Angela Dluger replaces the previous director Sean Thompson, who is leaving for a job in Cleveland. Thompson spent about a year in the director’s job.
“Former Director Sean Thompson has taken a position outside the federal government and we wish him well,” FTA spokeswoman Angela Gates said in an emailed statement. “Sean has built and managed an outstanding [Metro safety oversight] team, following the FTA’s assumption of temporary direct safety oversight of [the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority] Metrorail. He also helped spearhead the FTA response leading to a first of its kind safety management inspection following the January 2015 WMATA L’Enfant Plaza incident.
The change in leadership, first reported in a tweet by WAMU-FM, appears to have come abruptly. Acting FTA administrator Carolyn Flowers made no mention of it in a Wednesday blog post that acknowledged the one-year anniversary of FTA’s takeover of safety oversight. In the post, Flowers noted that while some progress had been made, far more was needed.
Thompson was still listed as the head of the agency’s WMATA safety oversight team late Wednesday night, but by midmorning Thursday, his biography and picture was replaced by Dluger’s. According to officials in Cleveland, Thompson is taking a job as Director of Rail Operations for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. He starts his job Oct. 31. Thompson previously worked at RTA as the transit agency’s training manager from 2010-2011.
According to her FTA biography, Dluger joined the agency’s Office of Budget and Policy in 2010. In 2012, she joined FTA’s safety programs transition team. In 2014, she became deputy associate administrator in FTA’s Office of Transit Safety and Oversight.
She previously worked as a transportation-sector workforce development consultant. She has also worked for transit agencies in San Jose and Chicago. She has a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional studies from Cornell University and a master’s degree in transportation from MIT.