Metro Board approves Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins as next CEO of LA Metro

Here is Stephanie’s bio on the Metrolink website and below is the news release from the office of Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti with today’s announcement:

Metrolink CEO brings long history with Metro, public transit, and infrastructure to new role

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that the Metro Board of Directors voted to appoint Stephanie Wiggins to be the next Metro Chief Executive Office. Wiggins, currently the CEO of Metrolink, will be the first woman, and first Black woman, to serve in this role at Metro. She will succeed retiring CEO Phil Washington.

“Metro is in the midst of a generational transformation that will mean more jobs for local workers, more growth for our economy, and more ways for Angelenos to move around our region — and nobody is better prepared to carry the torch of progress than Stephanie Wiggins,” said Metro Board Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Stephanie’s career makes her ideally suited to lead this agency at this moment: she’s experienced, determined, committed to equity, and steeped in L.A.’s transportation history, and she is the perfect candidate to carry Metro into its next chapter.”

As Metro’s CEO, Wiggins will manage a budget of nearly $7 billion, oversee up to $20 billion in capital construction projects, and oversee an agency with 11,000 employees that transports more than a half-million boarding passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 buses and six rail lines.

Wiggins started her tenure as CEO of Metrolink in December 2018, directing an agency that operates a regional passenger rail network that connects riders across a six-county, 538 route-mile system. Prior to taking on that post, Wiggins served as Deputy CEO of Metro, where she assisted the CEO in advancing the agency’s primary objectives, including the implementation of projects made possible by Measure M.

Wiggins has a Master of Business Administration degree from the USC Marshall School of Business. She is the recipient of a wide range of awards, including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ 2018 Women Who Move the Nation Award and League of Railway Women’s 2020 Railway Woman of the Year Award.

“I am honored by the opportunity to return to LA Metro as its CEO and am grateful to Mayor Garcetti and the LA Metro Board for the faith they have placed in me for this important role. I am thankful to my team at Metrolink for all of our successes together – and those that are still to come throughout this transition and as we work together in the future,” said Stephanie Wiggins, Chief Executive Officer of Metrolink and incoming LA Metro CEO. “LA County has great mobility needs that we must develop with goals of achieving better health, opportunity and equity for all of the region’s residents, and I look forward to bringing transformative leadership and collaboration with the region’s transportation authorities to make this vision a reality.”

Wiggins replaces outgoing Metro CEO Phil Washington, who served the agency for six years. She is expected to assume the role in May.

“Phil Washington has been a visionary leader, a force for trailblazing growth and lasting progress across our transit network,” added Mayor Garcetti. “Phil leaves this agency better off than he found it — a legacy of an expanding public transportation system that gets Angelenos where they need to go and remains a force for sustainability, equity, jobs, workforce development, and shared prosperity across the L.A. area.”

“I have worked closely with Stephanie for many years and she has earned my trust and respect with her leadership, intellect, and dedication to mobility and to the people of Los Angeles County and Southern California,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “I am thrilled with the Metro Board’s selection, and I know Stephanie is the right person to lead the agency into the future.”


“I cannot think of a more qualified candidate to lead Metro through recovery and into a bright future with community and equity at the forefront than Stephanie Wiggins,” shared Metro Board Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis. “Stephanie’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer marks a monumental shift in leadership as the first woman in the agency’s history. Coming from Metrolink, I am confident in Stephanie’s leadership as she brings experience, passion and drive to make Metro a resource for every resident in Los Angeles County and beyond.”

“I am pleased to welcome Stephanie back to the LACMTA family. Having had the pleasure of working with Stephanie both at the MTA and Metrolink, I know that she is an asset to the Los Angeles County transportation community,” said Metro Board Second Vice Chair and City of Glendale Councilmember Ara Najarian.

“It’s been a pleasure to see Stephanie’s extraordinary work firsthand over the past several years at Metro and then as CEO of Metrolink. Her exceptional leadership skills will guide this agency well for years to come,” said Metro Board Director and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Stephanie Wiggins as our new CEO,” said Metro Board Director and City of Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Stephanie is a proven leader, a visionary, and—most importantly—a doer. She understands that our riders need to be Metro’s highest priority and I look forward to working with her to improve and expand our transit service for those who depend on it.”

