-informed decision-making lens to identify potential community and stakeholder partnerships and to equip both formal and informal coalitions with the best available information.
- Support LINK Houston staff to build and maintain community relationships of trust to enable the organization to genuinely co-power in pursuit of shared values, interests, and outcomes.
- Identify and maintain key relationships with advocacy partners, (i.e., Air Alliance Houston, BikeHouston, Houston BCycle, Stop TxDOT I-45, Complete Streets Coalition, etc.)
- Identify and maintain key relationships with local and regional governments, (i.e., City of Houston, Harris County, METRO, Houston-Galveston Area Council, management districts, TIRZs, etc.)
- Produce relevant, accurate research and data points to explore and communicate about the nexus of transportation, equity, and climate justice.
- Manage the process to annually create a new edition of LINK’s Equity in Transit report.
- Draft original policy or position papers, including letters of support or comment.
- Provide technical and graphic representations of transportation and urban plans.
- Apply expertise about transportation and equity while reviewing technical materials from transportation agencies, including TxDOT, METRO, H-GAC, and USDOT, and provide clear, lay term explanations.
- Participate in community engagement and data collection with other staff and volunteers as needed.
- Provide public comments or testimony before various governmental bodies, (i.e., Houston City Council, Harris County Commissioners Court, the Texas State Legislature, and the U.S. Congress).
- Participate in staff efforts to identify and pursue grant funding opportunities as needed.
- Assist managing interns or part-time staff.
Requirements and Skills
- Proficiency utilizing virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc.).
- Proficiency in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, including analytical functions (i.e., lookup formulas, pivot tables, filtering, etc.)
- Experience using ArcGIS (Pro and Online – or similar software).
- Experience with statistical or dashboarding software/tools welcome.
- Experience obtaining and analyzing one or several types of public data:
- Population, economy, and jobs data: U.S. Census Bureau: Decennial, American Community Survey, Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics, etc.
- Safety data: crash records (i.e., TxDOT Crash Records Information System ‘CRIS’)
- Transit data: ridership by stop, general transit feed specification ‘GTFS,’ etc.
- Knowledge of decision-making structures at multiple levels of government (city, county, regional, state, or federal).
- Experience distilling complex information and processes into genuinely understandable terms for varying audiences (i.e., community, civic leader, government, philanthropic, etc.), sometimes simultaneously.
The successful candidate will possess substantial intellectual curiosity and general pre-disposition for software, data, and strategic thinking about public decision-making. They will also be comfortable working independently, including proactively identifying opportunities for LINK Houston to pursue our mission.
609 Main St. FL 25
Houston, TX 77002
- Normal business hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, occasional nights and weekends, ***subject to change***
- In coordination with management, a flexible schedule is encouraged to maintain a healthy work life balance.
- Travel: Occasional travel may be required.
- Telework: LINK Houston is a semi-remote organization. Employees may be required to report to the office on specific days or for specific periods. ***subject to change***
Salary and Benefits
The Director of Policy and Planning is a full-time employee with access to the benefits described in the LINK Houston Employee Manual, including:
- Healthcare insurance for the employee with 80% of the basic insurance costs paid by LINK Houston.
- Dental, vision, life, short-term, and long-term disability insurance for the employee with 100% of the basic insurance costs paid by LINK Houston.
- Fifteen (15) holidays annually, including two (2) floating holidays and five (5) winter break days in December.
- Initial fifteen (15) days (120 hours) of paid time off with an accrual rate of 4.6 hours per pay period.
- Simple IRA/retirement available with an employer match of 2% or as stated in the company program.
- METRO fare and bike share membership for commuting and transportation to/from engagements on behalf of LINK Houston.
- Professional development opportunities.
- Cell phone reimbursement of $25 per month.
The salary range for the Director of Policy and Planning is $110,000 to $120,000. Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample as a single PDF file to email@example.com. Please list “Director of Policy and Planning Application” on the subject line. No phone calls. This position is open until filled.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION & EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
LINK Houston is an EEO/Affirmative Action Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status. LINK Houston centers diversity, equity, and inclusion in its internal and external work and practices.