Management & Operations

L.A. Metro fill key executive leadership positions

Posted on June 13, 2019

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced five hires and appointments to the agency’s Senior Leadership Team to fill key vacancies.

The positions filled provide the agency with overall direction as it implements Measure M — the nation’s largest public infrastructure program — and continues to operate and improve the third busiest transit system in the U.S.

The hires include:

  • Nadine Lee as Metro’s permanent chief of staff. She has been serving as the interim chief of staff for nearly six months and was previously the deputy chief Innovations officer at the agency. In her job, Lee will work with CEO Phillip A. Washington to continue to implement the many Measure M projects in the planning pipeline. She will also be charged with helping improve the vast transit system Metro already has while helping Washington guide an agency with a $7.2-billion budget and nearly 11,000 employees. Lee led the development of Vision 2028, Metro’s 10-year strategic plan to increase prosperity for L.A. County through improved mobility.
  • Yvette Zoe-Robles Rapose is now the permanent chief communications officer. Rapose will oversee the agency’s marketing, communications, and public relations efforts so the public and media is well informed about Metro projects and programs, the expansive Metro art program, government relations, and the agency’s creative services shop that produces everything from ads to brochures to signage.
  • James L. de la Loza is the new chief planning officer. Metro’s Planning Department oversees the development and environmental studies of all transit and active transportation projects as well as the agency’s real estate, transit-oriented communities, first/last mile, and parking programs. de la Loza has over 34 years of experience in design, planning, and implementation of major transportation infrastructure projects. He previously worked as the chief planner at Metro from 1996 to 2005, when he oversaw the expansion of the Metro Rail, the highway/HOV system, and the development of Metro’s Rapid Bus and BRT programs.
  • Jonaura Wisdom is Metro’s new permanent chief civil rights programs officer. Wisdom is charged with ensuring that Metro continues to comply with Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act and that Metro provides its transportation services to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
  • Aston T. Greene III, has been appointed as the interim chief systems security and law enforcement officer. His job is to keep Metro customers, employees, and facilities safe on a system that includes 170 bus routes traveled by 2,200 buses, 98 miles of subway and light rail, and key structures that include bus and train yards and the Union Station campus. Metro is the third busiest transit system in the U.S. with about 1.2 million boardings on the average weekday.

The positions were open because of notable departures from Metro over the last half year: Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins became Metrolink's CEO last December; Chief Communications Officer Pauletta Tonilas returned to the Denver area's RTD as assistant GM, Communications, in January; Planning Chief Therese McMillan was hired as the executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the Bay Area in February; and Metro Chief of Security Alex Wiggins left Metro earlier this month to become CEO of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority.

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