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Vice President, Government Affairs and Transportation Policy

Norfolk VA

The Port of Virginia’s mission of stimulating maritime commerce requires long term strategic planning in developing port and intermodal infrastructure, both in and outside the gates.  The port’s success depends on strong partnerships with local, state and federal maritime and transportation agencies in order to coordinate mutually beneficial projects and to obtain funding for future projects.

Under the direction and guidance of the Chief Public Affairs Officer, the Vice President, Government Affairs and Transportation Policy, designs, builds and executes programs and processes related to the transportation needs and oversees the public policy and government affairs strategy and initiatives.  In conjunction and coordination with the CPAO, the Vice President, Government Affairs and Transportation Policy translates guidance from the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Commissioners into an overarching strategy, determines processes, and builds cross functional teams to achieve and communicate the strategy, and translates the Port’s strategic government affairs and transportation goals into cross functionally coordinated organizational plans.

Provides professional transportation expertise in organizing, planning, developing and coordinating initiatives related to the mission of the Port of Virginia, necessary to maintain and maximize the Port’s competitiveness.  Utilize State resources effectively and efficiently, and exercise considerable independent judgment.   Represents the Port in the transportation sector.  Identifies opportunities, and monitors, analyzes and synthesizes legislation, regulation and public policy opportunities that may impact the Port and terminal operations positively or negatively. 

The Vice President, Government Affairs and Transportation Policy is a key, impactful, and credible leader on transportation and government affairs initiatives that are relevant to the Port’s vision, mission and goals and the maritime industry.  The position manages the government affairs team to coordinate legislative programs with the Port’s transportation needs.  The position builds teams and consensus among local, state and federal officials, NGOs and industry representatives.


  • Recommend, develop, initiate and manage programs and transportation related projects that could create future capacity (e.g. 164 Connector, Rail Enhancement Grants, River Crossings, Barge Services, including budget preparation for project planning and development.)
  • Assist the CPAO with development of strategic and tactical transportation plans to help implement the Port’s Strategic Growth and Master Plans 
  • Develop programs and plans for maintaining and expanding transportation infrastructure to address port needs to move cargo between its terminals and inland markets, including rail, road and barge.  Advocate for surface transportation programs/projects that are outside the gates that complement on-terminal projects.
  • Serve as Agency expert for regional, state, and multi-state freight committees and provide advice for regional, state and national policy development to improve freight mobility 
  • Participate in meetings with the Executive Director/CEO and SLT in which authoritative advice is provided concerning surface transportation needs.  Provides presentations to the Board of Commissioners and industry stakeholders, as needed.  As a transportation expert, maintain a current status and understanding of transportation projects and programming pertaining to the Port to advise the Agency SLT on technical matters that impact long term facility needs.
  • Coordinate the formulation, implementation, and execution of the Port's legislation and government affairs programs with transportation, capital and grant programs.  Under the direction of the CPAO, assist with the setting of priorities for legislation, policy position papers, and other working documents to advance the Port's mission and vision.  Provide direction and guidance to the Port’s Grant program.  
  • Develop strong and strategic stakeholder relationships and relationships with transportation officials and their staffs.  Interface with state, local, and federal government agencies and departments, domestic and international, relating to the Port's responses to questions or statements of position. Collaborates closely with CPAO and other internal divisions and department (e.g., Chief Engineer, VP Finance, VP Operations, Commercial, Government Affairs, et al.) to ensure appropriate responses and communications.  Develop relationships and interact with key Port colleagues to develop solutions/programs/projects to increase the velocity of freight between the Port’s terminals to inland markets.
  • As the POV’s lead transportation expert, continue and accelerate the Port’s transportation momentum gained through FTAC, TTAC, and OIPI.  Serves as POV rep on TTAC, OIPI, FTAC, (Port rep on AASHTO Freight Committee).  Seeks to gain membership of nationally significant organizations that influence federal freight policy)
    • Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment – through OIPI, the Port is able to influence the state’s transportation agenda and initiatives – particularly with respect to freight while gathering input from other state transportation agencies.  
    • VFTAC – Through the CPAO, re-establish the State Freight Advisory Committee to add private freight perspectives and needs to help shape state freight/transportation policy.  
    • FTAC – POV has sponsored and run the FTAC since 2010.  FTAC is made up of senior executives from private freight businesses’ to help increase the visibility of the importance of freight transportation to the Region/state economy.  The position facilitates the meetings to develop a freight agenda that helps Regional decision- makers create a balanced transportation plan that supports freight.  
  • Multi-state efforts – Obtaining funding for transportation projects is an arduous process that requires support from multiple involve stakeholders.  POVs ability to move cargo from its terminals to markets across the country require sufficient transportation networks not only in Virginia but in other states.  In order to secure state funding, POV can pledge to support partner efforts to show backing for the project from large economic drivers such as the Port of Virginia.  One such project may be the potential future I-87 that could connect Raleigh to Hampton Roads.  Support for the project could be enhanced through the formation of a multi-state coalition.  
  • Help secure funding for key commerce corridors, serving the Port.
  • Projects: CWRY Rail expansion (Suffolk marshaling Yard, double track, Craney Rail connector, Route 58, and other key surface transportation projects serving the Port & its facilities (including VIP & POR). 
  • Ensure public records and information are managed, maintained and disposed in accordance to the Library of Virginia retention and disposition schedules, and the Virginia Port Authority records management policies and procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to design, plan, and implement a broad range of agency programs.
  • Deep knowledge of Virginia surface transportation including road and rail, with freight expertise. 
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills and business sense
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work and act independently.
  • Ability to interact in a professional manner with colleagues, customers, government officials, labor, and other port stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience in proven leadership and successful work experience when dealing with community and government officials.
  • Ability to negotiate effectively with diverse organizations, consultants and government officials. 
  • Knowledge of the federal legislative process, Virginia legislative process, and process for local government action in Virginia
  • Strong written and oral communication and presentation skills.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public policy, planning, business administration, transportation, engineering, architecture, environmental sciences, physical sciences or any related field.
  • At least 5 years in a similar or equivalent position.

Posted July 10, 2018

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