Executive Director

Riders Alliance | New York, New York


The Riders Alliance is New York’s premier grassroots organization of subway and bus riders fighting for better public transit and a more just and inclusive city.

Great public transportation is a source of economic mobility and social justice – key to building an equitable and sustainable city. When public transit works, it makes New York a global center of economic opportunity where everyone has the chance to find work, go to school, and participate in the life of the community. When public transit doesn’t work, the whole region is affected, with disproportionate impacts on low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Vulnerable New Yorkers who arrive late to work may lose pay or, worse, steady employment; whole neighborhoods are “transit deserts” with poor connections to the rest of the city; many working people struggle to choose between paying their fare and other necessities.

The Riders Alliance is a high-profile, scrappy, grassroots advocacy organization that has been fighting for better public transit in New York by organizing everyday transit riders into a diverse, powerful political constituency. By building lasting power among transit riders for the last seven years, the organization has helped New Yorkers to hold their elected leaders accountable for the performance of the transit system. The Riders Alliance’s targeted community organizing campaigns have already won faster, more reliable transit while also building the grassroots power needed to shift the politics of transit for decades to come. In recent years, the organization has won:

  • The nation’s first congestion pricing plan, leading to billions of dollars in new funding for public transit;
  • The city’s first Fair Fares program of reduced-price MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers; and,
  • A once-in-a-generation plan to fix New York City’s bus system.

The Riders Alliance currently has active campaigns that are working to ensure that these wins translate into real improvements in New Yorkers’ lives.

The Riders Alliance has 10 full-time staff, more than 1,000 active members, and more than 50,000 people in its online network. The organization’s new leader will work with staff, Board, and grassroots members to determine the next generation of advocacy campaigns and shape the future of the Riders Alliance and the movement for better public transit. The Riders Alliance is a partner project of the Fund for the City of New York.

Job Summary

The Riders Alliance seeks a dynamic and passionate Executive Director to provide vision, leadership, and overall strategic direction as the organization enters its pivotal next phase. The Executive Director will work with staff and members to determine a new set of powerful advocacy campaigns; oversee the organization’s fundraising to ensure financial stability and growth; and continue to forge relationships with key stakeholders and allies in order to bring better transit service to New York City’s millions of daily riders.

This is an exciting opportunity for an innovative leader to shape the future of one of New York’s leading advocacy organizations, engage in work that will improve millions of people’s lives, and oversee a respected team that is eager to build on its strong recent work.

Ideal candidates will be strategic thinkers, personally engaging, and team-oriented leaders who are deeply committed to social, racial, and economic justice and energized by the opportunity to bring transit riders together to win campaigns and work toward a fairer, more inclusive city. Successful candidates will bring demonstrated organizational leadership and management skills, exceptional external relations skills, enthusiasm for making a major impact in transit riders’ lives, and a deep belief in the power of organizing to effect change.


The Executive Director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Providing Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Provide strategic vision and leadership for the Riders Alliance to identify, implement, and win concrete victories for transit riders in the nation’s most transit-dependent region.
  • Bring a compelling and credible voice to the public conversation about one of the most pressing issues facing New York.
  • Lead and oversee short- and long-term organizational visioning and goal-setting in pursuit of the Riders Alliance mission.
  • Leverage a nuanced understanding of the political landscape to enable the Riders Alliance to chart its political strategies and successfully build the power of New York transit riders.

Leading Fundraising and Financial Management

  • Increase, diversify, and secure resources for the Riders Alliance; support and oversee the organization’s financial health and growth.
  • Devise new financial advancement strategies and execute them with support from the Board.
  • Establish and manage relationships with current and potential Riders Alliance donors.
  • Direct organizational operations, including financial decision-making and strategic management.

Leading Relationship Building

  • Serve as leading ambassador of the Riders Alliance’s mission with donors, political leaders, partners, press, and other stakeholders.
  • Build the Riders Alliance brand and serve as a representative and promoter of the organization’s mission in public settings of all sizes with donors, political leaders, partners, press, and other stakeholders.

Supervising Campaign Strategy

  • Work with staff to ensure the successful selection and implementation of strategic campaigns for better public transit.
  • Create and oversee a dynamic communications strategy, and represent the organization through speaking engagements and media.
  • Ensure that grassroots membership is central to campaign and program development.

Providing Organizational Leadership

  • Lead all elements of staff management, including through direct management of senior staff, working to ensure a creative, collaborative workplace and energetic organizational culture, and providing empowering and supportive leadership.
  • Focus on thoughtful and intentional organizational development with a commitment to professional growth for team members at all levels; invest thoughtfully in staff development and cohesion.
  • Oversee fiscal management of the organization and the development of the organization’s management capacities.
  • Cultivate a strong working partnership with the Board and leverage their skills and relationships to increase the capacity of the organization and meet organizational financial and programmatic goals.


The Executive Director should demonstrate the following competencies and characteristics:

Strategic Leadership and Political Knowledge

The Executive Director will bring a deep understanding of how to influence the public discourse and political ecosystem in New York at both the city and state levels. The Executive Director will have the skills and experience to influence some of the most pressing policy issues facing New York City today. The Executive Director will be ready to leverage the vital connection between ideas and organizing in order to win progress toward ambitious goals, and will have demonstrated success as a coalition builder, persuasive negotiator, and consensus builder.

Fundraising, External Affairs, and Passion for Relationship-Building

As the lead fundraiser and ambassador for the Riders Alliance, the Executive Director will have the ability to develop strong relationships with donors, political leaders, supporters, and other important stakeholders. Exemplary communication skills will also be key, as the Executive Director will have frequent and high-level speaking engagements, media appearances, and other opportunities to advance the Riders Alliance mission and engage the public. The incoming Executive Director should be prepared, ready, and excited to make fundraising a top priority.

Visionary Leadership

The Executive Director will be committed to bold leadership with vision, creativity, and approachability. The new leader will understand the importance of cultivating a strong staff and organizational culture, as well as developing meaningful relationships with the organization’s grassroots members. The Executive Director will be enthusiastic in developing the strengths and leadership of the staff. The new leader will be ready to oversee fiscal management and the development of the organization’s management capacities. Experience working with diverse communities and populations to build advocacy skills and leadership is essential, as is experience in managing a mid-sized, high-performing staff in a collaborative environment.

How to Apply

Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here: https://ats.k2-app.com/jobPosting/apply/3539.

Riders Alliance


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations