Jennifer Mitchell was 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 been a key player in a number of high priority transportation initiatives, including legislation that provided dedicated funding and governance reforms for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA); providing new sources of transit funding from High Occupancy Tolling projects in northern Virginia and Hampton Roads; creation of the Metro Safety Commission; developing new allocation processes for statewide transit funding; extending passenger rail to Roanoke and increasing slots for future trains to Norfolk and Lynchburg; and opening the “Pulse” Bus Rapid Transit system in Richmond, VA. She also serves as a board member on several transit agencies across the Commonwealth.
Jennifer has 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 projects through planning, design, and construction.
Prior to joining DPRT, she was an Assistant Vice President with Parsons Brinckerhoff. She served as Deputy Project Director for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and held several consulting positions in which she worked with transportation agencies across the U.S. and internationally.
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. She is a member of the WTS Foundation Board of Directors, WTS Governance Committee, APTA Strategic Planning Committee and Innovative Finance / P3 Committee, and the Eno Center for Transportation’s Board of Regents.