New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Bay Area, Philadelphia, Greater Washington DC, or Boston

Program Manager, Field Program and Grantee Relationships, TransitCenter

The Organization

TransitCenter is a private foundation that conducts research and advocacy and works nationally to improve public transit in ways that make U.S. cities more just and environmentally sustainable. To do this, we are committed to reforming how and by whom decisions about transit are made, bringing new perspectives, especially those of transit riders, into planning and policy work. We believe that supporting community-based activists and harnessing our own voice are critical to advancing the type of transit advocacy urgently needed in American cities.

More about TransitCenter’s work and staff can be found on our website,

In order to live our organization values (listed below), specifically to have an equitable and inclusive workplace and because we believe in the power of complementary strength, people of color, people with low incomes, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.


Position Description:

Program Managers are the primary connectors between TransitCenter and the universe of transit advocates and organizers across the country.  They hold routine conversations and meetings with grantees and other field partners to discuss strategies and tactics, work plans, alliances, organizational sustainability, and funding strategies.  They recruit and invite organizations into group organizing projects, and they make funding recommendations to senior leadership.  They assess alignment between individual organizations and TransitCenter playing a key role in defining the nature of the relationship between field organizations and TransitCenter.  Program managers are involved in strategy development and program implementation of both TransitCenter and that of our grantees and field partners.

Advocacy and organizing is a small and highly collaborative team undertaking the work described above and below in the list of “Key duties and Responsibilities.” Division of labor in the team is fluid and distributed through a combination of geographical and issue considerations, personal areas of interest and expertise, fair work load balance, and more.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Help identify, recruit, and get to know potential TransitCenter grantees and other field partners.
  2. Develop trusting relationships with TransitCenter grantees and other field partners or strategic allies.
  3. Develop shared strategies among field partners through group learning and decision-making spaces. Motivate and take responsibility for moving forward coordinated activities among TransitCenter grantees and other field partners including:
    1. common policy demands of local, state and federal transit agencies,
    2. common message and narrative pertaining to the central role mass transit can play in creating more racial equity and environmental sustainability,
    3. base building and leadership development techniques designed to give riders stronger roles in local organizing and advocacy
  1. Facilitate technical assistance to grantees and other field partners including campaign planning, message and narrative development, policy analysis, targeted research and brokering of relationships with agency personnel and other stakeholders.
  2. Look for and promote alignment between TransitCenter goals and the current workload and strategic plans of grantees and field partners. Consistently participate in routine staff meetings, retreats, ad hoc work groups etc. Represent TransitCenter within the organization, to external partners and grantees, funders, allied organizations, in assigned groups and committees, and at all times to the general public.
  3. Perform necessary and routine administrative duties such as maintaining and sharing contact information for advocates and allies, helping chart and measure activities of grantees and field partners, reviewing grantee questionnaires, helping draft grant agreements, preparing grant evaluations, conducting routine expense reporting, agenda preparation and note taking.

Desired experience, skills, and knowledge:

While we are seeking candidates who have many of these skills, we understand that candidates may not have all of the skills listed below.

  1. Minimum of four years’ experience in advocacy and organizing and in implementing local, state or national policy initiatives on economic &/or environmental justice matters, ideally including some familiarity with mass transit.
  2. Minimum four years’ experience in coalition work, ideally assisting with coalition management and facilitation.
  3. Trained in basic principles of power analysis, campaign strategy, base building and development of grassroots constituency, media tactics, and direct action.
  4. Experience with race, class and gender analysis and with promoting race, class and gender justice in programing decisions around messaging and roles.
  5. Relationship building skills, facilitation skills, conflict resolution skills, ability to deliver difficult messages, active listening skills.
  6. Experience in campaign planning, message and narrative development, policy analysis, targeted research, and brokering of relationships.
  7. Ability to discern alignment between TransitCenter’s and partner organizations values and positions.
  8. Ability to make persuasive arguments to strengthen common purpose; define and deliver assistance that supports common purpose or recommend redefinition of relationships.
  9. Ability to engage in constructive dialogue around disagreements.
  10. Ability to work constructively in a team.
  11. Past experience representing an organization with external partners.
  12. Availability to travel up to four times per year (in addition to traveling to our NYC offices four times per year, if located in another part of the country). Availability to occasionally work evening hours.
  13. Ability to meet mutually agreed upon deadlines.

