Across greater Portland in 24 cities and three counties, there’s one local government that brings us all together. Led by the only regionally elected council in the country, Metro helps Oregonians shape the future and provides services that make life better today. Metro’s work spans parks and nature, land and transportation, garbage and recycling, and arts and events. We help make greater Portland a great place to call home.
Parks and nature
Metro protects clean water, restores fish and wildlife habitat, and connects people to nature at the Oregon Zoo and across 17,000 acres of parks, trails and natural areas.
Garbage and recycling
Metro protects land, air and water by managing the garbage and recycling system and provides resources and information about safe disposal and ways to reduce waste.
Land and transportation
Communities, cities and counties partner with Metro to shape near term investments and 50- year plans for new homes, jobs, transportation options and access to local businesses and parks.
Arts and events
Metro hosts arts and events, and helps keep the economy growing through Portland’5 Centers for the Arts, the Oregon Convention Center and Portland Expo Center. An elected council
The Metro Council is made up of a president who is elected metro-wide, and six counselors elected by district, every four years in nonpartisan races. The Metro Auditor, elected metro-wide, oversees annual financial statements and conducts internal performance audits. The council appoints an attorney and a chief operating officer to carry out council policies and manage operations.
Serving greater Portland
Metro serves more than 1.5 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. The Metro boundary includes 24 cities and extends from the Columbia River in the north to the Willamette River near Wilsonville, and from the foothills of the Coast Range near Forest Grove to the banks of the Sandy River at Troutdale.
Metro is dedicated to shaping a better future for everyone. Metro’s 1,600 employees work across greater Portland in a variety of jobs, from park rangers and scientists, to economists and planners, from security guards and animal keepers to sales people and designers. Hundreds of volunteers lend a hand at Metro’s parks, natural areas, offices and arts and events venues.
A welcoming workplace
Metro works to hire staff who reflect the diversity of greater Portland and is committed to creating a safe and welcoming workplace for everyone.
Metro is looking for a dynamic leader who has a passion for progressive public policy and a deep commitment to public service and community.
About the position
With the implementation of a forward thinking racial equity strategy, several recent voter-approved investment measures, and new elected leaders, this is a time of exciting transformation at Metro, making this a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity.
Metro’s next Chief Operating Officer (COO) must be an experienced and nimble leader who is able to be a knowledgeable technical resource to inform Council policy and translate Council direction into action. The COO will actively coordinate with public- and private- sector partners to advance progressive programs and actions that serve the needs of greater Portland and will guide and support Metro’s senior leaders to ensure effective administration, financial management, and operations.
The COO reports to the Metro Council, manages eight to ten direct reports, and leads a team of directors overseeing fifteen departments.
The COO is responsible for Metro’s financial health and ensuring the Metro Council is kept informed of operations, activities and programs as well as legal, social and economic issues affecting Metro activities.
The Metro COO is held to a high standard for customer service, employee and community relations and is responsible for ensuring an organization-wide commitment to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in Metro’s workforce and activities. The COO will collaborate with internal and external partners and stakeholders to advance equity, diversity and inclusion as a shared value throughout the organization and region.
The ideal candidate
Metro is seeking a seasoned leader as its next Chief Operating Officer. The successful candidate must be skilled at guiding a talented and highly dedicated staff who are passionate about the impact they make on the quality of life in the region and advance Metro’s core mission as well as its vision for the region.
The new COO must be effective in building strong relationships and trust. They must be approachable and comfortable working as a regional convener and collaborator with public- and private-sector partners. They need to be skilled at navigating the political landscape of working for elected officials and developing a network of stakeholders that connects Metro to greater Portland’s cities and communities.
The COO must be adept at providing direction that champions Metro’s values, strategies and objectives especially as they relate to racial equity, diversity and inclusion. The ideal candidate will bring demonstrated experience and leadership skills in advancing racial equity, diversity and inclusion efforts, both internally and externally in their organizations.
The ideal candidate should be well versed in the complexities of metropolitan region issues in order to effectively lead a responsive organization. They need to bring an acute awareness of the external impact of Metro’s actions and decisions while providing stable management of the internal aspects of the organization. Knowledge of public service culture and a proven ability to develop public and private partnerships are essential.
The ideal candidate must bring an ability to lead in times of change and facilitate the organization’s transition to a more inclusive and effective organization. The successful candidate will be capable of defining and analyzing complex functions including operations, enterprise, finance, budget, planning, regulatory and other public services and demonstrates a high comfort level with controversial and sensitive issues that come with implementation of regional-level initiatives.
The COO should have firm grasp of the principles of government finance and the ability to direct staff in researching and discovering new funding sources and grant opportunities. This leader effectively directs and coordinates the development and implementation of goals, objectives and programs that provide mandated services in a fiscally responsible manner.
The ideal candidate is an experienced fiscal manager with the business acumen necessary to maintain Metro’s current bond rating and a balanced budget, currently $1.3 billion in FY19-20.
