Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Senior Policy Specialist in Energy and Air - WA Dept. of Transportation

State of Washington Dept. of Transportation invites applications for the position of:
Senior Policy Specialist in Energy and Air

Quality - Transportation Planning Specialist 5
SALARY: $64,740.00 - $84,984.00 Annually
OPENING DATE: 03/05/15
CLOSING DATE: 03/25/15 11:59 PM

Position Profile: The Washington State Department of Transportation’s Environmental Services Office (ESO) is offering a great career opportunity for someone to serve as the agency’s Senior Policy Specialist in Energy and Air Quality. If selected for this position, you will serve as WSDOT’s consulting expert for clean energy and fuel reduction efforts, air quality conformity, and Greenhouse Gas emissions reduction. You will be the senior-policy advisor with responsibilities in several, specialized and complex policy areas such as: air quality and energy environmental regulations and policies - covering all transportation modes, including ferries, rail, aviation and highways. These topics are integral to the agency’s efforts to support clean transportation, healthy communities and climate change mitigation efforts.

This is your chance to use your innovation to perform cutting-edge work in the realm of transportation emissions. You will work independently and as part of teams to create a healthy and clean transportation system for Washington!

This position will perform the following work:
* Serve as the policy staff and consulting expert with responsibility for statewide air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, alternative fuels and energy policy.
* Develop agency-wide sustainability, clean energy, energy conservation, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and alternative fuel polices to be presented to the WSDOT Sustainable Transportation Leadership Team.
* Represent the department on interagency task forces, national panels and public forums, including Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Clean Cities Coalition, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and Transportation Research Board (TRB).
* Represent the department on complex air quality and energy issues at public and agency meetings.
* Engage with other technical experts, modelers, planners and project teams to resolve policy issues and respond to inquiries and prepare reports.
* Perform legislative assignments such as bill analysis, fiscal notes, legislative testimony.

Applicants will be considered based on the following desired qualifications:
* Bachelor’s degree with a major in environmental, natural or physical science, public administration, planning or related field.
* Five years of professional work experience in environmental documentation and public policy in the air quality, transportation energy, or acoustics fields related to transportation. Advanced degrees within environmental, natural or physical science, public administration, public health, engineering or related field may substitute for one year of professional work experience.
* Proven ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the agency up to and including executive level staff in a variety of complex, technical and non-technical project delivery situations.
Superior writing and verbal communication skills; demonstrated ability to communicate complex scientific information in clear and concise language appropriate for diverse audiences (e.g., scientists, business people, policy makers, university students, mass media, etc.).
* Ability and confidence to motivate stakeholders to resolve conflicts and harmonize outcomes.
* Demonstrated ability to effectively manage the coordination of diverse activities with a variety of internal and external teams.
* Expert knowledge of air quality and energy issues. This includes timelines and impacts related to the incorporation of these issues into transportation related planning, design, construction and maintenance.
* Proven experience developing agency policies and procedures including applying scientific methodologies and analyses and working with complex information. This requires the incumbent to accurately use air quality computer models including EPA MOVES, Aermod and CAL3QHC/R to analyze air quality.

Interviews for this position will take place in mid-April. The panel may be able to interview you by phone if not available to interview in person.

How to Apply: Applications for this recruitment will only be accepted electronically. Please select the large apply button at the top of this announcement for instructions. You may need to create a profile and account in Washington State’s automated tracking system, NeoGov.

To be considered for this position you will need to attach your response to the supplemental questions (see below), resume and letter of interest. Your letter of interest should clearly explain how your experience, training, and education make you a viable and competitive candidate for this position.

Contact us: For inquiries about this position, please contact Alvina Mao at 360-705-7996 or email to Please reference recruitment number 2015-HQ-033.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is an equal opportunity employer. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, and disabled and Vietnam era veterans are encouraged to apply. Persons with disabilities needing assistance in the application process, or those needing this job announcement in an alternative format may call the Talent Acquisition Unit, Office of Human Resources, at 360.705.6846 or email at

As part of your application package, please review the scenario below and attach your responses to the supplemental questions. If you have any questions, contact Alvina Mao at
Visualize that you are WSDOT’s lead for statewide air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, alternative fuels, and energy policy. These topics are integral to the agency’s efforts to support clean transportation, healthy communities, and climate change mitigation efforts. Below are two quick-turnaround tasks typical of your new job. Please provide your answers with your application.

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) draft guidance includes a reference point of 25,000
metric tons of CO2-e emissions on an annual basis. As WSDOT’s Senior Policy Expert you are asked to explain what the above metric would mean for a proposed state highway improvement project. In one page (or less) please describe the steps you would take to complete that task, including a time estimate and resources needed. 

You just got word that the Secretary of Transportation will be presenting at a national forum. She’s been asked to describe the state DOT’s role in GHG emission reduction. It’s your job to write the talking points. Please create a brief outline or bullet list of key concepts (1/2 page).
Note: This is a first draft, not the finished product.