Carolyn Gonot will become the first woman to lead the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) as executive director. She succeeds Steve Meyer, who postponed his retirement while the board sought a permanent candidate for the position.

Gonot, who has been serving as chief planning and engineering officer at California’s Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, is also the agency’s first top administrator not promoted from within the organization.

Gonot has been at VTA since 1996, including serving five years as its chief engineering and program delivery officer, where she helped deliver BART’s Silicon Valley Extension project.

As executive director, Gonot’s experience is in alignment with the UTA’s new organizational structure and the Board of Trustees’ vision and focus on stewardship, service, and people, according to the agency. With her experience in the San Jose area and Silicon Valley, which has experienced significant growth, the agency believes she has a unique and valuable insight into the growth challenges facing the region.

Gonot is scheduled to assume her duties at UTA on August 19.