Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
American Public Transportation Association

 Leadership APTA

Leadership APTA is committed to identifying and selecting a diverse, broad-based group of highly motivated and dedicated industry professionals from among our membership to participate in this industry-recognized leadership program.
Leadership APTA Class of 2018

Leadership APTA is the American Public Transportation Association’s premier professional development program designed to develop and support those experienced managers and leaders aspiring to hold senior and executive leadership positions in APTA, their organizations, and the public transportation industry. 

Candidates for Leadership APTA should show the promise and potential to be part of executive teams, the chiefs' suite, and other senior leadership positions.

Leadership APTA is committed to identifying and selecting a diverse, broad-based group of highly motivated and dedicated industry professionals from among our membership to participate in this industry's highly recognized senior and executive leadership program. Leadership APTA has become the path to prepare you to join the next generation of senior and executive leadership of APTA and public transportation industry​.

Each year, the Leadership APTA Committee selects 25 individuals from among APTA member applicants to participate in an intensive year-long program that includes skill-building workshops, conferences, executive roundtables, team leadership projects, teleconferences, online meetings, and web-based events. 

 

Leadership APTA Class of 2017 with 2016-2017 APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes and APTA acting President & CEO, Richard White (standing far left); and Leadership APTA Chair Susannah Kerr Adler (standing far right)
 
  • COMMIT to an intensive and rewarding year-long program that connects them with APTA's executive and senior leadership, national and international public transportation industry leaders, leading university professors, and expert faculty. 
  • DEEPEN your understanding of the public transportation industry and APTA, strengthen and sharpen core leadership competencies and expand your network of colleagues and friends.
  • DEVELOP knowledge and skills through customized leadership workshops, executive roundtable sessions, small team assignments, site visits and mentoring.
  • CHANGE how you listen, think, respond and lead as senior executives.
  • ADDRESS key leadership challenges facing the industry and collaborate with classmates to develop and recommend solutions. 
  • BENEFIT from opportunities to be a featured speaker at APTA and industry conferences, committee meetings, workshops, and events.
  • PROMOTE APTA's mission to strengthen and improve public transportation.
  • GIVE BACK to their organization, APTA and the industry.
  • BE PART of​ a prestigious group of 25 individuals selected from a competitive pool of APTA member applicants and, upon graduation, join the program's illustrious alumni. 
     
​  ​
Doran Barnes 
2016-2017 APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes addresses the Class of 2017

Preparing Transformative Executive Leaders
For APTA and the Public Transportation Industry

Susannah Kerr AdlerLeadership APTA - A national industry program for aspiring senior and executive industry leaders

A letter from the Leadership APTA Committee Chair, Susannah Kerr Adler, AIA
 

Leadership APTA is the American Public Transportation’s flagship program to develop and support those experienced managers and leaders aspiring to hold senior and executive leadership positions in APTA, their organizations, and the public transportation industry.  Our commitment to select the best set of applicants that represents the rich diversity of our industry stands firm. 

Leadership APTA will celebrate its graduating 500 senior leaders and executives over its twenty-year history when we convene in Atlanta for EXPO 2017. This is a remarkable achievement and a testimony to APTA, program alumni, and our many supporters.​

The program continues to be recognized by its alumni, executive leaders, and the industry for the level and high-quality of the program. Several Leadership APTA alumni have risen to top executive positions in both the public and private sectors. Many serve as members of the APTA Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Others serve in leadership positions on a number of APTA’s committees, subcommittees, and task forces. APTA's current Chair Doran Barnes is a graduate of the second Leadership APTA class. 

We continue to revisit the curricula and improve our sessions to ensure we stay focused on topics of key importance and relevancy for today’s executive leaders. This past December we premiered an executive round table that addressed security and safety matters as seen through the eyes of the CEO.  These discussion leaders engaged in tremendously valuable conversations with class members. 

Last spring, we reaped the benefits of many improvements to both the application process as well as improved tools for the Committee members to select incoming class members. Essays were more focused, letters of recommendations were more substantive, and the Committee members were able to make more informed decisions by using an enhanced online toolkit.

The class leadership projects targeting Chief Executive Officers, General Managers, and executive leaders continue to provide an excellent venue for class members to engage in conversation with top leaders inside and outside of the transit industry. Each year at the APTA Annual Meeting and Leadership APTA Graduation Program, APTA features graduating class members who share highlights of their project topics and presentations. These leadership presentations and written reports have become highly regarded industry resources.

The Leadership APTA program is also about growing future leadership of APTA and giving back to APTA and the industry. Applicants must possess the drive and demonstrate a desire to serve on APTA committees and task force addressing industry issues. All class graduates must commit one year of active service to APTA immediately upon graduating from the Leadership APTA program, and their organizations need to uphold and support their commitment.

Each of us has a responsibility to build future leaders for this industry. Invest in the future of APTA, the sustainability of the public transportation industry and your own organization.

Thank you for your continuing support of Leadership APTA.

Program Highlights

Eligibility Requirements

Only employees of organizations that are APTA members are eligible to apply.

Target Audience

Candidates need to be proven experienced managers having the drive, dedication, and promise to join the ranks of senior and executive leadership positions. They may come from other positions having strong leadership potential working for public transportation systems, private sector businesses supplying goods or services to the public transit industry, or other organizations related to the industry including small businesses. Candidates might be new general managers of small to mid-sized organizations; transit agency assistant general managers or assistant general managers working for public transit services providers. They might be rising business and private sector program and project senior managers with a track record of recognized success and plans for senior and executive leadership.

