Search for new MARTA CEO could wrap up by March


The search for a new MARTA chief executive is progressing and should be completed in about three months, the agency’s chairman says.

MARTA Board of Directors Chairman Robbie Ashe said a consultant hired to conduct a national search has been interviewing agency employees and community leaders to determine the qualities they believe the next CEO should possess. It will use that information to prepare a formal job description.

After that, the search is expected to move quickly. And Ashe thinks the agency will have a deep pool of applicants to choose from.

“There is a breadth and depth of interest in our post that gives me confidence that we will be able to hire MARTA’s next great general manager by the end of the first quarter (of 2018),” he said.

MARTA has been without a permanent CEO and general manager since Keith Parker left this fall to become president of Goodwill of North Georgia. The agency’s chief legal counsel, Elizabeth O’Neill, is serving as the interim CEO.

Parker spent nearly five years leading Georgia’s largest transit agency and is widely credited with turning around the agency’s finances, improving its operations and cultivating a better relationship with state lawmakers.

Parker’s departure comes at a crucial time for mass transit in Georgia.

MARTA is planning expansions in Atlanta and Clayton County, while Fulton and Gwinnett counties may hold transit referendums next year. State lawmakers are discussing regular funding for transit capital projects as well as a new transit governance structure for the Atlanta region.

Parker has said his successor must “take the baton from current leadership and advance us to the next level.”

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