The Sound Transit Board of Directors on Thursday, June 23, 2022 voted unanimously to appoint Julie Timm as the agency’s next CEO.
“In hiring Julie Timm, the Sound Transit Board chose an accomplished CEO who offers the right mix of skills and knowledge to guide our transit system forward,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and University Place Council Member Kent Keel. “It’s no easy task to plan, build and operate the largest transit expansion in the nation. Julie brings the leadership and collaborative approach to ensure our successful work continues.”
The Board’s action followed the recommendation of the Board’s CEO Selection Committee, which led a competitive process considering 90 applicants from around the country. Timm will join Sound Transit on Sept. 26 after relocating from Virginia, where she is finishing her current role as CEO of the Greater Richmond Transit Company.
“Over the next few years Sound Transit is poised for transformational growth, and Julie Timm is the right choice to lead the agency as we deliver the largest, most ambitious expansion of transit in the nation,” said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I know that Julie will collaborate with our partners and earn the trust of the people we serve, and I look forward to working with her as we usher in this new era of high-capacity, zero-emission transit in the Puget Sound region.”
“The entire Puget Sound region is counting on Sound Transit to deliver ambitious projects that will give commuters options, move us toward a more sustainable future, and keep our economy growing,” said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “Julie Timm has the experience to ensure we are maximizing federal funding opportunities, meeting our deadlines, and speeding mass transit to Everett, Paine Field, and the rest of the system.”
“I am profoundly grateful to join the Sound Transit team’s work to transform lives across the Puget Sound region for generations to come. Together, we will continue to show what is achievable when we prioritize the health of our people and our planet,” Timm said. “More than doubling the reach of light rail in the next few years represents a historic level of investment. We will keep these and further projects rolling through strong partnerships and innovative solutions that benefit our parents, our children, and our children’s children. It will not be easy or comfortable to complete this vision. I am truly humbled to become part of such a tremendous effort.”
Timm is known as a highly collaborative leader who forges strong relationships with community groups and partners, and for building an agency culture focused on dedication to public service and equity.
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 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 as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Old Dominion University.
Sound Transit Interim CEO Brooke Belman will continue to lead the agency until Timm’s arrival in September.
Sound Transit builds and operates regional transit services for growing urban areas of Washington’s Pierce, King and Snohomish counties. The region is home to more than 50 cities and more than 40 percent of the state’s residents, who have authorized the most ambitious transit expansions in the nation. Over the next three years Sound Transit’s Link light rail system will grow from 26 to 62 miles, before reaching 116 miles following the completion of further voter-approved projects. The system is the first nationally to operate entirely on carbon-free electricity.
Sound Transit is also preparing to add Stride bus rapid transit service to its mix of services, alongside Sounder rail service that will continue expanding and a broad network of ST Express regional bus routes. Sound Transit’s trains and buses integrate seamlessly with services of other local transit agencies.