TransitCenter’s staff and field partners believes that change:

  1. Should be informed by research;
  2. Should advance big picture ambitious reforms but also secure timely pragmatic wins;
  3. Requires the direct involvement of riders in decision making and public roles and the development of allies in multiple sectors:  labor; business; independent living, social, environmental, and economic justice; identity; and faith.
  4. Involves constructive engagement with transit agencies and local government;
  5. Requires attention to racial equity and targeted solutions;
  6. Requires work at the intersection of clean energy and climate sustainability, public health, housing affordability and economic opportunity;
  7. Requires broad dissemination of narrative & message about the essential role of public transit
  8. Should increase ridership, advance equity and accessibility, ensure the health, wellbeing and effective deployment of the transit workforce and advance financial resilience of public transit systems.

TransitCenter’s values are:

  1. Strategic: TransitCenter aims to shape transit policy and practice to make cities more just and environmentally sustainable. Our decisions are guided by strategic thinking about how to advance this mission.
  2. Public-spirited: Our work is grounded in the interests of transit riders and the broader public.
  3. Equitable: To rectify longstanding injustices and achieve greater social equity, TransitCenter strives to improve transit in ways that prioritize the mobility needs of people of color, people with low incomes, and people with disabilities.
  4. Rigorous: We hold ourselves to high standards. Our research is methodical and applicable in the real world. Our engagement with transit professionals consistently improves the state of agency practice. Our advocacy produces tangible policy reforms that make a difference in people’s lives.
  5. Inclusive and egalitarian: We foster an inclusive, egalitarian workplace where anyone can advance, everyone can contribute to major initiatives, and no one is above gruntwork.
  6. Collaborative: Both internally and in our relationships with outside partners, we encourage collaboration, honest communication, and the open exchange of ideas. We believe in teamwork and the power of complementary strengths.
  7. Respectful: We conduct ourselves with respect for the transit riders affected by our work, and for the transportation professionals and advocates we interact with.
  8. Nimble: We are flexible. We seize opportunities that strategically align with our goals, adjust in response to new information, and change course if it better serves our mission.
  9. Stewardship: Our staff are stewards of TransitCenter and shepherd our resources and reputation with care.

In order to live the values listed above, specifically to have an equitable and inclusive workplace and because we believe in the power of complementary strength, people of color, people with low incomes, women, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are highly encouraged to apply.

Benefits package:

The full benefits package will be described as part of the interview process but some of our benefits include:

  • 401(k) with 5% matching contribution
  • Medical, dental, vision insurance
  • Short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • 11 company holidays, 22 days of vacation, 10 sick days per year, and 12 weeks of paid parental leave for new parents

How to Apply:

Interested applicants can apply by clicking on this Google Form application link and answering the questions and submitting the requested documents.

Other information:

  • If you would like to request an accommodation during the interview process, please email Deputy Executive Director Tabitha Decker at
  • Proof of COVID vaccination is required for employment.

Proof of US work authorization and the successful completion of a background check are required for employment.

  • TransitCenter is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, political orientation or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
  • Employment is on an “at-will” basis, meaning both the employer and the employee can terminate the relationship at any time.
  • TransitCenter, a private philanthropic foundation, is incorporated in the State of New York, with its sole office located in the City of New York, and is bound by the employment statutes and regulations of those jurisdictions.

How To Apply

Interested applicants can apply by clicking on this Google Form application link and answering the questions and submitting the requested documents.

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