Ascending to a transit agency CEO position can be a big adjustment for anyone during normal times, but moving into that leadership role when transit is facing unprecedented public health and financial challenges requires a whole new level of fortitude.
As the COVID epidemic raged and public budgets fell into an abyss in recent months, three women stepped up to become CEOs of transit agencies. Sharon Cooney ascended to the job of CEO of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) in May 2020, Carrie Butler was named Executive Director of Louisville’s Transit Authority of River City (TARC) in September 2020, and Debra Johnson became General Manager/CEO of the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) in November 2020. Each of them jumped into the role without a map for these uncharted waters, but equipped with her own experience and instincts. Tune in to hear them discuss how they’re navigating in their new jobs.
Carrie Butler, Executive Director, Louisville TARC
Sharon Cooney, Chief Executive Officer, San Diego MTS
Debra Johnson, General Manager/CEO, Denver RTD
David Bragdon, Executive Director, TransitCenter