Shawn M. Donaghy named NCTD CEO

Dec. 26, 2023
Donaghy has been CEO of C-Tran in Washington state since 2017 and will begin his role at NCTD on March 1, 2024

Shawn M. Donaghy has been approved as North County Transit District (NCTD) CEO by the NCTD Board of Directors; he will begin March 1, 2024. Donaghy follows interim Executive Director Paul Ballard, who stepped in to manage the agency after the retirement of Executive Director Matthew O. Tucker. 

Donaghy has served as CEO of C-Tran in Vancouver, Wash., since 2017 and has more than 25 years of experience in both private and public intermodal transportation. He is credited with the success of C-Tran’s new bus rapid transit line, The Vine on Mill Plain;  an overhaul of C-TRAN’s operations and maintenance campus including the agency’s first electrified fleet, infrastructure for future hydrogen facilities and new buildings and a multi-billion / multi-jurisdictional replacement project of the Interstate 5 bridge connecting the states of Oregon and Washington slated for construction in 2026.

Donaghy has also been integral in several capital projects during his career the Cincinnati Streetcar, TEXRail and an extension of light rail into southwest Washington.

“Mr. Donaghy has the experience and leadership qualities necessary to manage a unique transit agency such as NCTD that includes bus, hybrid rail, and heavy rail,” said NCTD Board Chair Jewel Edson. “We find ourselves at a critical juncture at NCTD as we continue to convert our fleets to zero emissions, pursue redevelopment projects, and ensure a state-of-good-repair for our assets and infrastructure. The Board is confident in Shawn’s ability to successfully lead NCTD.”
Donaghy’s appointment follows a four-month, nationwide search by the NCTD Board of Directors.

“I am honored to have the support of the NCTD Board and for this unique opportunity,” said Donaghy. “With the help of NCTD’s amazing team, I am excited to accomplish the goals set before us that will support the communities of North County. Transportation options built on equitable outcomes, partnerships that improve quality of life and continued focus on economic development will be the key to those shared successes.”

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.