The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) announced that Paul J Ballard will become The T’s new president and chief executive officer, effective April 14.
Ballard is chief executive officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee. He was appointed MTA’s CEO in 2002.
He has served as chief executive or general manager of multiple transit systems. He has also been president of two national transit management firms and operated or consulted on transit operations in 38 U.S. cities in 19 states.
Ballard’s appointment follows the evaluation and interviews of final candidates by an Executive Search Committee comprised of T board members and business and community leaders in Tarrant County. Candidates were recruited and recommended by a national search firm based on their leadership experience in public transportation, emphasizing passenger rail.
“This is the executive we want to lead The T at this point in time,” said T Board Chair Scott Mahaffey. “His experience will be valuable to us as we navigate the next few years. Particularly in the area of commuter rail and the FTA’s New Starts process, Paul’s leadership is something that we will count on for our TEX Rail project,” Mahaffey said.
Ballard’s leadership role the last 12 years with the Nashville MTA and the Regional Transportation Authority has required working with two boards while facilitating 10 board or committee meetings each month. MTA is a municipal agency with a five-member board, and the RTA is a state agency with a 38 member board of mostly elected mayors.
Ballard also led the new Music City Star commuter train through critical milestones with federal and local operating funds, compliance with Federal Transit Administration and Federal Railroad Administration regulations and necessary negotiations.
"I am looking forward to working with the Fort Worth transportation board, management team, staff and city officials to implement the T’s transit goals. I will enjoy participating in the significant changes underway such as the TEX Rail project,” commented Ballard.
Ballard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Transportation and Public Utilities Management from Indiana University School of Business and a Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration (With Distinction) from Webster University in St. Louis. He has training in customer service from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Ballard will fill the top position at The T that has been filled on an interim basis by Anthony Johnson, chief operating officer.