Virginia’s Paul Smedberg Elected WMATA Board Chair
Arlington, VA – At today’s WMATA Board of Directors meeting, WMATA Commonwealth of Virginia Representative Paul Smedberg was elected chairman of the Board. Smedberg, who was appointed by the Governor of Virginia last year, has served on the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission since 2006 and was NVTC Chairman in 2014 and 2018. Smedberg also served on Alexandria City Council from 2003 to 2018. In 2016 he joined the WMATA board as an Alternate Director representing the City of Alexandria and became a Principal Director representing the Commonwealth of Virginia in January of this year. Smedberg has also served as chairman and a member of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board.
Following his election as WMATA Board Chair, Smedberg said, “It’s truly an honor to have been elected to this position” and he promised to “improve transparency, accountability and fairness to all parties.”
During Smedberg’s tenure as NVTC Chair, NVTC achieved several milestones, including the enactment of dedicated funding for WMATA and VRE and the elevation of NTVC’s role and responsibilities in its stewardship of WMATA. His election marks the first time in seven years that a representative from Virginia holds the chair position. Current NVTC commissioner and WMATA Board Alternate Director Cathy Hudgins served as board chair from 2011 to 2012.
After the vote, NVTC Chairman Matthew Letourneau said, “Paul is a respected member of NVTC and brings extensive experience to WMATA issues. He understands the importance of WMATA to the Washington region and to Northern Virginia, and as a former local government representative he understands the unique challenges we have in Virginia. We look forward to working with Paul to achieve better accountability and transparency on the Metro Board.”
Virginia has two representatives and two alternates on the WMATA Board, one selected by the Commonwealth and one by NVTC. Arlington’s Christian Dorsey is the NVTC representative, while Hudgins and Letourneau serve as alternates.
The Commonwealth of Virginia and the WMATA Compact empower NVTC to make Virginia’s appointments to the WMATA Board of Directors. NVTC appoints two principal directors and two alternate directors to the WMATA board. The Metro Board of Directors determines agency policy and provides oversight for the funding, operation, and expansion of transit facilities within the Transit Zone. The Metro Board of Directors is composed of eight voting and eight alternate directors. Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and the federal government appoint two voting and two alternate directors each.