Greater Richmond Transit Company leader Julie Timm is the candidate that the Sound Transit Board of Directors’ CEO Selection Committee would like to see hired as the agency’s next Chief Executive Officer, the agency announced today.
Known publicly before today only as “Candidate A,” Timm was identified as a potential successor to current CEO Peter Rogoff through a national search process run by a group of boardmembers that included all three Puget Sound county executives (Dow Constantine of King County, Bruce Dammeier of Pierce County, and Dave Somers of Snohomish County) as well as Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez, Renton City Councilmember Ed Prince, and University Place Councilmember Kent Keel, who chairs ST’s board.
“Julie Timm’s deep experience, leadership skills and passion for public transportation will make her a great leader for Sound Transit as we work to deliver the largest transit expansion program in the nation and dramatically expand our operations in the years ahead,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and University Place Mayor Kent Keel in a statement sent to NPI.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be considered for the opportunity to support the Sound Transit Board and staff in delivering investments that are truly transformative and historic in their scale and impact,” Timm said in response to her selection by the search team. “Public transportation is about serving people and improving lives, and I am eager to work alongside the region’s communities to continue making the region’s vision for its future into reality.”
The full Sound Transit Board will need to approve the hire and authorize a contract with Timm. The board is expected to discuss the search committee’s recommendation at its June 23rd public meeting.
Sound Transit offered the following primer of Timm’s employment history and work experience to the public and the news media:
Timm is currently CEO of Greater Richmond Transit Company, where her more than four hundred employees operate successful regional bus routes serving the Richmond, Virginia area.
Timm is known as a highly collaborative leader who forges strong relationships with community groups and partners, and for building an agency culture focused on dedication to public service and equity.
From 2016 through 2019 Timm served as Chief Development Officer for WeGo Public Transit in Nashville, Tennessee.
Her efforts included directing development activities and agency staff across functions including engineering, outreach, customer care, planning, grants, marketing, communications, service quality and Innovation. She oversaw the implementation of major regional capital projects associated with the more than $6 billion nMotion Strategy that the Nashville region adopted in 2016.
From 2012 through 2016, Timm served as Transit Development Officer and Title VI and Environmental Justice Compliance Officer for Hampton Roads Transit in Norfolk, Virginia.
She worked with state and local partners and the Federal Transit Administration to manage capital project and strategic planning processes supporting light rail and other transit projects through approval, funding and implementation.
From 2000 through 2012 Timm worked in North Carolina in senior positions developing transit, highway and other projects for Moffatt and Nichol, Carter and Burgess, and URS Corporation.
From 1996 through 2000 she worked as a contract employee managing projects and programs for the United States Air Force Air Combat Command Headquarters in Virginia.
Timm earned a master of business administration degree from Vanderbilt University as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Old Dominion University.
Our team at NPI looks forward to meeting Julie and learning more about her vision for implementing Sound Transit 3 and tackling some of the thorny problems facing the agency, like Line 1’s frequently broken elevators and escalators, a problem that the Sound Transit Board seems not to be taking seriously enough.
We’re encouraged that the selection committee appears to have found a candidate who — at least from the agency’s description — shares many of the attributes that made legendary former CEO Joni Earl, one of NPI’s Lynn Allen Award honorees, so successful during her long tenure at Sound Transit.
Earl was known for being collaborative and for getting results. She had an excellent work ethic and built strong relationships with the people who worked for her. Her truthful leadership and accountable stewardship secured Sound Transit’s future in the early 2000s. Today, the agency is overseeing a massive expansion of bus and rail transit throughout Central Puget Sound.
A big benefit of securing a new leader through a national search is that it affords an opportunity for an organization to find new talent from outside the region it serves. Timm is coming to Sound Transit from Virginia, and could bring a valuable fresh perspective to the agency’s C‑Suite at a critical time in the agency’s history.
We will be tracking the meeting on the 23rd here on the Cascadia Advocate and look forward to the board’s discussion and decision.