Management & Operations

Search committee recommends Peter Rogoff as new Sound Transit CEO

Posted on November 18, 2015

Seattle's Sound Transit CEO Search Committee recommended Peter M. Rogoff, the federal government’s third-highest transportation official and former Federal Transit Administrator, as its top candidate. The recommendation will be considered by the full Sound Transit Board at its meeting on Thursday.

“In a competitive field of applicants, Peter Rogoff is the committee’s clear and unanimous recommendation to lead our region in meeting the growing demand for rail and bus service,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Tomorrow the full Sound Transit Board will discuss his considerable qualifications.”

In July 2014, the U.S. States Senate confirmed Peter M. Rogoff to the position of Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the department’s third highest ranking official. Previously, in May of 2009, the Senate confirmed Rogoff as the President’s Federal Transit Administrator.

As Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, Rogoff provides leadership in the development of policies for the department and generating proposals and guidance regarding legislative, regulatory and safety initiatives. His work spans all transportation modes, including aviation, highway, rail, transit and maritime transportation. As the nation’s chief public transit official, Rogoff negotiated and signed a record number of full funding grant agreements with transit agencies across the nation to expand rail and bus rapid transit infrastructure. 

Parsons Brinckerhoff
Parsons Brinckerhoff

Prior to his FTA appointment, Rogoff served for 22 years on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, including 14 years as the Democratic Staff Director of the Transportation Subcommittee, led by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

The board created the committee in response to Joni Earl’s announcement last May that she will retire in the first quarter of 2016 after Sound Transit opens the University Link light rail extension. Earl, who has been on medical leave since April 2014, will facilitate the transition to a new CEO.

Deputy CEO Mike Harbour, who did not apply for the CEO position, will continue to serve as the agency’s Acting CEO during the transition to a new leader.

Over the past two months the committee has conducted a national search for a new CEO. Out of more than 190 applicants, an executive search firm narrowed the candidate pool to 13 finalists based on qualifications identified by the committee. On Tuesday, the committee unanimously voted to interview one candidate from the pool in executive session. To attract a large pool of highly qualified candidates, the committee assured the applicants of confidentiality during the process leading up to identifying a recommended candidate. 

At its meeting Thursday the full board may accept the committee’s recommendation or continue the search process. Rogoff will be present at the meeting.

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