Executive Leadership | Valley Metro

Valley Metro is committed to providing safe, efficient and reliable public transportation to 19 member agencies in Maricopa County. Organized by division, we support a various set of customers ranging from transit riders, business stakeholders, local elected leaders and the broader community.

Valley Metro CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller

Jessica Mefford-Miller , Chief Executive Officer

As CEO of Valley Metro, Jessica Mefford-Miller is responsible for the operations and expansion of the regional public transportation system in metropolitan Phoenix. Mefford-Miller has 20 years of experience in transportation. Most recently, she served as Executive Director for Metro Transit where she led a team that delivered bus, light rail, paratransit and microtransit across the St. Louis metropolitan region. During her career, she has focused on social equity, environmental sustainability, delivering excellent customer experiences and contributing to thriving regional economies.

While at Metro Transit she led a reimagining of its bus system, which improved frequency to more than half of daily riders. She has demonstrated success at reducing carbon emissions by making transit more attractive and accessible. This includes the launch of microtransit and connector services. At Metro Transit, she led a shift toward renewable energy through its battery-electric bus program and partnerships to shift utilities to renewable sources. She has overseen the expansion of St. Louis’s 46-mile light rail system while also supporting public-private partnerships as a way to leverage rail investment with thriving transit-oriented development.

Previously, Mefford-Miller held posts at the National Park Service, the Ohio Department of Transportation and The Ohio State University. She holds a B.S. in Geography from Southern Illinois University, an M.S. in Geography from Texas State University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Geography from The Ohio State University.

Hillary Foose

Hillary Foose, Director, Communication & Strategic Initiatives

Hillary Foose leads the Communications and Strategic Initiatives Division. This division is responsible for passenger communications, community outreach and media.


Jim Hillyard

Jim Hillyard, Chief Administrative Officer / Interim Chief Financial Officer

Jim Hillyard leads the Agency Business, Technology and Services Division. This division is responsible for marketing, technology services, accessibility services, commute solutions, special projects and office management.

Jim also leads the Finance Division. This division is responsible for budget and operations financial controls, financial reporting, ridership reporting, general accounting and revenue generation.

Henry Ikwut-Utwa

Henry Ikwut-Ukwa, Director, Capital and Service Development

Henry Ikwut-Ukwa leads the Capital Development Division. This division is responsible for corridor and facility planning, system and service changes, grant applications, on-board surveys, sustainability and system maps, design and construction management, project controls, quality management, facility public art and utilities.

Penny Lynch

Penny Lynch, Director, Human Resources

Penny Lynch leads the Human Resources Division. This divisions is responsible for meeting the agency’s hiring needs, overseeing strategic planning, special projects and administrative services and staff functions.

Adrian Ruiz

Adrian Ruiz, Director, Safety, Security & Quality Assurance

Adrian Ruiz leads the Safety, Security and Quality Assurance Division. This division is responsible for all safety and security programs for bus and rail transit including the agency’s emergency management planning, disaster response and business continuity planning.


Alexis Tameron Kinsey

Alexis Tameron Kinsey, Director, Government Relations

Alexis Tameron Kinsey is responsible for directing Valley Metro’s intergovernmental affairs and government relations program, including engagement with federal, state and local policy makers and staff, as well as stakeholders and community partners across the agency’s 19-member jurisdictions.

Michael Wawro, Interim General Counsel

Michael Wawro leads the Legal Division. This division is responsible for all legal and risk management matters, including contracts, litigation, claims, general counsel, Board governance, public records, and legal compliance.