Director Jennifer Mitchell
Jennifer Mitchell was re-appointed in January 2018 by Governor Ralph Northam as the Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), the state agency responsible for providing funding and oversight to public transit systems, and passenger and freight rail programs across the Commonwealth. She was previously appointed to this position in January of 2014 by Governor Terrence McAuliffe.
In her time with DRPT, Jennifer has led several high priority transportation initiatives for the Commonwealth, including a recently announced $3.7 billion deal with CSX to construct the Long Bridge and dramatically expand passenger rail in the Commonwealth; legislation that provided dedicated funding and governance reforms for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA); new sources of transit funding from High Occupancy Tolling projects in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads; creation of the Metro Safety Commission; developing more rigorous and transparent allocation processes for statewide transit funding; extending passenger rail to Roanoke; and opening the “Pulse” Bus Rapid Transit system in Richmond, VA. She also serves as a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, and as a board member on several transit agencies across the Commonwealth.
Jennifer has over twenty-five years of experience in the transportation industry, where she has specialized in the planning and implementation of public transit projects, with a particular emphasis on developing strategic financial plans and advancing major projects through planning, design and construction.
In 2018, she was named by Railway Age as a Woman of the Year, and received the 2017 Distinguished Public Service Leadership Award from the Virginia Transit Association. She also received Woman of the Year by the Women’s Transportation Seminar chapters in Washington, DC and Central Virginia in 2016. She previously served on the Executive Committee for APTA and is on the Women’s Transportation Seminar Foundation Board of Directors.
Jennifer has a Master’s in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Urban Planning from the University of Virginia.