The board of directors of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has appointed Leslie S. Richards general manager. She succeeds General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel, who is retiring in January.
Richards, the current Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary, will oversee SEPTA's employees and all aspects of the Authority's operations. She had previously served on the SEPTA Board.
"We are thrilled to welcome Leslie back to SEPTA as the next General Manager," stated SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. "She has a proven track record of success as transportation executive, and brings a vision for the future that will help us build on our successes and prepare for the challenges ahead."
Richards has 20 years of experience in strategic planning and management of transportation projects in the private and public sectors and has worked in state and local government. As PennDOT Secretary, she instituted new policies based on sustainable infrastructure investments and innovation, and launched the Transportation Investment Plan, a strategic investment approach for the 12-Year Capital Program. Richards also started PennDOT Connects for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects.
Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She earned a master's of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
"SEPTA is critical to the vitality of the Philadelphia region, and to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a whole," said Richards. "I am honored to be selected as the next General Manager, and look forward to working with SEPTA employees, riders, residents and other stakeholders to ensure we meet the region's transportation needs now and for years to come."