3 days old

Sr Dir Continuous Improvement & Operations Research - 90206812 - Washington

Washington, DC 20004

Your success is a train ride away.

Amtrak connects businesses and communities across the country and we move Americas workforce toward the future. We employ more than 20,000 diverse, energetic professionals in a variety of career fields throughout the United States. The safety of our passengers, our employees, the public and our operating environment is our priority and the success of our railroad is the result of our employees.

Are you ready to join our team?

The Senior Director, Continuous Improvement and Operations Research (Sr. Dir. CI & OR) is responsible for developing and implementing data-driven strategies to bring efficiencies to the Operations department in alignment with Amtraks corporate strategy, including Amtraks continuous improvement transformation strategy across the organization.

Positioned within the Operations organization, this department functions as an internal consulting group providing analytical and decision support services to management and decision makers at the highest levels of the organization, including hands-on leadership delivering transformational change. The role will report directly to the Assistant Vice President Network Support. She/he will work with the Operations Senior Leadership to develop the Operations strategy including the design and execution of the continuous improvement strategic plan, to ensure financial goals and other performance targets are met or exceeded.
The role directly leads initiatives identified by executive leadership as critical for improving performance and brand value, using advanced analytics to direct strategy, prioritize resources and measure results. The role will be held accountable for implementing a continuous improvement strategy throughout Operations, focusing on waste elimination and optimizing resource/asset utilization in alignment with the overall corporate strategy. The group will utilize the appropriate techniques of Lean (including Six Sigma, theory of constraints (TOC), Kaizen and 5S) and Operations Research (optimization heuristics, simulations and predictive analytics) to ensure that continuous improvement is implemented and producing results in improving safety and security, financials, and customer service throughout Amtrak.

The Sr. Dir. CI & OR is responsible for leading and developing a staff of highly educated professionals, ensuring staff are up to date on current continuous improvement, operational excellence and operations research techniques and methodologies, partnering with other domestic railroads to develop synergy and leverage the groups to solve shared problems.

The Sr. Dir. CI & OR will develop trusted working relationships with senior leadership across Operations (Transportation, Customer Service, Engineering and Mechanical) and departments across the enterprise, such as Finance, Safety, HR, Strategy and Planning, Marketing, Product Development and IT, enabling matrix management relationships with other functional and technical groups within the company to contribute to the transformative initiatives lead by Sr. Dir. CI & OR. The Sr. Dir. CI & OR plays a pivotal role developing the Operations department business architecture that drives the technology roadmap needed to support the Operations departments end-state vision


  • Works with senior leadership to set annual departmental goals and objectives using advanced analytics of current performance and data-driven methods for quantifying improvement targets
  • Defines strategy for how Continuous Improvement and Operations Research groups will support operations departments to meet their goals
  • Leads the effort to understand business process issues and financial performance drivers, developing business architecture change proposals that deliver transformative improvements to performance and reliability
  • Develops business cases and return on investment analyses to improve operating margin and self-fund the group
  • Assesses the need for, and directly influences, capital investment in the operating divisions to maximize financial, safety and customer service improvements, including acquisition of physical assets and technological capabilities
  • Provides direction on how to deploy the latest advanced analytical techniques including but not limited to mathematical optimization, simulation, data mining, forecasting, stochastic modeling and other tools as appropriate to deliver transformative change
  • Leads the effort to work with the business partners and end-users to validate and improve results, clearly communicates and coordinates the efforts with senior management and other related stakeholders
  • Keeps current with research, technology and the industry trends. Actively involved in the industry and brings new ideas and concepts to Amtrak
  • Leads / oversees all analytics and optimization initiatives. Identifies and implements strategies to ensure the right resources are available to each project to garner effective results, including development of intern and co-op programs.
  • Acts as mentor/teacher to the organization for strategy development and continuous improvement methodologies to cultivate a culture that is always improving and focused on eliminating waste in all forms
  • Establishes a continuous improvement center of excellence online to foster the adoption of Lean artifacts, standards and techniques, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and waste elimination
  • Directs teams of Lean experts to lead and facilitate teams utilizing the appropriate process improvement, Lean and Six Sigma tools and methodologies to deliver efficiencies
  • Creates and presents content appropriate to board of directors and C-level executives related to strategic initiatives.


