Director, Autonomous Vehicle Initiative

Washington D.C.
Jul 20, 2021
Aug 24, 2021
Executive, Director
Full Time

SAFE seeks a full-time Director for the Autonomous Vehicle Initiative. The Director will report directly to the Executive Director, Commanding Heights Initiative and Executive Vice President, Government and Public Affairs and will collaborate with internal staff in policy, government relations, fundraising, and communications as well as external consultants.

Key Responsibilities

The Director will, in consultation with the Policy and Government Affairs teams, set SAFE’s AV agenda and chart the path needed to be successful, from determining the research focus area(s) to publicizing the findings to advocating for positions. Efforts will be centered on:

1) Thought Leadership and Research

In coordination with the Policy team and Executive Leadership, develop, refine and implement the organization’s strategy on autonomous vehicles.

Have the ability and inclination to roll up sleeves to research, write and edit policy positions, public comments, and responses to ANPRMs, as well as fact sheets, case studies and short policy briefs and reports.

Engage with external stakeholders in D.C., New York, Silicon Valley and elsewhere to advocate for policies that accelerate AVs.

Build coalitions of support from the corporate sector (e.g. AV companies) and public sector (e.g. non-profits representing underserved groups who could benefit from AV deployment).

Build and convene a working group of players in the AV deployment space, working with the group to determine which issues are of most value and then pursuing them.

Lead the coordination of efforts to gain support for AVs from a wide variety of groups: policy leaders across the aisle, environmentalists, labor, and more.

2) Advocacy

Working with SAFE’s Government Affairs team and political consultants to identify potential legislative and Administration champions, share SAFE’s findings, advocate for SAFE’s recommendations, and engage thirdparty stakeholders in the advocacy.

3) Communications

With support from the Communications department, work to publicize the findings and arguments of the initiative, from drafting op-eds and social media posts to providing interviews.

Work closely with the Communications team to ensure mobility technology expertise informs relevant SAFE communications.

Protect the reputation and technical credibility of SAFE by ensuring that products released in SAFE’s name are of the highest technical caliber and enhance the role of SAFE as a standard bearer for best practice in oil security and transportation. 

Professional Skills and Qualifications

 Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

 Technical expertise in the transportation sector and, specifically, autonomous vehicles.

 Outstanding leadership skills, as well as a deep understanding of the political process and issue advocacy.

 Minimum of 5-7 years of experience substantively engaged with transportation issues a must.

 Ability to coordinate with senior public and private sector officials to advance the mission of the organization.

 A detailed understanding of political programs, fundraising, and the policy process is essential.

 Thrives in a high energy environment with the ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously; comfortable working in a start-up-like environment with lean support staff.

 Embraces SAFE’s mission, vision and strategic direction.

 Team player and collaborator who is open and transparent about process and progress. Willing to pitch in and help others when needed.


The opportunity garners a competitive salary and benefits package. It is preferred that the individual is based in Washington DC but this is negotiable. Salaries are localized to applicant’s geographic location. We are open to both experienced and newer candidates; the offer will be reflective of a candidate’s individual experience level. We offer a competitive health benefits package, 401K with 3% employer contribution and life insurance, as well as other benefits to be detailed in the offer.

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