Vice President, Roadway Safety

Vice President, Roadway Safety

National Safety Council

Itasca, IL or Washington, D.C.   |   February 18, 2020

About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council (“NSC” or “the Council”) is a nonprofit organization with the mission of saving lives and preventing injuries from the workplace to anyplace, through leadership, research, education and advocacy. The 15,500 NSC member companies represent employees at nearly 50,000 U.S. worksites. NSC advances this mission by engaging businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to help eliminate the third leading cause of death in the United States – preventable injuries.

NSC is a nonprofit organization, however, a unique and compelling aspect of the Council is its deep business orientation and revenue-generating lines of business. NSC sells safety products and services and also engages in fundraising, which ultimately enables a variety of safety-focused advocacy efforts. A $65 million organization, approximately 90% of the revenue of the Council comes from its well-regarded products and services.

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC, with 15,500 members, local chapters and global networks, is committed to helping keep people safe wherever they are. The Council approaches its efforts from the workplace to anyplace, supporting employers, employees, their families and the communities they live in by leveraging leadership, research, education and advocacy.

NSC has made tremendous impact through the following:

  • High Value Safety Education & Training: Trusted worldwide and armed with the latest research, every year NSC instructors teach millions of people with courses designed by NSC in the areas of defensive driving, first aid and CPR, and OSHA compliance. Driven by data, NSC produces Injury Facts – an annual online compilation of statistics on unintentional deaths and injuries;
  • Engagement with Safety Professionals: NSC is the leading source for research-based safety solutions, education and best practices to prevent unintentional injuries and death in workplaces including the magazine, Safety+Health®. The Council delivers the world’s largest annual safety conference, the NSC Congress & Expo, which draws safety, health and environmental professionals from the United States, Canada and more than 60 other countries; and
  • Effective Advocacy: The most trusted name in safety, NSC is the go-to source for information about preventable deaths – from addressing opioid misuse to texting while driving. Advocating for safety legislation, regulations and policies, the NSC CEO and senior leadership team are invited to testify before Congress, participate in national advisory panels and frequently contribute to major network news programs and national and trade print media.

In a pioneering report released in January 2019, NSC shed light on the changing face of safety and preventable deaths in the United States. For the first time on record, Americans’ odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose are greater than dying in a motor vehicle crash.

The Council has 21 local chapters throughout the U.S. NSC is headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, just west of Chicago. The entire U.S. population and more than 15,500 member companies rely on the National Safety Council for information, resources, and training to keep employees and communities safe.

For more information about the National Safety Council, please visit

National Safety Council Values

  • Be Safe. I commit to keep myself and others safe.
  • Be Bold. I challenge the status quo to make the impossible possible.
  • Be Impactful. I exceed expectations for all those I serve.
  • Be NSC. I work with others to achieve NSC results.
The Opportunity

Reporting to the CEO, the VP, Roadway Safety is responsible for leading the Roadway Practice Area which includes the defensive driving programs and premier coalitions—including the 1,500+ member Road to Zero (RTZ) coalition. This role is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive roadway strategy to deliver revenue growth for greater impact on eliminating the causes of preventable death and injury on the nation’s roadways. This individual will leverage their transportation safety leadership experience to proactively advance evidence-based countermeasures, accelerate advanced technologies, and create a safety culture and safe systems approach to address safety on our roadways.

