March 17, 2022
A dedicated and innovative transit professional will carry forward the local transit success story beginning April 4, 2022
PHOENIX—Today, the Valley Metro Board of Directors announced Jessica Mefford-Miller as the agency’s new Chief Executive Officer. Mefford-Miller joins Valley Metro with 15 years of experience connecting people and places through transit in the St. Louis, MO region. She joins the agency after coming out on top of an extensive, nationwide search following CEO Scott Smith’s retirement announcement in summer 2021.
“Jessica offers extensive transit experience with a strong dedication to the customer experience, innovation and collaborative partnerships,” said Valley Metro Board Chair and Mesa Councilmember Francisco Heredia. “She also clearly demonstrated an ingenuity to lead through change and create positive outcomes for the good of the organization, employees and riders. Her energy certainly matched ours as we consider the future of Valley Metro and its important role coming out of the pandemic and into an era where we continue to experience such incredible growth as a region!”
Mefford-Miller most recently served as Executive Director for Metro Transit where she led a team that delivered bus, light rail, paratransit and microtransit across the St. Louis metropolitan region. Throughout her career she has focused on social equity, environmental sustainability, delivering excellent customer experiences and contributing to thriving regional economies.
“I am excited to join the team at Valley Metro at a time of tremendous growth and innovation within the metro Phoenix region, where transit is at the forefront as an essential public service,” said incoming CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller. “I look forward to working with the Boards, member agencies and staff to provide excellent transit service that delivers value to our communities and continuing realization of Valley Metro’s bold capital vision.”
Mefford-Miller’s career is highlighted by many milestones, including leading Metro Transit through a reimaging of its bus system, which improved frequencies systemwide; creating a shift towards renewable energy through its battery electric bus program; overseeing the planning and design of expansions to their current 46-mile light rail line; and leveraging the region’s rail investment to create thriving transit-oriented development. Her work has been recognized by Mass Transit Magazine, Progressive Railroading, Women’s Transportation Seminar, and the St. Louis Business Journal.
Previous to Metro Transit, Mefford-Miller held posts at the National Park Service, the Ohio Department of Transportation and The Ohio State University. She holds a B.S. in Geography from Southern Illinois University, an M.S. in Geography from Texas State University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Geography from The Ohio State University. She is also a proud mom, outdoor enthusiast and is eager to explore all that metro Phoenix and Arizona have to offer, through the windows of our transit system and beyond.