Mitchell, Virginia DRPT
Jennifer Clinger Mitchell, a 20-year transportation professional, is the new director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (VDRPT). She succeeds Thelma Drake.
Mitchell has worked in public transit management, transportation funding, policy development, and major capital projects. As an assistant vice president at Parsons Brinckerhoff, she managed the company’s Transit Project Development and Finance practice. Previously, she was deputy project director for finance at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and manager of project finance for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project within VDRPT.
Collins, North Carolina DOT Public Transportation Division
North Carolina DOT has named Debra Collins the new director of its Public Transportation Division, effective Feb. 1.
Collins is co-director of the Public Transportation Group at North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE), as well as program manager for the Urban Transit Assistance Program and manager of the North Carolina Transit Program. Earlier she worked with the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, the Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council, and the city of High Point, NC, and held several positions with the Winston-Salem Transit Authority, Winston-Salem, NC.
Dirks, Detroit DOT
Dan Dirks joined Detroit DOT as its new director on Jan. 15.
Dirks has 25 years of local and national experience in public transportation. He was general manager of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, serving the suburbs of Detroit, from 1998-2007, and more recently has been a public transportation consultant.
“A reliable public transportation system is critical to our efforts to keep Detroiters in Detroit and to make it a welcoming place for visitors and for new businesses to locate,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Dan knows the challenges we face at DDOT because he faced and overcame similar challenges during his time at SMART. He will be able to bring about a noticeable improvement and better coordination in transportations services we provide our residents,” he added.
Dirks added: “I look forward to collaborating with the employees of DDOT on an action plan to turn this bus system around and make it a quality service.”