The Roadway practice area leader will leverage the RTZ coalition to launch a national public awareness campaign and work to ensure that federally funded transportation projects have aligned with best safety practices. Further, this role will be the organization’s lead external voice in the roadway safety area and orchestrate the identification and launch of new roadway programs, advocacy initiatives, and business opportunities.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Establish and oversee the roadway strategy and execution based on research and feedback from members, customers, and volunteers.
  • Orchestrate and develop annual practice area plan and budget; set research priorities and define activity participation models driving the most impact.
  • Oversee a $24 million+ roadway practice P&L, including Defensive Driving Courses (DDC), Road to Zero (RTZ), and several grant programs.
  • Ensure that NSC provides consistent, high-value services and experiences to stakeholders and customers.
  • Identify opportunities for new programs that will drive growth of driver training courses, state programs, fleet programs, and other businesses.
  • Manage teams to execute roadway strategy, including direct reports and partnering across shared service functions.
  • Initiate, direct, and support efforts to influence policies, programs and positions within regulatory agencies with an emphasis on state strategies and transportation network companies.
  • Oversee programs that offer member organizations, safety leaders, and volunteers opportunities to mobilize, network and educate employee groups, law makers, local communities and/or the public at large on roadway safety issues and solutions.
  • Implement processes and best practices for operational effectiveness.
  • Set and deliver on objectives for cross-practice issues and joint initiatives; promote cross-practice exchange of information and best practices.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

A Business Executive

The VP, Roadway Safety will be a seasoned executive and strong manager who understands the importance of effective operational and financial administration. This leader is a facilitator of staff and provides clear expectations and accountability measures for department deliverables. The VP, Roadway Safety will be skilled at guiding staff to achieve the goals of the Council and focus on the strategic levers to drive the department and organization in the right areas. This leader will have the ability to make decisions swiftly and set priorities, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability and allocate resources to ensure results. A tactical leader, the VP will have a strong business orientation and an ability to develop, implement, and leverage metrics to drive business decisions and achieve strategic objectives, including financial targets.

A Strategic Thinker 

This executive will have a proven record of prioritizing objectives and converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will have the ability to engage diverse stakeholders to build specific strategies focused on the achievement of outcomes and long-term strategic goals and skillfully lead transformative change in pursuit of these goals. S/he will be an innovative and enthusiastic self-starter who can position Roadway Safety for the future. The VP, Roadway Safety will be a visionary and consistently contribute ideas for initiatives, advocacy, and business efforts and plans for future needs. This leader will have a growth mindset and will thrive in a dynamic and fast-paced work environment. S/he will naturally inspire, enlighten and inform individuals, the collective team, his/her peers and partners.

A Collaborator and Relationship Builder

The VP, Roadway Safety will have the ability to inspire staff and the communities NSC serves to achieve new heights for the Roadway Practice Area. The VP will have an inspirational approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from stakeholders both internally and externally. This executive will be a charismatic leader who can establish rapport and open communication with all constituents and successfully convey the Roadway Practice Area’s mission and objectives. As the external voice for the Roadway Practice Area, s/he will be a critical asset in the efforts to raise the profile of the work of NSC. The VP, Roadway Safety will strengthen and retain an empowered team that will implement the course of action for achieving the vision. An engaging and supportive leader, the VP will have a track record of motivating and inspiring others to achieve impact through creativity, teamwork and by leveraging individual strengths to meet organizational goals.

A Change Agent

This executive will have the ability to provide creative leadership to initiate and manage the change process and energize it on an ongoing basis, taking steps to remove barriers and accelerate pace. This executive is able to assess the current state of the Roadway Practice Area and develop a future state plan, bringing together different product lines, business functions and cross-functional teams as needed. With superior conceptual and critical thinking abilities, s/he will demonstrate the ability to lead a team to curate and turn big ideas into reality and deliver results within budgetary parameters, while boldly pushing the boundaries of the work and encouraging new ideas.

A Passion for the Mission

Fully embracing the mission of NSC, the VP, Roadway Safety will be a bold thinker and will have a laser focus and unwavering commitment to achieve the goals of the organization. A safety advocate and enthusiast, this executive will have a sense of urgency and strong desire to join the national effort to keep people safe. The VP’s eye will consistently focus on the future and how to best adapt and grow the Roadway Practice Area. S/he will be an empathic and charismatic leader who treats others with respect. The ideal candidate will represent the pinnacle of the values of the Council: Accountability, Safety, Service, Innovation, Spirit and Teamwork.

A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Domino Gehred-O’Connell and Cheryl Stevens are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please email [email protected]. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


NSC is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit