20 days old

Executive Director of Administration

Pierce Transit
Lakewood, Washington
  • Job Status
    Full Time






Pierce Transit was founded in 1979 when local voters approved a 0.3% sales tax to fund public transportation. Since then, the Agency has grown to become the second largest transit Agency in Washington State. The Agency serves 292 square miles of urban and rural Pierce County, providing local and express bus service, specialized SHUTTLE transportation for people with disabilities, and ridesharing services including a large vanpool fleet.


The Agency provides a vital link in the regional transportation system. Pierce Transit partners with Sound Transit to provide regional transportation services from King County through Thurston County.


Pierce Transit serves the following jurisdictions within Pierce County: Auburn, Edgewood, Fife, Fircrest, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, Milton, Pacific, Puyallup, Ruston, Steilacoom, Tacoma, University Place and portions of unincorporated Pierce County.


Pierce Transit is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners. The Board is currently made up of elected officials representing Pierce County, Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, University Place and the smaller cities and towns in Pierce County.


Pierce Transit has more than 880 employees, most of whom are represented by two labor unions; Amalgamated Transit Union, Local #758 and the International Association of Machinists.



Reporting directly to the CEO and participating as an active member of the Executive Team, the Executive Director of Administration provides leadership and direction to the Departments of Workforce Development, Employee Services, Labor Relations and Risk Management. This position is responsible for developing, implementing and administering HR and risk management initiatives, policies, and programs to maximize efficiencies, mitigate liabilities, and to facilitate the effective operation of the Agency.  In addition, this position is responsible for the Agency’s Bus Safety and Training program and serves as the Agency EEO Officer. 


The Executive Director of Administration works closely with the CEO and the Board of Commissioners on matters related to classification and compensation strategy, workforce engagement initiatives, and labor relations.


Essential functions of the Executive Director of Administration include the following:

         Provides vision, leadership, direction and oversight to Pierce Transit human resource delivery system, programs and services.

         Develops robust recruiting, on-boarding and retention processes to attract the quality, depth and diversity of talent needed to meet Pierce Transit’s future staff needs.

         Leads, creates and enhances the workplace culture, people practices, policies, programs and processes.

         Partners with agency leaders and managers to sustain effective performance management and ensure development processes are in place for continual growth and training of employees.

         Leads, directs and oversees the creation and implementation of short and long-term human resource strategies and programs to cultivate high performance throughout the agency.

         Develops, administers and oversees the division’s annual budget; make recommendation and forecasts for future funds needed.

         Maintains a modern position classification system, which is responsive to the changing needs of departments and reflects core competencies of the job classifications.

         Directs the Agency’s risk management activities to minimize the liabilities of the business and to maximize opportunity to enhance the Agency’s image and ridership.

         Oversees organizational development, strategic planning, talent management, lean & process improvement initiatives, bus safety and training, rewards and recognition activities, and diversity and inclusion programs.

         Oversees labor relations activities to maximize employee potential and minimize labor disputes and employment liabilities.

         Directs the management of the Agency insurance portfolio, including the determination of insurance carriers, coverage limits, and risk exposure.  Participates on behalf of the Agency in the WA State Transportation Insurance Pool.  Recommends policy changes to the Board.



Pierce Transit is seeking a decisive, proactive and collaborative leader who is deeply committed to the success of the Agency, is a strategic big-picture thinker, and will be able to set up the Agency to be an employer of choice, responsive to the workforce demands of the future. The successful candidate will possess a demonstrated ability to effectively articulate and implement plans strategically that minimize risk while maximizing innovation. 



         HR and Risk Management Expertise: Knowledge of the principles and practices of public sector labor and employment relations, risk management, and organizational development. Understanding of current and emerging federal and state laws, policies, regulations, methods and procedures with regard to public sector bargaining, employment law, risk and insurance principles, theories and concepts.

         Inspiring and Courageous Leadership:  Ability to inspire, persuade, engage, speak straight­forwardly about complex HR and Risk Management issues, make tough decisions and take difficult actions. Display balanced thinking that combines analysis, wisdom, experience and perspective.  Produce data-driven decisions that withstand the “test of time”.

         Creativity and Innovation:  Ability to generate new, innovative and visionary approaches to HR and Risk Management systems that are effective and responsive.  Bring a perspective on emerging and leading transit trends and best practices.

        Build a Talented, Effective Team:  Hire, mentor, develop, retain, and manage a diverse staff. Assemble and reinforce a cohesive, dedicated, highly effective inter-disciplinary team. Ability to lead a team through change processes.

       Business and Management Acumen:  Ability to strategically manage human, financial and information resources. Streamline and remove processes that do not bring value. Measure success based on data and results.  Set high standards of performance, using accountability measures and benchmarks to track progress.

         Partnering: Build alliances and collaborate across boundaries to create strategic relationships. Inspire action without relying solely on authority.  Perceive the complexity of situations quickly.

         Values: High level of integrity, ethics, transparency and responsiveness.



Bachelor’s degree plus five years of Human Resources Management experience. Master’s degree or SHRM certification is a plus.


Pierce Transit values workplace diversity and seeks to create an environment and culture that embraces employee differences. You will find an exceptionally diverse group of people at Pierce Transit with regard to culture, beliefs, communication styles, and life and work experiences.  The new Director of Administration will be expected to continue to support and build upon a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.


The midpoint of the annual salary range for this position is $157,086. The salary offered will depend on experience and qualifications. Pierce Transit offers a generous benefit package including medical/dental, retirement, life and disability insurance, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, on-site gym, free employee bus pass and optional deferred compensation.


Application Process

Persons interested in this position must submit a cover letter, salary history and a current resume.


If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336. 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 July 20, 2018 by visiting www.karrasconsulting.net and clicking on “view open positions.”


Pierce Transit is an equal opportunity employer, values workplace diversity and seeks to create an environment and culture that embraces employee differences. All qualified applicants are considered in accordance with applicable laws prohibiting 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.


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Executive Director of Administration

Pierce Transit
Lakewood, Washington

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Pierce Transit
Lakewood, Washington

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