We’re Hiring: Executive Director

About the organization:

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is a 501(c)(3), member-supported organization. We just celebrated the 50th anniversary of our founding, in 1972.

WABA empowers people to ride bikes, build connections, and transform places. We  envision a just and sustainable transportation system where walking, biking, and transit are the best ways to get around. Transportation equity is central to our work. When we’re successful, our transportation system looks different — easier to use, accessible to everyone, more affordable, and climate-resilient — and more people join us for the ride.

We educate and advocate in The District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Arlington County, Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.

About the opportunity:

Our new executive director will join us at a moment of transformation, as the entire Washington region is on the cusp of a more sustainable future. Thanks in large part to WABA’s years of advocacy, governments are prioritizing biking and walking in a way we couldn’t have pictured 50 years ago – each year, miles of new infrastructure make riding safer. A prime example is upper Beach Drive, now closed to cars year-round.

Even so, much work remains. The mobility that our transportation network provides and the safety and the health burdens it creates are unjustly distributed. While car convenience was prioritized across the board, cities and towns also used transportation planning as a tool to divide, exclude and displace communities of color. The legacy of underinvesting in basic services like sidewalks and transit, disconnecting street grids, and bulldozing neighborhoods to build highways will take far more work to repair. 

To advance WABA’s mission, our new executive director will inspire, guide and collaborate with our staff, supporters and partners. Core responsibilities include:

  • Lead WABA in strategically executing our mission and living our values, working to advance transportation equity as outlined in our strategic plan. 
  • Maintain and grow WABA’s fiscal health and integrity, ensuring we have the financial resources to meet our ambitious vision.
  • Manage and oversee WABA’s staff and systems. 
  • Represent WABA externally. The Executive Director is a powerful spokesperson for WABA and is uniquely positioned to develop relationships on our behalf. 

The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and works from our Washington, DC office. The salary range starts at $120,000.

Candidate qualifications:

The ideal candidate will bring:

  • Passion for WABA’s mission: Must be able to tap into a personal passion around biking’s essential role in our transportation system, be willing to travel around the area in harmony with WABA’s vision and be able to participate in WABA events. 
  • Fundraising: Must be able to cultivate relationships, paint an inspiring vision, apply emotional intelligence and confidently make big asks. We strongly prefer a history of fundraising results and experience developing fundraising strategy. 
  • Equity and justice: We require experience identifying and addressing barriers to equity. Candidates must be able to listen to and connect authentically with a wide range of people, and to reflect on and thoughtfully address misunderstandings or missteps.
  • Vision and leading through change: We require a history of bringing people together around a vision and through times of transition, at either a team or organization level. 
  • Management: At least five years of management experience; longer experience and a history of supervising senior employees across multiple functions are strongly preferred. We require a history of turning plans into impact, as well as literacy of financial statements, standard nonprofit financial practices and internal controls. 
  • Work context: We strongly prefer experience in the nonprofit sector. Significant volunteer service or relevant experience in government could qualify. Ability to navigate the Google Suite (chat, documents, shared calendars) and other digital tools is required.
  • Advocacy and building community partnerships: Experience as an advocate or building partnerships is welcome but not required, as are existing relationships and positive reputation in the DC area.
  • Transportation policy experience: Given staff’s deep knowledge, we do not require experience in transportation policy, though we welcome past work in this or related fields. We do require the ability to learn our issues quickly, conduct executive-level conversations with stakeholders and weigh in on high-level policy-related decisions.

To apply:

Please use this link to submit your resume and a cover letter that addresses how your experience and qualifications align with what we seek.  

Jami Armstrong, Executive Search Consultant at Nonprofit HR, is the lead search consultant for this engagement.