The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) has named Theresa M. Impastato executive vice president and chief safety officer, effective August 12, 2019. Doug Connett has served as acting chief safety officer since Patrick Lavin departed Metro in May.
Impastato is 20-year veteran of rail safety and operations. She most recently served as deputy chief safety officer at Amtrak. There, she led the drafting and implementation of Amtrak’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.
Prior to that, she worked at NJ TRANSIT, where she oversaw system safety for light rail service between Camden and Trenton, which shares tracks with freight trains. Additionally, she worked in the private sector as an analyst and systems engineer.
“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.”
“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 earned 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.”