Los Angeles Metro appoints two top officers

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Los Angeles Metro CEO Art Leahy said the agency appointed Chief Operations Officer Colonus "Lonnie" Mitchell to the position he has held on an interim basis since December 2009 and hired architect and urban planner Martha Welborne to the Authority's top planning job..

As COO, Mitchell oversees
bus and rail operations with an annual operating budget of $1.48 billion and
nearly 7,500 employees.

"My goal is to execute
the CEO’s vision to improve transit services and make this agency the best
transit organization in the country," said Mitchell. "It’s an opportunity to
continue to make this transit service one that the public likes to ride."

Mitchell joined Metro as
Procurement Chief in June 2000 after completing a 30-year career in the U.S.
Navy Supply Corps. Appointed Chief Administrative Services Officer in December
2005, Mitchell’s responsibilities expanded to include Procurement and Material
Management, Administration, and Information Technology Services.

Mitchell is a 1969 graduate
of Washington State University, where he earned a BA in economics. He earned a
Masters in acquisition management at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Welborne, a moving force
in many forward projects in the Los Angeles region and the nation, will join
Metro June 1 as Executive Director of Planning. In that capacity, she will play
a key role in accelerating delivery of voter-approved projects funded by
Measure R.

Welborne’s work has
ranged from individual building design to such large-scale planning projects as
Los Angeles’ surface transit project, an effort that led to the creation of the
Metro Rapid bus system now running throughout Los Angeles County. She served as
director on the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority Board from May
2005 to February 2006.

Welborne is the current managing
director of the Grand Avenue Committee, a public/private partnership focused on
revitalizing the civic and cultural districts of downtown Los Angeles through a
$3-billion project that includes six high-rise buildings and a 16-acre civic
park. She will continue to spearhead this effort over the next six months as
she transitions into her post at Metro.

As an architect and city
planner, she has worked on large-scale urban design projects such as campus
master plans and transit systems as a principal of ZGF Architects, LLP, in Los
Angeles. Previously, she was an associate partner of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
LLP and was also a principal of Sasaki Associates, Inc. in Boston.

Welborne currently serves
as a member of MIT’s Visiting Committee for the Department of Urban Studies and
Planning, serves on the Board of the Community Foundation Land Trust and on the
Board of Councilors for USC’s School of Architecture and for KUSC. She was a
Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and is a member
of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. She has also
served as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of

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