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Sr Director, Continuous Improvement - 90259971 - Washington

Date: Oct 30, 2019

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Your success is a train ride away.

Amtrak connects businesses and communities across the country and we move America’s workforce toward the future. We employ more than 20,000 diverse, energetic professionals in a variety of career fields throughout the United States. The safety of our passengers, our employees, the public and our operating environment is our priority and the success of our railroad is the result of our employees.

Are you ready to join our team?

The Senior Director Continuous Improvement is responsible for developing and implementing data-driven strategies to bring efficiencies to the Finance department in alignment with Amtrak’s corporate strategy, including Amtrak’s continuous improvement transformation strategy across the organization.  Successful candidates have a demonstrated commitment to financial excellence, continuous improvement, people development, and internal customer service.


Positioned within the Finance organization, this department functions as an internal consulting group providing analytical and decision support services to management and decision makers at the highest levels of the organization, including hands-on leadership delivering transformational change. The role will report directly to the Chief Financial Officer and will work with senior leadership throughout the organization to develop Finance’s strategy including the design and execution of the continuous improvement strategic plan, to ensure financial goals and other performance targets are met or exceeded.  


The role directly leads initiatives identified by executive leadership as critical for improving performance and brand value, using advanced analytics to direct strategy, prioritize resources and measure results. The role will be held accountable for implementing a continuous improvement strategy throughout Finance, focusing on waste elimination and optimizing resource/asset utilization in alignment with the overall corporate strategy. The group will utilize the appropriate techniques of Lean (including Six Sigma, theory of constraints (TOC), Kaizen and 5S) to ensure that continuous improvement is implemented and producing results in improving internal controls, capital processes, and financial processes throughout Amtrak.


This position is responsible for leading and developing a staff of highly educated professionals, ensuring staff are up to date on current continuous improvement, and research techniques and methodologies. This position will develop trusted working relationships with senior leadership across Finance, Operations (Transportation, Stations, Engineering and Mechanical) and other departments across the enterprise, including but not limited to Strategy and Planning, Marketing and Revenue and IT.


  • Works with senior leadership to set annual departmental goals and objectives using advanced analytics of current performance and data-driven methods for quantifying improvement targets
  • Defines strategy for how Continuous Improvement groups will support Finance departments to meet their goals
  • Leads the effort to understand business process issues and financial performance drivers, developing business architecture change proposals that deliver transformative improvements to performance and reliability
  • Develops business cases and return on investment analyses to improve operating margin and self-fund the group
  • Assesses the need for, and directly influence, capital investment in the operating divisions to maximize financial, safety and customer service improvements, including acquisition of physical assets and technological capabilities
  • Provides direction on how to deploy the latest advanced analytical techniques including but not limited to mathematical optimization, simulation, data mining, forecasting, stochastic modeling and other tools as appropriate to deliver transformative change
  • Leads the effort to work with the business partners and end-users to validate and improve results, clearly communicates and coordinates the efforts with senior management and other related stakeholders
  • Keeps current with research, technology and the industry trends.  Actively involved in the industry and brings new ideas and concepts to Amtrak
  • Leads / oversees all analytics and optimization initiatives.  Identifies and implements strategies to ensure the right resources are available to each project to garner effective results, including development of intern and co-op programs. 
  • Acts as mentor/teacher to the organization for strategy development and continuous improvement methodologies to cultivate a culture that is always improving and focused on eliminating waste in all forms
  • Actively participate in the Continuous improvement community of practice to foster the adoption of Lean artifacts, standards and techniques, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and waste elimination
  • Directs teams of Lean experts to lead and facilitate teams utilizing the appropriate process improvement, Lean and Six Sigma tools and methodologies to deliver efficiencies
  • Creates and presents content appropriate to board of directors and C-level executives related to strategic initiatives.



  • Bachelor's degree in a Technical discipline, Project Management, Operations or related field, or equivalent work experience
  • 13 years of relevant experience required
  • Comprehensive knowledge of LEAN principles and tools, preferably Kaizen, Lean, or Six Sigma certification
  • Expertise and hands-on working experience in all areas as described below:
    • Advanced Analytics: Strong analytics skills of analyzing large-volume complex data sets and building statistical models to obtain business insights and drive improvement changes.  Good working knowledge of prevailing analytics tools such as R, SAS, Python, SQL and familiar with reporting tools such as Tableau and BOBJ.
    • Simulation: Experience in computer simulation models (discrete event and/or agent-based) and familiar with simulation tools, e.g., AnyLogic, Simio, Arena.
  • Proven history delivering transformational initiatives from concept to implementation
  • Strong project management skills and proven ability to lead complex, multi-year projects.
  • Proven experience applying quantitative techniques to solve real-world problems.  
  • Proven history preparing and delivering briefings and presentations to board of directors and C-level executives on strategic initiatives.
  • Advanced leadership, project management and conflict resolution skills with a proven ability to motivate others and foster changes.
  • At least ten years in a project leading role.
  • Any suitable combination of education, training and experience is acceptable.
  • Ability to analyze, interpret, summarize, communicate, and act on quantitative and qualitative data 
  • Strong leadership, decision making, and team building skills. 
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills. ·
  • Strong facilitation, coordination, and interpersonal skills
  • Proven experience effectively interacting with and influencing senior business and functional leaders
  • Proven ability to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment that requires the individual to manage simultaneously several tasks, while paying attention to detail and quality. 
  • Experience in the translation of strategic initiatives into actionable, quantitative and sustainable plans that are communicated and tracked throughout the organization
  • Experience in the implementation of continuous process improvement, lean and/or six sigma methodologies in the operational or customer service environment. 
  • A proven toolkit of operational excellence methodologies coupled with the ability to implement and drive process improvements down through all levels of the organization to improve efficiency and productivity while eliminating waste
  • Strong sense of personal integrity and ethical responsibility
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office tools (Excel, Word, Visio, PowerPoint)
  • Familiarity with data visualization tools, such as Tableau
  • Competencies: leading change, drive for results, problem solving, influencing others, initiative, communication.


  • MBA or other related Master’s degree
  • 15 or more years of relevant experience
  • Prefer past experience in railroad, airline or transportation/travel industry
  • State of the art knowledge of railroad regulations, policies and programs

Must have excellent written and oral communication skills.

Requisition ID:41685
Posting Location(s):District of Columbia; Maryland; Virginia
Job Family/Function:Finance 
Relocation Offered:Yes 
Travel Requirements:Up to 25% 

Amtrak employees power our progress through their performance.

We want your work at Amtrak to be more than a job – we want it to be a fulfilling experience where you find challenging and rewarding opportunities, respect among colleagues, competitive pay, benefits that protect you and your family, and a high performance culture that recognizes and values your contributions and helps you reach your career goals.

We proudly support and encourage U.S. Veterans to apply for Amtrak job opportunities.

All positions require pre-employment background verification, medical review and pre-employment drug screen. Amtrak is committed to a safe and drug-free workplace and performs pre-employment substance abuse testing. All new hires are required to undergo a hair drug test which detects the presence of illegal drugs for months prior to testing. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping Amtrak safe and drug-free.  

In accordance with DOT regulations (49 CFR section 40.25), Amtrak is required to obtain prior drug and alcohol testing records for applicants/employees intending to perform safety- sensitive duties for covered Department of Transportation positions.   If an applicant/employee refuses to provide written consent for Amtrak to obtain these records, he/she will not permitted to perform safety-sensitive functions.

Note that any education requirement listed above may be deemed satisfied if you have an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Amtrak is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome all to apply. We consider candidates regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability (including blindness), or veteran status.



POSTING NOTES: Finance || Corporate

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