Transportation Program Director

October 3, 2023

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a leading national research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, seeks a transportation program director. The ideal candidate will be a transportation expert comfortable with both research and policy as well as an experienced leader and manager. The transportation sector is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it a key pillar of ACEEE’s multi-year efforts to cut carbon emissions and combat climate change. The transportation program director will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals.

ACEEE’s transportation program covers a variety of topics including efficient vehicles, vehicle electrification, and passenger and freight mobility, and works at the federal, state, and local levels. We view changes in the transportation sector as critical not only to emissions reductions but also to economic mobility, quality of life, and community health. The transportation director should share this vision.

About ACEEE:

ACEEE conducts independent analysis and develops transformative polices to build a vibrant and equitable economy that uses energy more productively, protects the environment, and promotes the health, safety, and well-being of everyone.

ACEEE’s organizational culture is collaborative and team-oriented with a strong commitment to its mission. Staff work at an energetic pace within a dynamic and entrepreneurial environment with opportunities for professional growth and development. There is a high degree of workplace flexibility, with an emphasis on results, making ACEEE an enjoyable and fulfilling place to work. ACEEE is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion while weaving equity into our research and policy work.

Position Description:

ACEEE seeks a director to lead the organization’s research, policy, and technical assistance activities in the transportation sector. Responsibilities include the following:

  • Leveraging ACEEE’s technical analyses to achieve the strongest feasible light- and heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions standards.
  • Providing technical assistance as well as research and policy guidance to states and utilities preparing for equitable light- and heavy-duty transportation electrification.
  • Playing a key role in the Department of Transportation’s Thriving Communities Partnership; this entails working with jurisdictions on transportation planning and equity-centric community engagement practices and helping them maximize federal funding opportunities.
  • Leading efforts to improve access to clean and affordable transportation options for passenger and freight movement.

This position is an exciting opportunity for a candidate with experience working on transportation-related issues, a passion for addressing climate change, and an interest in furthering their career in a dynamic and growing sector.

The director supervises a staff of three, reports to ACEEE’s senior director for research, and collaborates closely with other teams at ACEEE, especially the local policy program. The director leads research projects that often result in externally reviewed research reports, fact sheets, formal presentations, webinars, press interviews, and/or blog posts. This role also provides technical assistance to outside partners and policymakers. Technical assistance can include presenting ACEEE research, writing memos, and submitting formal regulatory or legislative testimony or comments. This is a highly visible role, as the director represents ACEEE externally through press interviews, webinars, and other forms of communication.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Implement a strategic vision for transportation policy and research activities to create a low carbon, equitable, and affordable transportation system in the United States.
  • Ensure sustainable funding for ACEEE transportation research and policy priorities, in partnership with ACEEE’s development team and working with energy, environment, climate, transportation, equity, and place-based funders.
  • Supervise a team, guiding and mentoring staff to position them as subject matter experts.
  • Coordinate and oversee large research, policy, and technical assistance projects managing teams of internal and external researchers and policy experts.
  • Build and cultivate relationships with policymakers, community-based organizations, vehicle manufacturers, vehicle-related businesses, trade associations, and other NGOs.
  • Represent ACEEE's transportation interests externally to media, stakeholders, funders, and the environmental, efficiency, and transportation communities as a recognized expert.
  • Serve as ACEEE’s in-house expert on transportation, incorporating transportation priorities in crosscutting organizational efforts to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions economy-wide.
  • Oversee program budgets and work plans.


  • Strategic thinker and ability to develop and implement a program vision
  • Sound understanding of the role of nonprofit organizations in the policy landscape
  • Knowledge of transportation industry trends and ability to identify new opportunities for research and policy advocacy
  • Demonstrated experience building enduring relationships with partners and stakeholders; ability to create inclusive spaces for the exchange of ideas and solicit diverse viewpoints respectfully
  • Superb project management and problem-solving skills
  • Highly analytical and an eye for detail
  • Ability to manage competing deadlines and priorities
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Dedication to equity and justice, with a passion for advancing social and racial equity through ACEEE’s work and within the organization
  • Strong interpersonal and supervisory skills with a demonstrated ability to coach, mentor, and support employees at varying career stages


  • At least 15 years of work experience in transportation policy or research. Experience with transportation and climate policy preferable.
  • Recognized expert in issues at the intersection of transportation, climate, and equity with a track record of representing/discussing policy priorities in public forums.
  • Project- and staff-management experience.


  • An advanced degree in a relevant field including (but not limited to) energy and the environment, public policy, engineering, or science

Preferred start date: November or December. The position is located in Washington, DC or can be remote.

Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary range is $117,000-$160,000 and includes ACEEE’s generous benefits package which includes health, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage; a 403(b) retirement plan; transportation and bike share benefits; three weeks of vacation in the first year and four weeks thereafter.

To apply:  Use the link below to access the Paylocity Recruitment portal. Be sure to submit your cover letter and resume. We do not accept phone calls or emails about the position.

Apply Here

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ACEEE is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, sex, color, age, religion, creed, class, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability. ACEEE is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in its organization and encourages applicants with diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply.

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