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Phillip A. Washington

LA County

As Metro’s CEO, Washington manages a balanced
budget in excess of $7 billion, is responsible for
overseeing between$18- $20 billion in capital
projects, and provides oversight of an agency
with 11,000 employees that transports 1.2 million
boarding passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200
clean-air buses and six rail lines. Metro is the
lead transportation planning, programming and
financing agency for LA County. As such, it is a
major construction agency that oversees bus, rail,
highway and other mobility-related infrastructure
projects – together representing the largest
modern public works program in North America.
Washington is also engaged and partnering in
all facets of transportation and infrastructure in
LA County, including aviation, goods movement,
freight/railroads, water, public works, housing and
transit-oriented communities (TOCs).
Washington was a key leader in the 2016
successful effort to pass Measure M, a half-cent
sales tax in LA County (the most populated county
in the United States), which garnered 71.15% voter
approval. Measure M will allow Metro to build
40 major highway and transit projects over the
next 40 years, create 778,000 jobs and provide
$133.3 billion in economic impact for the region.
Measure M has no sunset and will only end if
voters vote to end it.
Washington came to Los Angeles from Denver,
where he served as the CEO of Denver Regional
Transportation District between 2009 and
2015. He was previously the assistant general
manager of RTD for nearly 10 years before
being named CEO.
In Denver, Washington led and implemented
the FasTracks program, one of the largest voterapproved
transportation expansion programs in
the country. Under his leadership, Denver’s West
Corridor Rail Line project was completed under
budget and eight months earlier than scheduled,
and the award-winning Denver Union Station
project was completed five months early and
is now realizing tremendous revenue and value
capture from the surrounding development.
Also in Denver, Washington implemented the
nation’s first and only $2.2 billion transit
public-private partnership (P3), which opened
in 2016 and is in operation and exceeding
ridership estimates. His emphasis on measuring
and managing agency performance led to 90%+
on-time bus and rail service and 96% ADA
on-time performance.
Washington has received numerous prestigious
assignments and honors. In 2019, he testified
before the full U.S. Congressional Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee, was honored with
the Eddy Award for Outstanding Leadership in
Economic Development and was awarded the
prestigious CORO Crystal Eagle Award for a
“Legacy of Leadership.”
In 2018, he was awarded the Honorable Ray
LaHood Award (former U.S. Secretary of
Transportation) by the national Women in
Transportation Seminar (WTS) for his
outstanding contribution in promoting
opportunities to advance and advocate for
women in the transportation industry. In 2017,
he was presented with the Judge Harry Pregerson
Public Service Award for his service to U.S.
military veterans and was honored with the
Norman Mineta Award for exceptional
leadership in the transportation industry.
In 2016, he was chosen by the National Safety
Council as one of the CEOs Who “Get It” – an
honor bestowed on CEOs who demonstrate
leadership in safety at the highest levels. In 2014,
he was selected by the editors of Engineering
News-Record as one of the Top 25 Newsmakers
of 2013. Washington was also named 2013-2014
Outstanding Public Transportation CEO of the
Year in North America by the American Public
Transportation Association (APTA). In 2012,
President Obama named him a White House
Transportation Innovators Champion of Change.
In 2009, he was appointed by Colorado Governor
Bill Ritter to serve on the State of Colorado’s
Workforce Development Council to help the state
create a 21st century workforce. And, in 2007, he
was appointed by the mayor of Denver to head
the Host Transportation Committee for the 2008
Democratic National Convention.
Originally from the South Side of Chicago – the
Chicago housing projects of Altgeld Gardens –
Washington is a 24-year veteran of the United
States Army, where he held the rank of Command
Sergeant Major, the highest non-commissioned
officer rank an enlisted soldier can achieve. He
retired from active duty, is a disabled veteran
and was awarded the prestigious Defense
Superior Service Medal for exceptional service
to his country. He holds a B.A. in Business from
Columbia College, an M.A. in Management
from Webster University and is a graduate of the
Harvard University Kennedy School for Senior
Executives in State and Local Government.
He is also a past chair of APTA and a former
member of the Executive Committee of the
Transportation Research Board and the Eno
Center for Transportation.


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