Leadership Change Underway at Virginia DRPT

Jennifer Mitchell (seen above at left) is stepping down as director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation or DRPT to become deputy administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration in April. Concurrently, Jennifer DeBruhl (above at right) – who has served as department’s chief of public transportation for more than five years – will become DRPT’s acting director.

[Above photos via the Virginia DRPT]

“Jennifer Mitchell has served the Commonwealth well over the last eight years, steering it through a number of major initiatives, including dedicated funding to WMATA, extending Amtrak service to Roanoke and the ‘Transforming Rail in Virginia’’ effort,” said W. Sheppard “Shep” Miller III, Virginia’s secretary of transportation, in a statement.

Jennifer Mitchell

“Jennifer has been a real credit to Virginia and we wish her well as she moves to this exciting and important position,” he added. “We look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”

“It has been a great honor to serve the Commonwealth, and I am proud of what this agency has accomplished to improve our public transportation and rail systems,” Mitchell said.

Miller noted he is “excited” to have a “talented professional in Jennifer DeBruhl” to step into the role as DRPT’s acting director. “I have known and worked with her for over 10 years and know that she will do an excellent job,” he said.

DeBruhl, who joined DRPT in 2016 as chief of public transportation, has over 25 years of public service to the transportation community.

Jennifer DeBruhl

Prior to joining DRPT, she worked at the Virginia Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.

DeBruhl has an undergraduate degree in urban Studies, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, and a Certificate in Public Management – all from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I look forward to furthering the innovative work happening at DRPT and addressing the Commonwealth’s pressing rail and public transportation needs,” she said.

“I’m eager to work with everyone at the department and our partner agencies to take on the challenge of getting public transportation back on its feet after the coronavirus pandemic,” DeBruhl added.

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