WMATA’s GM/CEO Paul Wiedefeld and COO Joe Leader resign effective immediately

May 17, 2022
Andy Off will lead WMATA on an interim basis until Randy Clarke joins this summer as the authority’s permanent general manager and CEO.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld and Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader have resigned their posts effective immediately. Wiedefeld previously announced his intention to depart the authority on June 30; a decision that was accelerated due to the news that half of WMATA’s rail operators have lapsed recertifications.

"The board appreciates Paul’s and Joe’s commitment to WMATA over the last six years. We feel the timing is right for Interim General Manager and CEO Andy Off to lead the organization through this critical transition period, with a continued emphasis on safety. Safety is and will continue to be our top priority. We will look to Andy’s leadership to ensure we continue on this path,” said WMATA Board of Directors Chair Paul C. Smedberg.

Wiedefeld issued a statement that his immediate resignation better positions Interim General Manager and CEO Andy Off to address the lapsed recertifications and prepare for the start of Randy Clarke as WMATA’s new permanent general manager and CEO later this summer.

“Stepping aside a few weeks ahead of schedule is in the best interest of the agency and its workforce, whom I have been deeply proud to lead over the last six years,” said Wiedefeld. “I thank Joe Leader for his tireless work and dedication, and I wish the men and women who move this city continued success. I am also very grateful to Metro’s customers, stakeholders and board for your support.”

Wiedefeld arrived at WMATA in November 2015 during a time of uncertainty and is credited with improving rail safety and reliability, securing dedicated funding, developing one of the transit industry’s largest capital programs and steering the agency through the pandemic.

Leader joined WMATA in August 2016 following a nearly 30-year career with New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a brief stint consulting. Leader was in charge of rail, bus and paratransit services and provided executive management of Metro Transit Police, parking and support services.

Andy Off currently serves as WMATA’s executive vice president of capital delivery and is working to deliver the second phase of the Silver Line. He first joined WMATA in January 2012 as chief engineer for track and civil engineering before working his way up to senior vice president of rail services. He left WMATA for a brief stint at an engineering firm in 2018 and returned to the authority in May 2020 as vice president of project implementation and construction and was promoted to his most recent EVP position in June 2021.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.