“I am pleased today that we, as the Metro Board, have selected such an excellent candidate in Stephanie Wiggins to succeed Phil Washington as our new CEO,” said Metro Board Director and City of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts. “With over 26 years of experience in transportation, Stephanie brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge in the areas of leadership, management effectiveness and of the Southern California public transportation system. Not only will she enable a smooth and seamless management transition, I am confident that she will help resolve complex challenges facing Metro through fiscally responsible, strategic, and inclusive leadership.”

“Countless Los Angeles residents rely on Metro for their daily needs, from commuting to essential jobs to accessing education or healthcare services, and CEO Wiggins, with her experience and vision, is well-poised to tackle that monumental responsibility,” said Metro Board Director Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker. “Alongside her impressive professional achievements and deep knowledge of the region, Ms. Wiggins understands the importance of applying an equity lens to every decision. With a leader like CEO Wiggins at the helm, we can continue improving how we deliver transit programs and services for Metro’s bus-dependent riders and every Los Angeles community.”

“As a new Director, I’m so pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in the decision to hire CEO Wiggans, who also happens to be a Whittier College Alumna,” said Metro Board Director and City of Whittier Councilmember Fernando Dutra. “She brings the continuity, experience and leadership that our world-class transit organization requires and I am looking forward to working with her.”

“Stephanie Wiggins was the obvious choice to be the next CEO of Metro,” said Metro Board Director and Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. “She is experienced and capable and has the vision necessary to lead this large, complex, and critically important agency. Stephanie puts people first and understands that Metro’s work on improving transit is ultimately about people and improving the lives of our residents. As the first woman of color to serve as Metro’s CEO she will be shattering a long-standing glass ceiling and opening doors for so many more women to follow.”

“Stephanie Wiggins has already played an incalculable role in the growth and success of public transportation in Southern California,” said Metro Board Director and City of Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who is also on the Board of Metrolink. “In her previous role at Metro she was vital to the success of Measure M, and as CEO of Metrolink she has provided extraordinary leadership at a time of unprecedented challenges for the railroad. Stephanie is the perfect choice to lead Metro at a time when we are building and expanding a transportation system that will define Los Angeles for the 21st century.”

“I am extremely happy that Stephanie is coming back into the Metro fold this time at the top,” said Metro Board Director and Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I can’t think of anyone better to lead this agency out of the pandemic and into a promising future. I am especially excited for her to build upon her dedication and leadership with the Metro’s Woman and Girl’s Governing Council and its continued focus on improving the rider experience for our female riders.”

“Ms. Wiggins is the leader Metro needs, as we head into a new era of atonement, addressing inequity, and making our system more dignified for our riders,” said Metro Board Director and Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “I thank Mr. Washington for his illustrative service, and for the tireless work that he did to position Metro as the best – and most exciting – transit agency in the world.”

“Selecting a CEO at Metro with a proven record of high achievements in a complex and challenging environment is crucial to Metro’s abilities to meet the mobility demands in our region,” said Metro Board Director and City of Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval. “Stephanie Wiggins has a proven track record both here at Metro and her current leadership at Metrolink. I am proud to have participated in the historic selection of Stephanie Wiggins as our CEO. I am even more proud that she is the first woman CEO at Metro and the first black woman to lead the agency.”

3 replies

  1. I am probably wrong, but I though Linda Bolhinger was the CEO for LA Metro for about a year somewhere between White and Burke.

    • Hi Victor;

      You’re not wrong! Linda did serve as interim CEO in the late ’90s and Stephanie, in fact, was interim CEO for a few weeks in 2015 before Phil Washington began. The distinction is no “interim” this time — the Metro Board selected Stephanie to fill the position and awarded her a four-year contract with option years. We’ll certainly miss Phil and we’re also very glad to welcome back Stephanie.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source