  • Candidates need to demonstrate the potential to be a strong and effective leader. Candidates need
     to be at a director-level/equivalent position or higher, department or division head/equivalent, and at a high enough level in your organization where he or she can speak with confidence to the goals, priorities, and major issues your organization is addressing. Candidates might also be principals of small businesses.
  • Candidates for Leadership APTA need at least 10-15 years of significant work experience from the public or private sector/other, including at least three years  of transit experience, plus a proven track record of demonstrated successes.
  • Candidates applying for the Leadership APTA Class of 2018 need to be able to become actively involved in APTA immediately upon graduation. They need to have the drive and desire to serve on APTA committees and task forces in areas of interest and benefit to them and their organizations. They need to be willing to eventually assume leadership roles in committees, working groups, and task forces.

Please note: APTA member organizations can submit only one candidate as your applicant for the Leadership APTA Class of 2018. Organizations submitting more than one applicant run the risk that all their organization's applicants are disqualified from consideration.

What To Expect

  • Highly recommended attendance and full participation in the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO including Leadership APTA orientation program and customized workshops for incoming class members; participation in committee meetings, conference sessions, and Class of 2018 introduction during the Class of 2017 graduation program.
  • Required attendance and participation in multi-day workshop sessions in December 2017, March 2018, and July 2018.
  • Required attendance and full participation at the 2018 APTA Legislative Conference.
  • Required attendance at the 2018 APTA Annual Meeting to present class team leadership projects at committee meetings, conference sessions, and the Leadership APTA graduation program.
  • Full and active participation in class workshops, activities, assignments, presentations, leadership team projects, teleconference and online activities, and other related program events.
  • Active participation in an APTA committee, task force and/or special initiative upon graduation.

Additional Benefits

The program tuition fee is $5,000. Tuition fees include Leadership APTA workshop sessions, related workshop books & materials, and some meals. Fee also includes complimentary registrations for the 2017 Annual Meeting & EXPO, 2018 APTA Legislative Conference, and the 2018 APTA Annual Meeting.

Agencies and organizations sponsoring participants are responsible for the following: tuition fees; travel costs to and from: the Leadership APTA sessions and workshops; 2017 Annual Meeting & EXPO; 2018 Legislative Conference; 2018 Annual Meeting; hotel expenses; some meals; and related miscellaneous expenses.

Members of the Leadership APTA Class of 2018 receive complementary registrations to attend the 2018 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference and the 2018 APTA Rail Conference. (Note: No formal Leadership APTA workshop sessions are held at either of these conferences).

Sponsorships

Leadership APTA participants are sponsored by the public transportation system or organization where they are employed. An organization’s sponsoring a candidate, providing the monetary resources, and allowing the time necessary for their candidate to participate in the related events, activities, and project work are critical to the success of Leadership APTA.

Sponsoring Organization Commitment 

General managers, presidents, executive directors, and chief executive officers sponsoring candidates recognize that sending participants to Leadership APTA is extremely valuable to their organizations. Since the first Leadership APTA Class of 1998, public transportation leaders have watched their investments in this program return great dividends.

The executive leadership of sponsoring organizations also understands that their commitment and support means allowing their Leadership APTA participant to attend the required workshops and conferences listed below:

  • 2017 December workshop session
  • 2018 APTA Legislative Conference and class workshop sessions
  • July 2018 capstone session
  • 2018 APTA Annual Meeting that honors the graduating class and features them at committee meetings, conference sessions, and their graduation program to present their executive leadership projects.

The Leadership APTA Committee highly recommends that incoming class members attend the 2017 APTA Annual Meeting & EXPO, including related class workshops and orientation programs.

Executive leaders from sponsoring organizations need to recognize that their Leadership APTA participants will spend time over the year, from March to October, working on their executive leadership projects and will participate in related conference calls, online meetings, and web-based events. Upon graduation, Class of 2018 members will also serve as program coaches and mentors for the incoming Class of 2019.

Committee Participation: One of the goals of Leadership  APTA is to develop future leaders of APTA. The Leadership APTA program requires that each sponsoring organization actively supports at least one additional year of APTA involvement from its Leadership APTA participant immediately upon graduation through work on APTA committees, task forces or special projects.

APTA thanks and recognizes our industry members who leverage their Leadership APTA graduates as valued leaders within their organizations and the industry. 


     
Class of 2017 members hear from Leadership APTA Committee, federal, and industry executive leaders​
​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​
 

 Get Started

 

Ready to apply? Visit How to Apply to access the online application.

 

 Leadership APTA Class of 2018 Timeline

 

June 2, 2017: application deadline

By mid - to end - July 2017: participants selected and notified

Mid-September 2017- September 2018: participants participate in online meetings, participate in intensive workshops and other events, and complete class projects

September 2018: Leadership APTA graduation program at 2018 APTA Annual Meeting 

 

 Contact

 

If you have questions about Leadership APTA, please contact:

Joseph Niegoski
Senior Director-Educational Services
202-496-4870
jniegoski@apta.com

 

 Members-Only Resources

 
Copyright © 2017 American Public Transportation Association
1300 I Street NW
Suite 1200 East
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone (202) 496-4800 | Fax (202) 496-4324
Logo Usage | Staff Intranet