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The Regional Transportation District of Denver’s (RTD) board last night selected Debra Johnson as the agency’s next general manager and chief executive officer.
Johnson — now deputy CEO of the Long Beach Transit bus service in California — will be the first female CEO in RTD's history, agency officials said in a press release.
Johnson has more than 25 years of experience leading and managing business processes for public transit agencies. She has held executive positions at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Johnson was selected from among three other finalists after a nationwide search to replace Interim CEO and GM Paul Ballard. Ballard assumed the role in February following Dave Genova’s retirement.
The agency will announce Johnson's start date before Oct. 31, when the terms of her employment agreement are determined.
“I am extremely humbled and equally excited about this opportunity,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working with the dynamic men and women who have made RTD such a progressive transportation agency. Moreover, I am elated to become an integral part of the community as I work with all stakeholders to improve service quality and enhance RTD’s image.”