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WMATA's Search for a New General Manager / Chief Executive Officer Continues

posted Nov 2, 2015, 5:26 PM by Stuart M Whitaker   [ updated Nov 2, 2015, 5:28 PM ]

Earlier this year, The Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) invited input from stakeholders regarding WMATA's search for a new General Manager (GM) / Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I offered my comments at a meeting of WMATA's Governance Committee on April, 9, 2015. Seven months have passed since that meeting, and eleven months have passed since the departure of its last GM, and the position remains unfilled.

Responding to numerous reports that Neal Cohen had been chosen as the new GM, WMATA Board Chairman Mort Downey today issued a statement that Mr. Cohen is no longer under consideration for the position. Here's a disclosure: Mr. Cohen and I have identical undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago. Though I don't know Mr. Cohen, I am confident that his academic training prepared him well for this position, I believe he had significant and valuable experience, and I am disappointed to learn that he will not be fulfilling this role.

As I said in my comments in April, I believe we need a customer and marketing oriented transit advocate who can develop and implement strategies to lead Metro through the changes that are going to come.