The ideal candidate cultivates a management team that strengthens the collaboration and cooperation needed to function from a Metro-wide and regional perspective. Coordinating competing priorities and delivering professional quality technical information on a timely basis is critical. This position requires excellent problem-solving skills and an ability to seek solutions that achieve results.
A Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible leadership experience with responsibility for a sizeable staff, policy development, facilitation, strategic planning, budgeting, human resource management, collaborative culture building and operational planning.
At least five years of experience working with elected officials or a board of directors.
Any combination of education and experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the job duties and responsibilities.
The salary range for this position is $186,156 to
$269,947 annually. Benefits are among the best in the region and includes comprehensive medical, dental, vision and life insurance, public employee retirement system contributions, holiday and leave time and other employee perks. Detailed benefit information may be found at oregonmetro.gov/sites/Metro- employee-benefits-handbook-2018.pdf. Metro’s benefits include:
Medical, vision, and dental coverage (choose benefits from four medical plans, and two dental plans)
Pre-tax deductions for health insurance premiums
Medical care flexible spending account
Access to Employee Assistance Program resources
Retirement and financial planning
Oregon Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)
457 and 401(k) deferred compensation retirement plans
Direct deposit into personal checking or savings accounts
Direct deposit into the Oregon College Savings Plan
Membership at two credit unions
Paid sick leave
Access to employee-paid onsite childcare at Metro Regional Center
Dependent care flexible spending account
TriMet universal pass
Alternative transportation incentives
Persons interested in this position should submit the following information:
A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position
A current resume
If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336. This position will remain open until filled but the screening process will move quickly. In order to be considered for the first round of interviews please submit your application materials at karrasconsulting.net no later than September 27th 2019.
Metro is committed to upholding and promoting equal opportunity in employment. We know that a diverse workforce is a strong workforce. The council encourages people of all backgrounds, cultures and religions to apply, including veterans, people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities. Assistance with the recruitment, application and selection process is available to applicants with disabilities upon request.
Sept. 27, 2019
Contact Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336
Need help applying?
Call 360-956-1336 if you need help with the following:
A print application
Access to a computer
Assistance in another language
Accommodation for a disability
Metro hires veterans
Qualified veterans are eligible for Veterans’ Preference when applying for Metro positions. Please submit a copy of the DD Form 214 or 215 showing your discharge status. If you are disabled, you will also need to include a public employment preference letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Please attach the qualifying documents to your application, Documents are due no later than 5 p.m. on the closing date of the recruitment.
First Opportunity jobs
First Opportunity gives eligible applicants priority consideration for positions at the Metro venues. Learn more.
Criminal background check
You will not be asked on the application if you have a criminal record. If you are selected for a position, a hiring manager will contact you before conducting a background check. Criminal convictions do not necessarily rule out employment and will be considered case-by- case.
Equal employment opportunity
Anyone who is qualified will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made, or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
Metro Council priorities
Opportunities and challenges facing greater Portland
The greater Portland region is experiencing rapid population growth and with that comes an overall anxiety around a loss of livability. Through the years, Metro has focused on convening people to plan how to make the region livable. Metro is now being asked to stand up and become an active player in implementing solutions to the area’s most pressing concerns. Issues include:
Advancing racial equity in greater Portland
In 2016, Metro adopted the Strategic Plan to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Implementing this plan is a big part of Metro’s work. People of color represent a growing share of the area’s population. While communities of color help foster innovation and economic vibrancy they also experience worse outcomes in every indicator of social well-being. It is imperative to greater Portland’s economy and quality of life, as well as Metro’s effectiveness as a public service, that Metro advances policies, practices, programs and activities to better serve people of color and to ensure that Metro’s workforce is representative of the people it serves.
Increased economic disparities
While the greater Portland region has some of the highest economic growth in the country, many residents still can’t make ends meet. All too often, affordable housing is on one side of the region and a decent job or education is all the way on the other side. These problems are felt disproportionately by communities of color.
Metro’s next COO has the opportunity to make a significant difference in ensuring that residents of the region have a place to call home and can achieve financial security by access to more affordable rental housing and home ownership. With the approval of a 2018 affordable housing ballot measure, Metro is now responsible for implementing the program in partnership with local government, community organizations and housing partners. These activities will ensure that long-time residents and newcomers alike can afford to live in their chosen location, close to work, schools, recreation, shops, and other amenities of choice.
For a place that prides itself on sustainability – there is still a lot to do to ensure the continued improvement and health of the area’s waterways and lands. Metro has preserved thousands of acres of beautiful natural areas, but many people live in communities that are without parks. These are not only problems waiting to be solved, but also jobs waiting to be created.
Pressure on transportation infrastructure
With growing cities comes a need for more effective transportation infrastructure. Public transit needs to be inclusive, efficient and affordable. Businesses need to know the region’s transportation systems can help them grow – whether that means being reliable for their employees or getting their goods to markets here and abroad. Greater Portland’s cities struggle to maintain transit, streets, and other critical infrastructure needed to keep communities together and connected to jobs, housing, education and recreation.