New CEO Kevin Desmond to lead TransLink

NEW WESTMINSTER, BC — Following an international candidate search and careful review process, the TransLink Board of Directors has selected a new Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Desmond. He assumes the role March 21.

 

Mr. Desmond is currently the General Manager of King County Metro Transit, overseeing a large regional transit system with strong parallels to Metro Vancouver. He’s been with King County since 2004, which serves the Seattle metropolitan region with a mix of transit modes, including buses, trains, vanpools and paratransit service.

 

“We look forward to welcoming Kevin Desmond to TransLink, which will benefit from his expertise and leadership,” said Don Rose, Chair of TransLink Board of Directors. “His experience — including public votes on transit funding and the introduction of a light rail line – and his emphasis on collaboration with customers and local stakeholders will be invaluable as we move forward.”

 

During his tenure, Metro Transit launched light rail and streetcar service, several bus rapid transit lines, grew transit ridership by 44 per cent, and rolled out the ORCA Card – much like TransLink’s Compass Card. Kevin has also been part of three successful votes on transit funding, including the most recent successful Seattle transit ballot initiative in 2014, which is allowing Metro Transit to expand service, address customer demand, and combat overcrowding.  

 

“Kevin Desmond’s long record of leading growing transit systems will be a significant asset to our region as we work together to secure urgently-needed new investments for transit and transportation infrastructure,” said Gregor Robertson, Chair of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation. “We look forward to welcoming him as TransLink’s new Chief Executive Officer, and to collaborating in a variety of ways to keep building a transportation network that is more effective, efficient, and customer-focused than ever before.”

 

Mr. Desmond built his career in the public sector, beginning in New York City and most recently in Seattle. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from New York University.

 

The CEO's annual salary will be $365,000, which is in the mid-range of the compensation plan approved by the Mayors’ Council in October 2015. For the first year only, Mr. Desmond will receive a housing allowance of $1,500 per month.

 

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Media contact:

TransLink Media Relations

C: (778) 375-7788

E: media@translink.ca  

 

Chief Executive Officer biography

Kevin Desmond is the incoming Chief Executive Officer for TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority.

 

Kevin is currently the General Manager of King County Metro Transit serving the Seattle metropolitan region. He’s been with King County since 2004, overseeing a mix of transit modes, including buses, trains, vanpools and paratransit vans, as well as leading their almost 5,000 employees. 

 

During his tenure, Metro Transit launched light rail and streetcar service, several bus rapid transit lines, grew transit ridership by 44 per cent, and rolled out the ORCA Card — much like TransLink’s Compass Card. Kevin has also been part of three successful votes on transit funding, including the most recent Seattle ballot initiative in 2014, which is allowing Metro Transit to expand service, address customer demand, and combat overcrowding.   

 

Prior to Metro Transit, Kevin was Vice-President of Operations and Development at Pierce Transit in Tacoma, Washington. Kevin managed both day-to-day operations, as well as policy and service development functions for eight divisions within Pierce. He managed a staff of 640 and was responsible for local and commuter transit services, paratransit services, safety and training. He was also responsible for carrying out a variety of policy and strategic initiatives as part of the agency’s development efforts.

 

Before relocating to the West Coast, Kevin acted as Chief of Operations Planning for New York City Transit which included bus and subway operations. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director in Mayor Koch’s Transportation Office and Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

 

Kevin has a master’s degree in public administration from New York University. He is a member of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA Board of Directors and the first chair of APTA’s Sustainability Committee). His wife is a nurse practitioner and he has two adult children. Kevin expects to relocate to New Westminster where he will be able to walk or bike to work, or take a short SkyTrain ride to TransLink’s Sapperton office.

 

About TransLink

TransLink is Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority and is governed by the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act. TransLink is unlike any other transportation authority in North America in having responsibility for planning, financing and managing public transit, in addition to some regional roads and bridges. It plans and manages the region’s transportation system as a strategic whole — creating and sustaining a transportation system that meets the needs of residents, businesses and goods movers in a manner that protects the environment and supports the economic and social objectives of the region.

 

PDF Version of CEO bio

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