Sound Transit committee recommends Julie Timm as next CEO

She is CEO of Greater Richmond Transit Company in Virginia

A Sound Transit committee has recommended Julie Timm to serve as the agency’s next CEO.

Timm is currently CEO of Greater Richmond Transit Company, where her more than 400 employees operate regional bus routes serving the Richmond, Virginia area.

The recommendation by Sound Transit Board of Directors CEO Selection Committee goes to the 18-member full board for consideration on June 23, according to a June 3 Sound Transit news release. More than 90 people applied for the job.

Sound Transit’s posting for the CEO job listed the annual salary between $300,000 and $400,000. Contract details between the agency and Timm are expected to be released June 23.

“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.

Timm would replace Peter Rogoff, who was hired in 2015 and left the position May 31. The Sound Transit Board voted 14-3 in September 2021 to replace Rogoff rather than extend his contract for another year.

“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. “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.”

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 plan 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 in Nashville as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk.

The CEO Selection Committee was chaired by Keel and vice chaired by Dow Constantine, who is vice chair of the Sound Transit Board and King County executive. Other board members serving on the committee were Nancy Backus, Auburn Mayor; Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County executive; Debora Juarez, Seattle City Council member; Ed Prince, Renton City Council member; and Dave Somers, vice chair of the Sound Transit Board and Snohomish County executive.

The committee’s action directed Keel, Constantine and Somers to lead work with Timm to negotiate proposed contract provisions for consideration by the board on June 23. The full board includes three members from Snohomish County, 10 from King County, four from Pierce County and the secretary of the state Department of Transportation.

The board hired Rogoff, who made an annual salary of $379,600, in November 2015 to replace Joni Earl, who retired in March 2016 following the opening of the University Link light rail line. Rogoff previously worked as Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy in the U.S. Department of Transportation and as Federal Transit Administrator under President Obama.

If hired, Timm will help oversee the opening of light rail to the Eastside in 2023 and to Lynnwood, Federal Way and Redmond in 2024. The 7.8-mile light rail extension from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way is scheduled to open in 2024.