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Leslie Richards

General Manager
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Leslie Richards, former PennDOT Secretary, began as SEPTA's General Manager in January 2020.

Ms. Richards, who previously served on the SEPTA Board, oversees SEPTA's 9,500 employees and all aspects of the Authority's operations. SEPTA is the sixth largest public transportation agency in the U.S., serving approximately one million riders each weekday.

Ms. Richards has extensive leadership experience in the strategic planning and management of transportation projects both in her private-sector work in the planning and engineering fields over the past two decades, as well as in her work in state and local government. Her private- and public-sector backgrounds give her a unique perspective on understanding stakeholder issues. She is known for her ability to build consensus to find solutions to problems.

As PennDOT Secretary, Ms. Richards instituted new policies based on sustainable infrastructure investments and innovation. She launched the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric-driven strategic investment approach for the 12-Year Capital Program. She also started a new initiative called PennDOT Connects for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects. This new policy enhances PennDOT's collaboration with local governments, and ensures the department's investments consider the mobility needs of communities in project design.

Ms. Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master's of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

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