Providing Public Transportation
Alternatives for the Greater
Phoenix Metro Area

Press Releases

Fri, Jan 22, 2016

Boards of Directors Name Interim CEO

PHOENIX, AZ – Following a joint meeting of the Valley Metro RPTA and Valley Metro Rail Boards of Directors on Thursday, action was taken to select Scott Smith, former Mayor of Mesa and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as the interim chief executive officer for the Valley Metro organization. An employment agreement is being prepared with an effective date of February 1, 2016.

“The Valley Metro agency is too important, with too many important milestones and programs, to be without a good leader,” said Phoenix Councilmember, Valley Metro Rail Board Chair and Valley Metro RPTA Board Vice Chair Thelda Williams. “We greatly appreciate the interest of Scott Smith and the service of acting CEO Eric Anderson.”

Scott Smith Photo

Scott Smith, a private sector CEO, accountant and attorney, was elected as mayor of the City of Mesa in 2008. He used his business experience to reorganize the city and reduce the city’s budget by nearly 20 percent. Smith spearheaded efforts to attract new and small businesses to the area, create economic activity with spring training facility investments and a thriving East Valley airport and leverage grassroots, community support for parks and other city enhancements. Additionally, he was successful in recruiting five liberal arts colleges to Mesa, complementing the recent light rail expansion into the downtown area. Smith left office in spring 2014 to run for state elected office. Most recently, Smith served as a Resident Fellow in the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“It is with great appreciation for public transit and the Valley Metro agency that I accepted the challenge to serve as the interim CEO,” said Scott Smith. “I thank the Boards of Directors for this opportunity and look forward to building upon the foundation they’ve established to bolster the organization’s fiscal controls, transparency and positive momentum in expanding high quality transit to all in the region.”

Eric Anderson has served as the acting CEO since December 2015 following the departure of Stephen R. Banta. Anderson will stay on board through the execution of an employment agreement with Smith, eventually returning to his post as Transportation Director for the Maricopa Association of Governments.

Smith has agreed to serve as interim CEO until the selection process of a permanent CEO for Valley Metro is complete.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of 23 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2015, total ridership for the system was 71 million passengers. Six light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting

Back to Press Release Listing