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Executive Director – Capital Program Delivery
K&A Partners - (representing Sound Transit)

Company Description

Sound Transit has engaged Krauthamer & Associates (K&A), a retained executive search firm, to assist with the Executive Director recruitments.

Contact via Email:
Job Location:
Seattle, WA, United States
Primary Category:
Construction Management
Secondary Category:
Project Director
Job Type:
Full Time
Last Modified:


Executive Director – Capital Program Delivery

Sound Transit is seeking two highly qualified and experienced Executive Directors with extensive experience delivering mega capital programs and projects. Because of the magnitude of Sound Transit’s system expansion program, there may be two or more Executive Directors.

The Executive Director will be responsible for managing teams tasked with delivering mega capital projects. The Executive Director will lead the 1) development and definition of the staffing structure and 2) resources needed to support successful delivery of the system expansion program. The role will oversee all aspects of capital delivery, including Planning, Budgeting, Project Development, Preliminary and Final Designs, Engineering, Systems Integration, Commissioning, Construction Management, Contract Administration, Project Controls, and Project Reporting to lead the assigned mega capital project portfolio.  

The Executive Director will report directly to the Sound Transit Deputy CEO for Mega Capital Project Delivery and will serve as the lead technical staff liaison to the Sound Transit Board of Directors as well as the System Expansion Committee regarding the status and progress of the assigned system expansion projects. 

Sound Transit has an annual capital and operating budget of $3 billion and is in the process of delivering one of the largest transit expansion programs in the country. Voters in the greater Seattle region approved three-system expansion plans defined in the ballot initiatives known as Sound Move (1996), Sound Transit 2 (ST2 in 2008), and Sound Transit 3 (ST3 in 2016). These programs authorize ongoing funding for the design, construction, and operations of a fully integrated network of Light Rail, Commuter Rail, Bus Rapid Transit, and Commuter Express Bus systems which, together, will reshape the landscape of the entire Western-Washington region, enhance economic development, help combat climate change, and improve mobility, livability, smart growth, affordability, and accessibility across the region.

The Sound Transit Team includes highly experienced capital program leadership and staff who have successfully delivered the Sound Move program and are moving toward completion of the ST2 program. As the size of the Sound Transit light rail system will more than double over the next two decades, Sound Transit needs to grow its executive leadership capacity to deliver on commitments to voters. New executive leaders will emerge, elevate, and promote a culture of effective and efficient management through far-sighted planning, design, construction, and system integration. 

Sound Move (1996-2007) represented the first phase of a long-term vision for high-capacity regional transit. The public vote for this initial phase 1) authorized the creation of Sound Transit, 2) enacted tax collections for funding the expansion, and 3) established the first set of regional transit projects. These projects were a success and included:

  • 26 miles of light rail service between Sea-Tac Airport and the University of Washington, with a northward extension to Northgate dependent upon additional funding.
  • Peak period commuter rail from Lakewood and Everett to Seattle.
  • ST Express bus routes linking the region’s population and employment centers.
  • Capital investments in transit facilities (such as transit centers and park-and-ride lots) plus HOV direct access ramps that improve bus speed and reliability.

 Sound Transit 2 (2008-2026) includes substantial additions and betterments to ST Express bus, Sounder commuter rail service, and Link light rail service. These projects are a success and include:

  • 36 added miles of Link light rail service north to Lynnwood, east to Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Redmond's Overlake area, as well as south of Sea-Tac Airport.
  • Extra service on the busiest ST Express bus routes.
  • 4 new daily Sounder round trips on its popular South Line, along with heightened station access and more parking.

 Sound Transit 3 (2016-2041 which was realigned to 2046 by the Sound Transit board in 2021), is determined to connect the region's cities and to expand its light rail spine. This program is intended to expand the mass transit network and connect 16 cities with light rail; 30 cities with Bus Rapid Transit and ST Express bus service; and 12 cities with commuter rail. These projects include:

  • 62 added miles of light rail that will link a 116-mile system with extensions to:
  • Everett via the Paine Field Industrial Center (known as Boeing Field);
  • Tacoma via Federal Way and Fife.
  • downtown Redmond; Ballard via South Lake Union and Seattle Center.
  • West Seattle; and a new light rail line from south Kirkland through Bellevue to Issaquah.
  • 46 miles of Bus Rapid Transit on major highways to the north, east, and south of Lake Washington – with service every 10 minutes during peak hours.
  • Sounder South capacity expansion – with platform extensions to accommodate trains of up to 10 car lengths and serving some 40 percent more passengers, while extending service from Lakewood to DuPont and installing access improvements at stations along the north and south lines.

Sound Transit now seeks an Executive Director to lead these initiatives. Qualified candidates will possess demonstrated experience in successfully navigating ST’s demanding cost and schedule criteria. This will entail working with communities, public officials, designers, engineers, contractors, and other professionals to achieve high-quality public infrastructure and successful outcomes. The candidate must have a proven ability to lead concurrent, multi-billion-dollar projects quickly and effectively. Duties will include management of budgets, schedules, and design and construction plans for various elements of deliverables. Additionally, the candidate must possess a demonstrated ability to evaluate potential opportunities for project accelerations and budget savings.

