CTS Job Openings

CTS Director

The University of Minnesota is seeking applications and nominations for the position of director of the Center for Transportation Studies (CTS). The Center is located on the U’s Minneapolis campus, and has as its mission to be a catalyst for transportation innovation through research, education, and engagement. These activities are carried out through relationships with university faculty, government agencies, and private industry, including an extensive advisory committee structure. CTS was established in 1987 to meet a need for greater connection between the state’s transportation agencies and University researchers. That underlying goal—applying U of M thinking to solve real-world issues—still drives CTS today.

Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. As the only Carnegie R1 (Highest Research Activity) institution in Minnesota, the five campus University System comprises 25,000 employees and over 62,000 students. The Twin Cities campus is located at the heart of one of the nation’s most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities. Minneapolis–Saint Paul ranked 22nd of 150 metropolitan areas in the U.S. News analysis of best places to live in 2020 and caters to all tastes with a lively arts scene, acclaimed eateries, and numerous opportunities for sports and outdoor recreation.

The successful candidate will lead the Center through its next stage of evolution and impact. They will be responsible for working closely with national, state and tribal transportation agencies, business organizations, elected officials, other universities, international partners, and university leaders to build on the already established programs and leadership activities of CTS.

Candidates should have a track record of outstanding leadership within relevant transportation areas, including transportation policy. They should also possess a proven track record of providing visionary leadership and management of an organization through transition, exceptional strategic thinking skills, passion for and commitment to transportation research as a sustainability imperative, proven success in securing research funding, building relationships, and demonstrated strengths in managing business operations. In addition, candidates will have experience with new and innovative models of collaboration and outreach as well as exceptional ethical values with a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This is an annually renewable academic administrative position reporting to the Vice President for Research. Depending on the circumstance, appointments with faculty rank will also be considered. Salary is negotiable based upon credentials and experience.


  • Provide dynamic leadership, direction, and vision for the Center by participating in national, international, and state forums, addressing transportation challenges, and advancing innovations that put the University at the forefront of transportation research.
  • Showcase university research discoveries, capabilities and impact. Lead business development activities that will attract additional resources to advance research, education, public engagement, and technology transfer activities supporting the Center’s strategic mission to be a catalyst for transportation innovation.
  • Work with faculty and academic professionals from across the University and from other universities when appropriate to define transportation research and education directions at the University of Minnesota.
  • Maintain and strengthen productive relationships with key CTS stakeholders (faculty, federal agencies, state and local agencies, businesses, foundations) to share information, benefit from multiple perspectives, and explore collaborative research and education efforts.
  • Develop strong relationships with state legislative leaders and federal officials to ensure continued funding, explore new opportunities, and serve as a resource on transportation issues.
  • Identify and pursue funding opportunities from diverse sources including federal, state, and local agencies; private sector companies; non-profit organizations; and other academic institutions. Identify opportunities to partner, leverage resources, or provide services that position CTS and transportation researchers to attract diverse funding.
  • Champion diversity and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students.
  • Promote transportation as a field of study.
  • Oversee CTS programs, operations, and the development of new initiatives to ensure quality, timeliness, and client satisfaction.
  • Nurture creative innovation and discovery by convening stakeholders to align interests and establish shared directions and goals.
  • Develop short-term and long-range strategies for achieving CTS goals. Determine, secure, and allocate human, financial, and other resources to implement these strategies. Monitor CTS policy issues/needs and develop CTS policy statements.
  • Develop and sustain high performing teams and employees and retain top talent.


  • Required: Bachelor's degree and at least 12 years relevant experience. 
  • Preferred: Advanced degree in a relevant field and at least 10 years relevant experience. Significant experience in directing transportation research or related activities and interacting with faculty, government agencies, and transportation practitioners. Proven record of leadership and success in attracting resources that advance transportation research and education. Knowledge of transportation organizational management issues. Familiarity with transportation policies and technologies, and their social and economic impacts. Ability to work effectively with diverse organizations and individuals. Excellent communication skills.

How to Apply

Visit the University of Minnesota's Career website and search for job ID 338381. Applications will be reviewed beginning January 4, 2021, and accepted until the position is filled.