Marine Managing Director

King County   Auburn, WA   Full-time     Management
Posted on June 23, 2022
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*This opportunity is open to King County Employees and the general public*

King County Metro Transit’s Marine Division is hiring for a Managing Director of the Water Taxi Service. This exciting opportunity is a Career Service position and open to all King County Employees and the general public.

The Managing Director for Metro’s Marine Division oversees King County Metro Transit’s passenger-only ferry service linking downtown Seattle with Vashon Island and West Seattle. This position also provides leadership in overall operation, maintenance, and administration of the King County Water Taxi; including:
  • Leading and managing the work for a crew of about 40 Information Agents, Deckhands, Oilers, Engineers, Supervisors, Captains, and supporting roles within administration and finance.  
  • Developing short and long range plans meeting operational objectives to provide safe, efficient, and customer friendly ferry services;
  • Implementing the passenger ferry services annual work program, budget, and performance standards;
  • Overseeing/directing ferry service planning and scheduling in coordination with internal and external stakeholders
Our ideal candidate for this position will possess a wide range of skills and experience that equip them to be a subject matter expert in overseeing passenger vessel operations, demonstrated ability and passion for leading a highly skilled team of professionals, and deeply-rooted values that closely align with Metro Transit’s True North Values.
About the King County Water Taxi System  
King County has been operating Water Taxi services since October 2009. In 2019 the Marine Division joined King County Metro Transit Department to help Metro meet its goals of incorporating multiple modes of transit that include: buses, boats, trains, shuttles, accessible services, and rideshare programs. The Marine Division operates the Water Taxi ferry service on two routes in Puget Sound, both originating at the County’s new passenger ferry terminal at Pier 50 in downtown Seattle: one route to West Seattle and the other to Vashon Island. Both routes provide year-round service during peak commute times Monday through Friday. From mid-April through mid-October, the West Seattle route adds service on weekends, late nights, and midday. The peak season, 7 days a week service, provides opportunities for beach goers, game and event attendees, and residents heading to town for a summer evening activities another mode of public transit. In partnership with Kitsap County, the Marine Division is hosting their ferry services from Bremerton, Kingston, and Southworth.
As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation's history, King County is a vibrant, diverse community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that embraces the traditions of many cultures. To learn more, please visit

How to Apply:
Required Forms and Application Materials:
  • An online King County application with  accurate contact information, and relevant work history going back 10 years (or more, if necessary), with all duties, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving explained clearly. Be sure to add your current King County position to this section, if applicable
  • Completed supplemental questions
  • A cover letter that outlines:
    1.  Why you are interested in leading the Water Taxi team
    2. Your relevant Maritime and management (or supervisory) experience as it relates to the position
    3. What makes you the ideal candidate for this position
Note: Aside from the cover letter, no other attachments will be reviewed.

Current King County Employees: Be sure to include your current position and separately list each previous position you held at King County. If you have questions about this, please contact the Recruiter listed below.

For guidance on how to complete these required materials, be sure to check out the Career Support Services website for tips and examples on how to make your application materials more competitive: Career Support Services - King County.

If you have a specific question regarding this recruitment, please contact:
Emily Clark, Talent Advisor for Metro Transit

Job Duties

Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all King County employees. In this role, you will apply equity and social justice principles that exemplify shared values, behaviors, and practices to all aspects of the work. The Managing Director will also:

  • Direct all aspects of King County’s passenger-only ferry system; the Water Taxi.
  • Hire, train, coach, evaluate, discipline, and terminate staff; provide ongoing performance feedback.
  • Understand, interpret, and implement Federal, Washington State, and local policies and guidelines as they relate to ferry operations.
  • Plan, develop, and implement the ferry services annual operating and capital budgets. Determine budget and staffing priorities and identify cost control and resource allocations.
  • Oversee and stimulate development of grants to further the development of ferry services.
  • Provide leadership and guidance on maintaining and expanding upon the Marine Safety Management System with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Identify and direct special studies and reports as needed to respond to operational needs, legislation, or changing environment.
  • Coordinate regional planning and liaison with the other Metro Transit Department divisions, other transit agencies, public agencies/cities, partners, and the public.
  • Coordinate with Metro Transit labor relations in maintaining maritime union relations, respond to labor grievances, develop MOU’s, and represent ferry services at contract negotiations.
  • Represent the County and/or Metro Transit Department with external committees, conventions, and conferences at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Provide leadership in the development of specifications for lease, purchase, remodel and/or design and construction of passenger facilities, maintenance and administrative facilities and vessels. Provide leadership in the procurement and contract administration process, authorizing purchases and contracts.
  • Coordinate with the Metro Transit Department’s internal and external media relations staff who manage public information needs.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

We are looking for candidates who possess the following qualifications:
Relatable Marine Management Skills