This Executive Director will manage the delivery of many major capital projects in the system expansion program. This includes those projects in Sound Transit’s $54+ billion ST3 program as approved by voters in 2016, as well as residual projects from the 2008 ST2 program. In this role, this Executive Director will oversee the planning, design, budgeting, procurement, engineering, and construction for a wide variety of Sound Transit structures, stations, communications and signals, trackwork, power, and facilities. Moreover, this Executive Director will ensure that these capital projects operate efficiently and effectively, and satisfy all health, safety, and quality requirements. 

This Executive Director will deliver the ST3 program, including programmatic elements such as sustainability, public access, and Transit Oriented Development as identified and funded in the ST3 package approved by voters. This Executive Director will also develop and manage the annual capital program as approved by the Board, oversee staff, manage consultants, and manage contractors engaged to deliver these Sound Transit capital projects.


The following duties are a representative summary of the primary duties and responsibilities. Incumbent(s) may not be required to perform all duties listed and may be required to perform additional, position-specific duties.

  • Lead the delivery of all capital projects assigned, including projects in the ST2 capital programs from their planning to design and construction.
  • Satisfy aggressive program schedule and budget criteria for all system expansion capital programs and projects.
  • Organize the program delivery teams for optimal efficiency, which will include staffing vacancies within the approved annual budget.
  • Briefings to the Deputy CEO, the CEO, and the Board on project developments, and make recommendations where board actions are required. These recommendations must include safety, quality, cost, and schedule considerations for each project and also consider the agency’s long range financial plan.
  • Identify project risks and mitigation plans and develop and implement recovery plans while frequently communicating those to the Board and external partners.
  • Enforce compliance with health, safety, and quality requirements in collaboration with the Safety and System Quality Departments.
  • Closely monitor the timeline, status, and quality of capital projects assigned to ensure projects are being delivered on-time, on-budget, and within the agreed upon scope, and lead any corrective actions as necessary.
  • Implement actuating procedures that empower staff at all levels to make decisions as appropriate and necessary.
  • Manage consultant and construction contracts, including timely review and approval of change orders.
  • Maintain open and proactive communication with professional engineering and contracting groups. 
  • Optimize communication and ensure effective knowledge transfer and hand-offs between related stakeholders, internal and external, and departments.
  • Adhere to protocols for negotiations on third party agreements.
  • Coordinate closely with operating and maintenance departments throughout design and construction to ensure that projects meet agency service activation, long term operation and maintenance needs and requirements, and rider experience and accessibility needs and requirements.
  • Supervise, train, and monitor employees to ensure delivery of quality program executions. Identify and recommend processes for continuous improvement.
  • Maintain a positive working environment where employees feel empowered and respected.
  • Analyze challenges, problems, and process breakdowns to ensure that lessons are learned, and improvements are made.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of new innovations, technologies, best practices, and procedures in the industry and analyze how they could be utilized to improve program and project delivery, in partnership with System Quality.
  • Align key procedures with industry best practices to make Sound Transit an “Owner of Choice.”
  • Proactively partner with the Federal Transit Administration on program oversight and reviews.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with ST2 (ST3) counterpart to ensure consistent implementation of policies and procedures.
  • Champions and models Sound Transit's core values and demonstrates values-based behaviors in everyday interactions across the agency.
  • Contributes to a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion in alignment with Sound Transit’s Equity & Inclusion Policy.
  • It is the responsibility of all employees to follow the Agency safety rules, regulations, and procedures pertaining to their assigned duties and responsibilities, which could include systems, operations, and/or other employees.
  • It is the responsibility of all employees to integrate sustainability into everyday business practices.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience: Bachelor’s degree in Capital Program Management, Project Management, Engineering, Design, Architecture, Construction Management, Transportation, or closely related field and twelve years of experience in capital programs and projects; Or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Ten years of leadership, budgetary, planning, and workforce management experience.

Preferred Licenses or Certifications:  

  • Licensed professional engineer or architect, Certified Construction Manager, Project Management Professional Certification or similar credentials.

Required Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experienced with successful delivery of transit, transportation or other large infrastructure programs.
  • Strong knowledge and experience in a variety of project delivery methods.
  • Experienced with negotiating, managing, and overseeing third party consultants and contractors on large capital mega projects.
  • Experienced with negotiating and managing interagency agreements, betterments policies, and other third-party agreements.
  • Experienced with developing and implementing a vision and strategy for capital investment and delivery in a public and highly visible environment.
  • Experienced with the principles and practice of value engineering.
  • Knowledge of environmental permitting processes, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • Experienced with organizational change management with demonstrated success in transforming organizations and teams.
  • Strong analytical, organizational, interpersonal, presentation, and communication skills to interact with all levels of an organization and stakeholders.
  • Experienced with working among craft labor unions and contractors.
  • Experienced with aligning and building equity driven outcomes for contracted partners, staff, and community.

Preferred Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experienced with working amongst a regional Board of Directors.


Sound Transit has engaged Krauthamer & Associates (K&A), a retained executive search firm, to assist with the Executive Director recruitments. To request more information or to submit a resume and cover letter, please contact: Gregg Moser, Partner at K&A at gmoser@kapartners.com.

Information on compensation and benefits can be found at: www.soundtransit.org

Sound Transit is an equal employment opportunity employer. No person is unlawfully excluded from employment action based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status or other protected class



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