Scott Smith will retire as CEO of Phoenix’s Valley Metro in 2022.
Smith recently informed the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors that he will not seek to extend his contract, which expires at the end of this fiscal year.
Smith joined the agency as interim CEO in February 2016 and was asked to stay on in November 2016. Under his leadership, Valley Metro has completed two major capital projects—the Gilbert Road Light Rail Extension in Mesa, Ariz., and the 50th Street/Washington enhanced ADA rail station in Phoenix—and received approval for a $530 million federal discretionary grant for the South Central Extension/Downtown Hub light rail project, which is currently under construction. Work has also begun on a rail extension in northwest Phoenix, and its application for $160 million in federal funding is in its final stages of approval.
He served previously as a certified public accountant, lawyer and CEO of a regional homebuilding and development company. He is also the former Mayor of Mesa, Ariz.
“We are grateful for Scott’s leadership during the past five-plus years,” Valley Metro Board Chair and Mesa Council-member Francisco Heredia said. “He’s provided steadfast leadership [and] innovative planning, and has been an effective advocate for transit, infrastructure investments and sustainable development in our region, across our state and at the national level.”
“As an organization, Valley Metro is as healthy and strong as I’ve ever seen it,” Smith said. “Over the past few years, we have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants for our rail system, have several significant projects under construction, and have weathered the storm of the pandemic to provide safe and efficient transit to our region. I’m ready to move on to the next chapter in my life and turn the keys over to new leadership. At Valley Metro, we are committed to connecting communities and enhancing lives, and I am confident that this team will continue to provide strong leadership to that end. I’m very optimistic about the future of the organization and transportation in the Valley.”
The Boards of Directors have begun the process of retaining an executive search firm to find Smith’s successor.