Theresa Impastato named Metro’s new safety chief

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Metro recently announced that Theresa M. Impastato, a 20-year veteran of rail safety and operations, is the transit agency’s new EVP/Chief Safety Officer. Impastato will begin August 12.

“We are excited to have a professional of Theresa’s caliber join our team,” said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “She has a profound understanding of what we mean by ‘safety trumps service,’ as well as the leadership skills to continue strengthening our safety culture.”

Impastato was most recently deputy chief safety officer of Amtrak, where she led the drafting and implementation of the railroad’s first Safety Management System and oversaw Federal Railroad Administration safety certification programs for Amtrak’s new high-speed trainsets, rolling stock procurements, and facilities projects. Previously, she was in charge of system safety for NJ Transit’s light rail service between Camden and Trenton, which shares tracks with freight trains. Prior to that role, she worked in the private sector as an analyst and systems engineer.

“I am pleased to join the leadership team at Metro and look forward to digging in immediately to meet the daily challenges of providing safe bus and rail service,” said Impastato. “I am especially focused on opportunities to enhance system safety as Metro continues delivery of the portfolio of major projects underway to improve the customer experience.”

Impastato holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in data and systems analysis from the University of Oxford in England. She has served as a rail system safety instructor for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Transportation Safety Institute, as well as a member of multiple safety committees for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the American Association of Railroads (AAR) and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA).

“We look forward to Theresa joining the team at this exciting time in Metro’s history,” Wiedefeld said. “I also want to express my deep gratitude to Doug Connett, who has done an excellent job leading the safety department on an interim basis.” Connett has served as Acting Chief Safety Officer since the departure of Patrick Lavin in May.

From a WMATA (Metro) news release.

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