|POSITION OVERVIEW |
SCAG is seeking a dynamic and seasoned leader who is steeped in the complex realities of regional planning and is committed to developing innovative planning and policy solutions to address the region's greatest challenges. The Director of Planning is a key member of the senior management team who participates fully in establishing and accomplishing agency-wide objectives and goals. The role requires extensive experience managing transportation, land use, environmental, community development and/or housing programs. As the nation's largest Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the successful candidate has the ability to positively impact the lives of the 19 million citizens SCAG represents. When you join SCAG, you can expect a culture where collaboration and team work is fostered, where the workforce is highly educated, passionate, and committed to innovation that improves the quality of life for all Southern Californians.
Under the general direction of the Chief Operating Officer (COO), the Director of Planning is responsible leading SCAG's planning activities, the agency's core business function. Additionally, as a key member of the Executive Team, the position contributes to overall leadership of the agency in ensuring that it achieves its mission and vision. Key functions include overseeing the development of SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, ensuring compliance with other state and federal mandated planning activities and developing innovative local, regional and national best practices. The Director provides expert guidance and counsel to the Executive Team and elected officials on regional planning initiatives. The Director of Planning leads the Division by encouraging creativity, staff development, and initiative through interactive communication, ongoing performance management, collaborative project management, and measured outcomes.
SCAG headquarters is located in the hub of busy downtown Los Angeles, at Figueroa and 7th streets. By the end of 2017 or early 2018, SCAG will relocate to the 900 Wilshire Building, a new, multi-use hotel and office complex that features state of the art architecture and technology and LEED Gold Certification. The downtown location is vibrant and exciting with LA Live, new restaurants, music, sports, shopping, libraries, museums, theaters and residential opportunities. SCAG is in a culturally diverse area near excellent public transit access and Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Olvera Street and Grand Central Market. Southern California boasts near-perfect weather and close proximity to mountains, beaches and deserts, which encourages physical fitness and year-round activities.
The office is located across the street from the Metro Red Line 7th St. station and is easily accessible by commuter trains and buses serving surrounding areas. Metro light rail and the subway connect downtown LA to Hollywood, Universal City, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Azusa, Long Beach and many vibrant and up-and-coming neighborhoods.
WHO WE ARE
Founded in 1965, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is a Joint Powers Authority under California state law, established as an association of local governments and agencies that voluntarily convene as a forum to address important regional issues. Under federal law, SCAG is designated as a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and under state law as a Regional Transportation Planning Agency and a Council of Governments. SCAG leads discussions and decisions that impact complex mobility issues facing this large and economically important region. From transportation systems to land use policies to air quality and public health impacts, SCAG plays a vital role in shaping Southern California's future.
The SCAG region encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. This large area encompasses urban centers and natural expanses, centers of industry, entertainment and agriculture, beaches, mountains and deserts. The agency develops long-range regional transportation plans including sustainable communities' strategy and growth forecast components, regional transportation improvement programs, regional housing needs allocations and a portion of the South Coast Air Quality management plans. Currently, the governing body, the Regional Council, consists of 86 members, primarily elected officials from across Southern California.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Under the guidance of the Regional Council and in collaboration with our partners, our mission is to facilitate a forum to develop and foster the realization of regional plans that improve the quality of life for Southern Californians.
An international and regional planning forum trusted for its leadership and inclusiveness in developing plans and polices for a sustainable Southern California.
SCAG CORE VALUES
- Collaboration: We foster collaboration through open communication, cooperation and a commitment to teamwork.
- Service: Our commitment to service and leadership is second to none.
- Trust: The hallmark of our organization is trust and is accomplished through a professional staff, transparency in decision making and objectivity and accuracy in our day-to-day work.
- Revolutionary: We are revolutionary in our thinking to achieve a cutting edge work program that is emulated by others.
- Sustainability: We work with our partners and local governments to achieve a quality of life that provides resources for today's generation while preserving an improved quality of life for future generations.
- Empowering: The empowering of staff occurs to request initiative, confidence and creativity while promoting inclusionary decision-making.
- Rewarding: We promote a work environment that allows for professional and personal growth, recognizes astounding achievement, and makes a positive difference in the lives of the staff and the community.
WHO YOU ARE:
The ideal candidate is a unifying leader who translates SCAG's vision and goals into planning projects and programs with effective and well-coordinated project implementation and performance measurement. The ideal candidate takes calculated risks by identifying opportunities for leadership in shaping regional planning, evaluating the impact to the agency and the region, and seizing opportunities to move the agency forward. He/she has a proven track record of utilizing best practices to lead successful change management in an organization. The ideal candidate possesses a proven ability for relationship building that fosters positive partnerships with elected officials, management, and staff and will have the ability to build consensus on relevant planning and policy issues and programs. He/she is an expert on transportation and environmental planning including federal, state, and local laws and regulations. He/she is an engaging and effective communicator who exudes an executive presence and is comfortable making formal and informal presentations to a wide variety of audiences.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Represents the Division to Regional Council, elected officials, outside agencies and staff; interprets Planning and Policy Department programs, policies, and activities; negotiates and resolves sensitive, significant, and controversial issues.
- Assumes full responsibility of all planning matters including management of staff and oversight of consultants to ensure that results are accomplished efficiently and in accordance with acceptable standards for quality and technical integrity, and in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
- Develops and maintains effective working relationships with Regional Council, elected officials, business community leaders, interest groups, and SCAG staff.
- Advises the Regional Council, Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and senior management on the political ramifications of SCAG's actions to ensure that consistent and deliberative decision-making is affected and that Regional Council directives are incorporated into planning policy recommendations.
- Develops an understanding of federal, state, and regional issues related to SCAG programs, activities, and operations to better develop planning initiatives.
- Implements strategies to adopt Regional Council's near and long-term regional planning objectives through the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy and other plans and programs.
- Ensures the development, implementation, and measured outcomes of planning project development such as air and water quality, transit planning, environmental resources, economic development and funding matters.
- Assesses and monitors work load, identifies opportunities for improvement through the analysis of performance measures; and directs and implements changes.
- Oversees a variety of organizational studies, investigations, and operational studies; modifies transportation planning and policy programs, policies, and procedures.
- Stays abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of regional planning and policy.
- Directs and oversees the preparation of staff reports, administrative and technical reports, contracts, and other correspondence to ensure that applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures are adhered to.
- Directs and participates in the development and administration of Division budget and implements budgetary adjustments as necessary.
- Manages the development and implementation of division goals, objectives, policies, and priorities for assigned programs and services. Recommends departmental service and staffing levels; recommends and administers policies and procedures.
A Bachelor's degree in urban planning, public administration, business administration or a related field. A Master's degree is highly desirable.
Equivalent to ten years of increasingly responsible transportation, land use, environmental, community development and/or housing planning and policy experience, including five years of management and supervisory experience.
Operational characteristics, services, and activities of a comprehensive transportation and land use planning and policy program; organization and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of programs, policies, and operational needs; program and budget development and administration; advanced project management principles and concepts; principles of supervision, training, and performance evaluation; pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations; knowledge of land use and environmental principles and legislation.
Provide administrative, management, and professional leadership and direction for the division; develop, implement, and administer goals, objectives, and procedures for providing effective and efficient planning and policy services; plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of management, supervisory, professional, technical, and administrative personnel; delegate authority and responsibility; select, supervise, train, and evaluate staff; identify and respond to community and Regional Council issues, concerns, and needs; analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of agency goals; prepare and administer large and complex budgets; allocate limited resources in a cost effective manner; prepare clear and concise staff reports and presentations.