  • At least 5 years of supervisory or management experience overseeing passenger vessel operations.
  • Previous licensed sailing experience, possession of a current US Coast Guard license  (deck, engine, or captain’s) is preferred.
  • Deep subject matter knowledge in marine safety regulations, training approaches, and marine safety management systems.
  • Project management, planning, and organizational skills that take into consideration scope, schedule, and budget.
  •  Experience or knowledge related to the development and implementation of capital and operating budgets.
People Leadership Experience
  • Experience developing direct reports and building effective teams in diverse work environments while creating strong morale, instilling vision and purpose, and fostering open dialog. Must demonstrate the ability to effectively engage in and sustain relationships with people from diverse cultures and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Experience working in a unionized environment and the ability to develop and nurture strong, productive relationships with union leadership, respecting established processes and fostering an environment of mutual respect.
  • An excellent track-record of developing strong collaborative relationships with internal and external partners/vendors, such as the US Coast Guard and other leaders in the maritime industry.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, and the ability to negotiate.
  • Knowledge of Human Resource management and labor relations in the public sector, as well as supervision techniques and principles.
High Integrity and a Commitment to Continuous Improvement
  • Gather, analyze, and interpret operational performance data and metrics to continuously improve operational efficiency and team performance.
  • Think analytically, use conflict-resolution skills, and effectively problem solve using logic and other methods to find workable solutions.
  • Be transparent and build trust, courageously and consistently acting upon a strong set of core values that are aligned with King County Metro Transit's values.
  • Facilitate difficult conversations, particularly related to race (and other protected classes), power, and privilege. Must have leadership courage and ability to identify and take steps necessary to ensure that all have equitable opportunities to thrive.
  • Exhibit composure and practice attentive and active listening.

Supplemental Information

Selection process
Applications will be screened to determine whether candidates meet minimum qualifications, and for clarity, completeness, and responsiveness to the application instructions above. Highly competitive applicants may be asked to interview.   Formal offers will be finalized after candidates have successfully completed any necessary pre-employment processes such as reference checks and internal record reviews. Start dates may be coordinated with the applicant’s current manager to accommodate the business needs of Metro Transit.  

Classification/ Job Code/ Pay Grade
 Marine Operations and Maintenance Manager / 966101 / Grade 73

Work Schedule
This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not overtime-eligible. Regular work days are Monday to Friday, along with 24/7 on-call availability as required. 

Requirements when Teleworking
The work associated with this position will be performed through a combination of teleworking and onsite work and meetings as needed. Employees will have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities.)  Employees must reside in Washington state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.
Employees will be provided with a County-issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required, including the wearing of masks in some situations. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department's hybrid environment.  

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter. As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation.
Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation. People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

 Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.
Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

Need Help?
  • Contact the recruiter, Emily Clark ( if you need this information in a different language, would like to request accommodation in the assessment process, and for all questions related to this job posting.
  • For technical support related to your application, contact the GovernmentJobs' applicant support team for assistance: +1 855-524-5627.
  • Applicants who are unable to apply online should follow the instructions at Application FAQs -King County.
  • We highly encourage applicants to visit the Career Support Services page for tips, checklists, guidance, and examples of how to format your application materials most competitively for the recruitment processes at King County

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Do you have at least 5 years of supervisory or management experience overseeing passenger vessel services?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to the previous question, please briefly describe this experience, including the number of years, and company/agency name.  If you answered no to the previous question, please describe experience which you think is transferable. If you do not have any experience, then type N/A.
Please briefly explain how/where you have acquired your deep subject matter knowledge in Marine safety regulations, training approaches, and Marine Safety Management Systems.
Please describe any relevant Marine or US Coast Guard-related certifications or licenses you currently possess. If you do not possess any of these credentials just write "N/A" or "none"
Please briefly outline your previous sailing experience. If you do not have any sailing experience, please notate "N/a" or "none".
Please indicate which qualifications you possess:
  • 1- Project management , planning, and organizational skills that take into consideration scope, schedule, and budget
  • 2- Experience or knowledge related to the development and implementation of capital and operating budgets
  • 3- Experience developing direct reports and building effective teams in diverse work environments
  • 4- Experience creating strong morale, instilling vision and purpose, and fostering open dialog
  • 5- Demonstrated ability to effectively engage in and sustain relationships with people from diverse cultures and socio-economic backgrounds
  • 6- Experience working in a unionized labor environment
  • 7- Demonstrated ability to develop and nurture strong, productive relationships with union leadership
  • 8- Ability to respect established processes and foster an environment of mutual respect.
  • 9- An excellent track-record of developing strong collaborative relationships with internal and external partners such as the US Coast Guard and other maritime industry leaders.
  • 10- Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as active listening skills and attentiveness.
  • 11- Knowledge of Human Resource management and labor relations in the public sector,
  • 12- Skill in using conflict-resolution skills
  • 13- Experience/ knowledge related to gathering, analyzing, and interpreting operational performance data
  • 14- Experience using data to drive improvements related to operational efficiency and team performance.
  • 15- Uses effective problem solving skills that support all stakeholders, and consistently produce workable solutions
  • 16- Builds trust and transparency with others by consistently acting upon a strong set of core values that are aligned with King County Metro Transit's values.
  • 17- Skilled in facilitating difficult conversations related to performance issues such as: corrective action, performance improvement plans, and termination
  • 18- Skilled in facilitating difficult conversations related to race, protected classes, power, and privilege.
  • 19- Able to identify and take steps necessary to ensure that all have equitable opportunities to thrive
  • 20-Able to negotiate with others
Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff? Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County and I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. Additionally, the position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff
If you have a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, will you need accommodation in the testing process? If you check the "YES" box, the human resources staff person coordinating this recruitment will send you a request asking for additional information. (This confidential information is solicited for the purposes of providing reasonable accommodation only).
  • Yes
  • No
I certify that the statements made by me on the application and supplemental questions are, to the best of my knowledge, true, complete and correct. I understand that any misrepresentation or material omission of fact on this or any other document required by King County may constitute grounds for rejection, or if employed by King County, for disciplinary measures, including dismissal.
  • Yes
  • No

Required Question