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Director of Transportation System Operations

Salary Range:
$157,477 to $244,089

Close Date: Open Until Filled - First Review May 13, 2022


The Director of Transportation System Operations will oversee and provide leadership for the programs, services, and operations of the Regional Transportation Services Department.  This position is ideal for a senior manager or executive with experience overseeing operations-based transportation programs and a desire to provide innovative commuter solutions to the San Diego Region.


Overview of the Regional Transportation Programs Department

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) manages several transportation programs and services for the San Diego region.  These services include technology systems that support toll operations (State Route 125 Toll Road (SR 125), I-15 Express Lanes, and the cross border State Route 11 (SR 11) and Otay Mesa East Port of Entry tolling facilities), revenue forecasting and financial performance, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and customer service and account management. 

Specific programs include the regional tolling and managed lane facilities, Regional Arterial Management System and Integrated Corridor Management System, planned smart intersection system (deployed within the next three years), as well as the region’s 511, Freeway Service Patrol, Motorist Aid, and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs.  Together, these programs help ease traffic congestion by providing commuters with options, services, and real-time travel information to help reduce commute times.

Job Responsibilities

  • Assume full management and leadership responsibility for the Regional Transportation Services Department.

  • Provide direction and oversight for the operation and maintenance of technology systems that support toll operations, including the SR 125, I-15 Expressway (dynamic pricing), and SR 11 and Otay Mesa East (roadway and roadside facilities, toll collection equipment, security, traffic management), customer service and account management systems, and ITS (Regional Arterial Management System, Integrated Corridor Management System, Smart Intersection System).


  • Direct, plan, manage, and coordinate the development and implementation of Regional Transportation Services Department goals, objectives, policies, and priorities; establish, within SANDAG policy, appropriate service, resource, and staffing levels; allocate resources accordingly; ensure department programs and projects are integrated and woven into strategic agency initiatives.


  • Oversee the preparation of plans, studies, and programs; ensure that near-term work products are consistent with long-range plans.


  • Oversee revenue and bond repayment requirements in accordance with internal policies, applicable regulations, bond covenants, and grant repayment obligations.


  • Supervise, mentor, train, and provide career development opportunities for department staff.


  • Oversee and coordinate department wide resources, budget, work plans, and projects; review and evaluate systems and procedures; continuously monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures.


  • Serve as a representative of senior management on task forces, committees, and working groups at the regional, state, national, and multi-national level.


  • Collaborate with member agencies to discuss agency policies and procedures; respond to and resolve difficult and sensitive inquiries and complaints.

Experience and Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree with major course work in public administration, transportation planning, business administration, finance, or a related field.  A combination of education and recent work experience may be considered in lieu of a degree.


  • Eight years of progressive career development managing and administering complex commuter-based or tolling programs and services, including four years of supervisory and management experience.


  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience providing administrative, operational management, professional leadership and direction for a department or multiple program areas.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with the operations of transportation facilities and technology, and related programs and services; demonstrated understanding of recent developments and current trends related to commuter services and tolling programs, including dynamic pricing.


  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with business management practices that have led to improved operational effectiveness; experience managing a diverse business enterprise that includes technology systems, business administration, customer service, operations, field maintenance, and services.


  • Experience planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating the work of management, supervisory, professional, technical, and administrative support personnel; experience evaluating internal business processes and balancing workload with staff resources.


  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with business development activities that lead to greater awareness of programs, services, and resources throughout the region.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of advanced principles and practices of budget preparation and control; ability to prepare and administer large and complex budgets; ability to allocate limited resources in a cost-effective manner.


  • Demonstrated ability to analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions, and implement recommendations in support of agency goals.


  • Demonstrated understanding and ability to interpret and apply pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes, policies, procedures, and regulations.


  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work including agency and other government officials, community groups, and the public; ability to gain cooperation and consensus.


  • Successful project management experience including preparing and managing budgets, schedules, and project control measures; developing RFPs, scopes of work, and contracts; experience evaluating proposals and selecting and managing consultants.


  • Ability to communicate technical information effectively, both orally and in writing; to a broad range of audiences; ability to prepare and deliver presentations and recommendations to upper management, Boards, and various audiences.


  • Knowledge of the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA); knowledge of social, political, environmental, operational, and public safety issues related to transportation.


Our benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and contribution to the SANDAG deferred compensation program. SANDAG offers flexible work schedules and employees are provided with paid time off and paid holidays.

In addition to the benefits provided to all employees, this position is eligible for several enhanced benefits which include a Management Benefit valued at 2.5% of salary that can be applied towards time off, health premiums, or deferred compensation, access to an Executive Health Program, an annual $7,000 contribution to their defined contribution plan, and paid parking.

The employee selected for this position will be offered a three-year At-Will employment contract and must successfully pass a pre-employment criminal background and credit history check. Periodic re-checking of criminal background and credit history will be a condition of employment


How to Apply

Interested candidates may apply for this position by completing a 

you may also contact or call (619) 699-1900 if you need assistance with the SANDAG Employment Application. Visit our Careers / How to Apply webpage for additional information.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons who require assistance in order to apply for a position at SANDAG. Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability during any stage of the recruitment and selection process, including requesting this document and related application materials in an alternative format, should make their needs known by contacting Human Resources at, (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), or fax (619) 699-6905.

Further Information

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the USA.

The selected candidate can anticipate a driving record check upon hire, and approximately annually thereafter. The results of the check may determine whether the selected candidate will be permitted to drive for SANDAG business.

SANDAG requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID 19 within 45 days of hire; the COVID-19 vaccine booster also is required within 30 days from the date of hire, or 30 days after becoming eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster, whichever is sooner; reasonable accommodation requests will be considered.

SANDAG employees are expected to work in-person in our San Diego office.


SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer