Leslie S. Richards, CEO and General Manager

Former PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards joined SEPTA as the CEO and general manager in January 2020 following the retirement of General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel.

The Montgomery County resident previously served on the SEPTA board.

She has extensive leadership experience in the strategic planning and management of transportation projects both in her private-sector work in the planning and engineering fields over the past two decades, as well as in her work in state and local government.

As PennDOT Secretary, Ms. Richards instituted new policies based on sustainable infrastructure investments and innovation. She launched the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric-driven strategic investment approach for the 12-Year Capital Program.

She also started a new initiative called PennDOT Connects for the planning and delivery of capital and maintenance projects. This new policy enhances PennDOT’s collaboration with local governments, and ensures the department’s investments consider the mobility needs of communities in project design.

Ms. Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania.


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