Leslie S. Richards
|General Manager of SEPTA|
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2020
|Preceded by||Jeffrey Knueppel|
|Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania|
May 11, 2015 – December 31, 2019
|Preceded by||Barry Schoch|
|Succeeded by||Yassmin Gramian (acting)|
|Member of the Montgomery County|
Board of Commissioners
January 3, 2012 – January 2015
Served with Josh Shapiro, Bruce Castor
|Preceded by||Jim Matthews|
|Succeeded by||Valerie Arkoosh|
|Born||April 3, 1967|
|Residence||Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania|
|Alma mater||Brown University |
University of Pennsylvania
Leslie Richards (born June 20, 1973) is the current General Manager of SEPTA. She previously served as a member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, from 2015 to 2019 under Governor Tom Wolf.
Personal life and education
Richards earned a bachelor's degree in economics and urban studies from Brown University, and a master's degree in regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She has three children with her husband, Ira: Rebecca, Benjamin, and Sophie.
Richards was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in 2011. Her election, along with that of fellow Democrat Josh Shapiro, marked the first time in over a century that Democrats controlled the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Richards served as Montgomery County's representative on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Richards also serves on the board of SEPTA.
Pennsylvania political operatives had mentioned Richards as a potential Congressional candidate in Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district. Richards declined to run for the seat after incumbent Congressman Jim Gerlach retired in 2014.
In 2015, following the election of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, Richards was nominated to serve as Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania. She was subsequently confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate in May 2015.
In 2017, Richards was appointed the first female chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as well as the Public Private Partnership (P3) Board.
On November 21, 2019, Richards was named as SEPTA's new General Manager, replacing Jeff Knueppel in January 2020.
|International Woman of the Year||Women's Transportation Seminar||2018|
|Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation||Conference of Minority Transportation Officials||2018|
|Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award||City and State PA||2018|
|Service to Humanity||March of Dimes of Southeastern Pennsylvania||2018|
|Female Innovator of the Year||The Stevie Awards||2017|
|Female Executive of the Year||The Stevie Awards||2017|
|Women of Distinction||Philadelphia Business Journal||2017|
- "PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards to lead SEPTA". WHYY. November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Field, Nick (14 May 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Signs First Bills, Nine Cabinet Members are Approved". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- "Leslie S. Richards, Vice Chair". Montgomery County. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Finarelli, Linda (4 February 2011). "Whitemarsh Supervisor Leslie Richards runs for county commissioner". Montgomery Media. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Simmoneau, Ben (3 January 2012). "Democrats Take Control Of Montgomery County For First Time In A Century". CBS. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Powell, David (20 January 2012). "Leslie Richards Selected for DVRPC". Bryn Mawr Patch. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "SEPTA Board Member Named 'Woman Of The Year' By Local Organization". SEPTA. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- Cahn, Emily (30 January 2014). "In Pa., House Democrats Are Really Ready for Hillary". Roll Call. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Leslie Richards won't run for Gerlach seat". Philly.com. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards Named First Female PA Turnpike Chair". PA Turnpike. July 18, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.