Wednesday June 12, 2019
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 United States.
These executive staff positions oversee vital functions including safety and security on the Metro system, the way Metro communicates with the public and stakeholders, the planning of projects and how they fit into the fabric of Los Angeles County and Metro’s compliance with civil rights laws and diversity initiatives to ensure that all customers and employees are treated equally.
“The mark of any good organization is whether it can reconstitute itself when depleted — in other words, reload with other talented and diverse leaders to help lead the most innovative and forward thinking transportation agency in this country,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “Leadership development is very important to me and is the means for growing competent, confident, self-aware leaders who are prepared for the challenges of the future both here at Metro and in the transportation industry.”
The hires are:
- Nadine Lee becomes Metro’s permanent Chief of Staff. She has held the role of Interim Chief of Staff for nearly six months and was previously the Deputy Chief Innovations Officer at Metro. 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. She is a registered engineer in Kansas and Colorado who has been involved in the development of many mobility projects across the U.S. In May, Lee was named the WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar) International Woman of the Year.
- Yvette Zoe-Robles Rapose becomes 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.
Rapose has served as the Interim Chief Communications Officer since early this year and previously oversaw Metro’s Community Relations Department where she was the lead architect of the public outreach plan for the ‘Carmageddon’ closures of the I-405 freeway in 2011. Rapose has worked as a legislative deputy on the L.A. City Council and as a Community Builder Fellow for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
- 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.
James 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 Bus Rapid Transit programs. Over the last 15 years, de la Loza has served at senior executive level positions at three major national and global transportation companies.
- 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.
Wisdom has been with Metro for five years and served as the agency’s Director of EEO and Civil Rights Program Compliance. Prior to joining Metro, she was Assistant Director, Equal Opportunity Programs and Diversity for Florida International University and EEO Compliance Officer in the Office of Civil Rights Compliance for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
- 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.
Greene is currently Executive Officer, Administration for Metro’s Systems Security and Law Enforcement department. Greene has been a state corrections officer in New York; police officer, detective and Executive to the Deputy Chief with the DeKalb County (Georgia) Police Department, and; Major/Commander, Office of System Security and Emergency Management with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Police Department.
The above 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 General Manager, 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.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.
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