Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed Keturah Denise Harley to the board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Harley, the former general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Employee Relations Board, who also served as the agency’s acting executive director, will replace Alvin Nichols who left the board in January. Harley will represent Maryland and Prince George’s County on the transit authority’s board.

“Keturah brings a strong regional perspective and broad legal expertise to the WMATA board,” Hogan said in a news release announcing her appointment. “Her labor relations and budgetary experience will serve the board well as the organization works to overcome significant financial challenges.”

Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn said Harley would be a “true asset” to the board as it works to restore financial stability and rider confidence in the system.

As general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Employee Relations Board she represented the agency in the District of Columbia Superior Court and in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in all appellate matters. PERB is an independent agency that focuses on resolving disputes between District government agencies and unions that represent District employees. Prior to the general counsel position, she worked as an appellate litigation attorney at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Harley has strong local ties. She earned a bachelor’s in political science from Trinity College and a law degree from the Howard University School of Law.

She will join the board at a time of significant transition for Metro. The transit authority is trying to remake itself following a fatal smoke incident in January that killed one person and injured more than 80 others. Metro also is searching for new leadership following the retirement of Richard Sarles in January. The authority is grappling with financial problems — fallout from a critical federal audit that found significant problems with how it has handled billions in federal grant money.