PHIA welcomes nomination of Leslie Richards as PennDOT secretary

January 14, 2015

RichardsGovernor-elect Tom Wolf today nominated Montgomery County Commissioner Leslie Richards as PennDOT secretary and announced that current Secretary Barry Schoch would be retained in a temporary role as a transportation and infrastructure policy senior adviser in the governor’s office.

Richards, vice chair of the board of commissioners, also serves on the SEPTA board and is vice chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. She has an impressive private-sector resume as well, as a senior project manager at a civil engineering firm, where she gained experience with managing multi-million dollar infrastructure projects such as bridge rehabilitation, road repairs, streetscape improvements and other types of projects.

“Ms. Richards brings excellent qualifications and a great balance of private-sector and public-policy experience to this important cabinet-level job, and she was a vocal supporter of Act 89, the transportation funding measure that was passed in November 2013,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.

Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Richards and her husband, Ira, have lived in Whitemarsh Township for 19 years. They have three children, Ben, Sophie, and Rebecca. Additional biographical information is available here.

“We also applaud the move to keep Secretary Schoch involved to assist with the continuing implementation of Act 89 and to assist the secretary-designee as needed,” Wagner said. “Transportation issues traditionally draw strong bipartisan support in Pennsylvania, and we’re pleased that the new administration is continuing that approach.”


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