Three finalists — all women — are vying to lead the Denver metro area’s transit agency as it navigates significant long-term and pandemic-induced financial challenges, the Regional Transportation District announced Friday.
RTD’s board, which aims to name a new CEO and general manager by the end of the year, met in the morning to narrow the field from six to three; the job posting attracted 58 applicants, the agency said. The finalists are:
- Debra Johnson, the deputy CEO of Long Beach Transit in California for the last six years, has worked in management positions at several large transit agencies, including as interim CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
- Adelee Le Grand, a vice president at Transdev North America, a private transit operator. Through Transdev, Le Grand has served clients in planning roles — currently as chief mobility officer for Transit Link Authority, a regional transit planning organization in Atlanta, and previously as chief strategy officer for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.
- Tina Quigley, who retired in November after seven years as CEO of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, a regional planning organization that oversees the Las Vegas bus system. She was at the RTC for 14 years.
In place of public and employee meetings with the finalists, RTD plans to post video presentations by each on its website later this month. The presentations will be available Aug. 19-23, along with an online survey for the public to provide feedback.
Transit veteran Paul Ballard took over as interim general manager in February after the January retirement of Dave Genova. Ballard had said he didn’t plan to seek the permanent job.
He has led RTD through the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, which sent both ridership and sales tax revenue plummeting in March. The agency is working to close a projected $166 million shortfall in next year’s budget, a situation that has improved from even more dire projections.
It also faces long-term challenges that include finishing unfunded FasTracks rail lines.
“We are pleased to reach this major milestone in our search for a new leader who will guide the agency through this crucial time of transition,” board chair Angie Rivera-Malpiede said in a news release. “We certainly couldn’t have predicted the year we have had, but we are confident that one of these three candidates has what it takes to lead us forward during recovery and beyond.”
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