The Regional Transportation District selected Debra Johnson as its next general manager and CEO on Tuesday night, choosing the first woman to lead the Denver metro area’s transit agency in its 51-year history.
Johnson has been the deputy CEO of Long Beach Transit in California for the last six years and has experience at several large transit agencies. RTD’s board approved the designation of the new CEO 14-1, pending the negotiation of a contract and salary.
She was among three finalists, all women. The others were Adelee Le Grand, a vice president at Transdev North America, a private transit operator; and Tina Quigley, who retired in November as CEO of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, a regional planning organization that oversees the Las Vegas bus system.
“These three women were the most amazing, dynamic women leaders I’ve had the privilege to interview,” board chair Angie Rivera-Malpiede said. “I just have to say to you, this was probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made.”
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