TriMet’s Board of Directors has appointed Sam Desue Jr., the agency's current chief operating officer, as interim GM.
Desue will assume his new role on March 6, replacing outgoing GM Doug Kelsey who announced his retirement in December 2020. The search for the next GM began in mid-February when the TriMet Board of Directors directed the agency to launch an extensive engagement effort to help inform their hiring process. Desue will lead the agency while the Board conducts their search.
“I am honored to serve as TriMet’s interim General Manager and I look forward to aiding the agency and the region as we continue to move through this pandemic,” Desue said. “Forward momentum and leadership will be critical during this time of transition, and I will bring a community-driven and consensus-building focus.”
Desue joined TriMet in March 2019 after more than 27 years of public and private transportation experience. He served at three different public transportation agencies in executive level positions. At the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, he served as the interim GM and deputy CEO, providing strategic leadership. As COO at TriMet, Desue oversees the operational function at the agency, providing executive leadership, strategic direction, and operational oversight for four operating divisions and three departments.