Jennifer DeBruhl appointed director of DRPT

July 25, 2022
DeBruhl has been serving as interim director since March 2022 and says her focus will be on metrics, evaluation, innovation and accountability to provide useful services to the commonwealth.

Jennifer DeBruhl, who has been serving as acting director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) since March 2022, has been appointed by Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to fill the role on a permanent basis.

DeBruhl joined DRPT in 2016 as the chief of public transportation following more than 20 years of public service to the transportation community at the Virginia Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration. She succeeded Jennifer Mitchell who stepped down to serve as deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

At DRPT, DeBruhl led the evaluation, assistance and execution of public transportation, commuter assistance and congestion management programs within the commonwealth through times of significant change. She played a significant role in implementing the reforms to Virginia’s Making Efficient + Responsible Investments in Transit (MERIT) program to bring accountability and transparency to public transportation funding. She was fundamental in implementing the Virginia Breeze intercity bus service in rural communities across the commonwealth and spearheading the new Transit Ridership Incentive Program to expand regional connectivity and reduce barriers to transit use.

“I have known Jennifer DeBruhl for over 10 years. She is an outstanding professional with a strong record of success,” said Secretary of Transportation W. Sheppard Miller III. “I cannot think of anyone better suited to build upon the great foundation at DRPT as it works to help the public transportation and rail industries emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger than before. That is why I am so pleased that she has accepted this position”

In addition to her role at DRPT, DeBruhl serves as a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, chair of the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Board and as a board member for several transportation organizations around the commonwealth.

DeBruhl has an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies, a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a Certificate in Public Management, all from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Leadership APTA Class of 2018, chair of the APTA State Affairs Committee and member of the Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the AASHTO Multi-state Transit Technical Assistance Program Steering Committee and is a certified Project Management Professional.

“I’m honored to be the next director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation as the agency marks its 30th anniversary,” DeBruhl said. “While the transit and rail industry has been challenged by COVID-19, Virginia has an opportunity to think about the best ways to serve residents moving forward, and I’m eager to work with our partners to find ways to improve. We’ll be focusing on metrics, evaluation, innovation and accountability to provide useful services to the commonwealth.”

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