APTA Chair Nuria I. Fernandez, general manager/CEO, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), San Jose, CA, has been appointed FTA Deputy Administrator.
Fernandez served as APTA chair from October 2019 to January 2021, through a pandemic, a recession, and grave unrest over racial injustices. Her term was extended a year to continue her leadership to advance advocacy, innovation, workforce development, and membership growth.
In April 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, she created APTA’s Mobility Recovery and Restoration Task Force, which was tasked with developing a roadmap for public transportation services in a post COVID-19 world. The task force created a set of recommendations, including safeguarding employees and riders, public and rider confidence, and customer-focused operations, as well as resiliency, equity, and societal needs. Learn more at www.apta.com/covid-19-resource-hub.
“I want to thank Nuria for her vision and leadership as chair of APTA. She has been exemplary in leading our industry during a time of unprecedented challenges and transformational change,”said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “We look forward to engaging with Nuria in her new role, as the industry stands ready to work with President Biden, his Administration and the new Congress in a unified push to move our country forward and build the public transportation infrastructure of the future.”
Fernandez served as FTA acting administrator under President Clinton, where she enabled the allocation of more than $1 billion in annual grant funding to local communities for planning, design, and construction of new and expanding rail and bus systems.
“It has been pure joy to lead the VTA organization and see the early seeds of plans develop into programs and projects that will continue to transform mobility in this region for many years to come,” said Fernandez. “In my seven years, my team of talented public servants delivered great transportation accomplishments, of which I was humbly a part of in making our community better.”
“The Valley Transportation Authority is left a better agency having been under Nuria’s leadership,” said Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County board supervisor and past VTA board chair. “She expanded diversity and equity within the agency and for the betterment of our community and provided unwavering direction through the devastating impact of the COVID pandemic. VTA’s infrastructure projects and transit services are on a strong path to success, and for that, we owe Nuria Fernandez a debt of gratitude.”