  • Bachelor's degree in a Technical discipline, Project Management, Operations or related field, or equivalent work experience
  • Industrial Engineering experience (or similar), including comprehensive knowledge of LEAN principles and tools, preferably Kaizen, Lean, or Six Sigma certification
  • Applied experience in all areas as described below:
    • Optimization: Extensive experience directing teams using commercially available and/or open-source optimization packages such as Gurobi, CPLEX, Xpress, COIN-OR, and developing and deploying object-oriented programs using Java (preferred), C++, etc. Expertise in linear and non-linear programming, meta-heuristics, and network flow algorithms.
    • Advanced Analytics: Strong analytics skills of analyzing large-volume complex data sets and building statistical models to obtain business insights and drive improvement changes. Good working knowledge of prevailing analytics tools such as R, SAS, Python, SQL and familiar with reporting tools such as Tableau and BOBJ.
    • Simulation: Extensive experience directing teams in the development of computer simulation models (discrete event and/or agent-based) and familiar with simulation tools, e.g., AnyLogic, Simio, Arena.
  • Proven history delivering transformational initiatives (annual benefits in the tens of millions) from concept to implementation
  • Strong project management skills and proven ability to lead complex, multi-year projects.
  • Proven experience applying quantitative techniques to solve real-world problems.
  • Proven history preparing and delivering briefings and presentations to board of directors and C-level executives on strategic initiatives.
  • Advanced leadership, project management and conflict resolution skills with a proven ability to motivate others and foster changes.
  • At least ten years in a project leading role.
  • Any suitable combination of education, training and experience is acceptable.


  • MBA or other related Masters degree
  • Prefer past experience in railroad, airline or transportation/travel industry
  • State of the art knowledge of railroad regulations, policies and programs

Must have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Requisition ID:66601
Posting Location(s):District of Columbia
Job Family/Function:Research & Strategy
Relocation Offered:Yes
Travel Requirements:Up to 25%

Amtrak employees power our progress through their performance.

We want your work at Amtrak to be more than a job we want it to be a fulfilling experience where you find challenging and rewarding opportunities, respect among colleagues, competitive pay, benefits that protect you and your family, and a high performance culture that recognizes and values your contributions and helps you reach your career goals.

We proudly support and encourage U.S. Veterans to apply for Amtrak job opportunities.

All positions require pre-employment background verification, medical review and pre-employment drug screen. Amtrak is committed to a safe and drug-free workplace and performs pre-employment substance abuse testing. All new hires are required to undergo a hair drug test which detects the presence of illegal drugs for months prior to testing.Marijuana,notwithstanding any statute, ordinance, regulation, or other law that legalizes or decriminalizes the use or possession ofmarijuana, whether for medical, recreational, or other use. Candidates who engage in the usage ofmarijuanawillnotbe qualified for hire.We appreciate your cooperation in keeping Amtrak safe and drug-free.

In accordance with DOT regulations (49 CFR section 40.25), Amtrak is required to obtain prior drug and alcohol testing records for applicants/employees intending to perform safety- sensitive duties for covered Department of Transportation positions. If an applicant/employee refuses to provide written consent for Amtrak to obtain these records, he/she will not permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions.

Note that any education requirement listed above may be deemed satisfied if you have an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Amtrak is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome all to apply. We consider candidates regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability (including blindness), or veteran status.
POSTING NOTES: Research & Strategy|| Engineering & Mechanical



  • Transportation
Posted: 2021-09-13 Expires: 2021-10-13

Amtrak, the national rail operator, connects America in safer, greener and healthier ways. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day — at speeds up to 150 mph — to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak is the operator of choice for state-supported corridor services in 17 states and for four commuter rail agencies.

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Sr Dir Continuous Improvement & Operations Research - 90206812 - Washington

Washington, DC 20004

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