TriMet’s executive team consists of the general manager, the chief operating officer and the executive directors of the agency’s divisions.
The team works together for the delivery of safe and reliable transit service for residents of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. The executive directors are responsible for the performance of their employees, their budgets and, ultimately, their division’s role in the overall performance of the agency.
“Having worked for many years in business, public transportation is one of the few services where I not only frequently use our services but also get to support our front-line team. They directly improve the quality of life for so many, every day. It’s such a unique privilege and calling to actually help shape the region you live in for the next 100 years.
Doug provides critical transportation and urban planning leadership and analysis. Before joining TriMet, Doug served as Chief Operating Officer at TransLink in Vancouver, B.C., and president of the bus and rail companies. He was directly responsible for the transportation plans for the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games, and he has supported the strategic plans of other Olympic Games, including London and Sochi.
Doug earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Principia College and also graduated from the CEO Program at the Kellogg School of Management. He has had an extensive career in the private sector, where he oversaw operations, strategy and planning for organizations such as Shell and Starbucks.
Sam Desue, Jr.
Chief Operating Officer
“Transit is critical to the citizens of the Portland metro area. I look forward to setting TriMet on a strategic path for the future.
As Chief Operating Officer, Samuel (Sam) Desue, Jr. leads TriMet’s Transportation and Maintenance divisions. He also oversees the Information Technology Division and provides leadership to the Safety and Security Division. Sam’s top priority is ensuring a commitment to policies and practices that demonstrate safety as our fundamental value.
Sam brings to Portland more than 22 years of public and private transportatoin experience, including in Washington State.
Sam has provided visionary and strategic leadership of transportation services in the Seattle and Kansas City metropolitan regions. He moved up through the ranks at Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), starting there as the Director of Transportation in 2013 and serving as COO, interim General Manager and, most recently, Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to Kansas City, Sam worked at both Pierce Transit and Community Transit in Washington, where he directed transportation services. He also oversaw ground transportation at SeaTac International Airport as well as operations at Seattle Monorail.
In his five years at Pierce Transit, where he moved up from Senior Transportation Manager to Vice President Transportation Services, Sam helped redesign a 30-year old transit route system to better address travel patterns. He also reduced operating costs, improved productivity, established employee training and support programs, implemented a new radio system and Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) system, and grew customer satisfaction.
Sam serves on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Board of Directors and on the APTA Operators Committee. He is a veteran, serving nearly 11 years in the U.S. Army.
Executive Director of Public Affairs
“I think the Portland region is one of the great places to live and work. TriMet is a huge part of what makes Portland the wonderful place that it is. It’s a privilege for me to be a part of the team that plays such an important role in serving this community.
Bernie Bottomly, executive director of public affairs, oversees TriMet’s governmental affairs, communications, customer service and planning/policy departments.
Bernie worked at TriMet from 1993 to 2002 as the agency’s legislative director, with responsibility for state and regional legislative affairs as well as regional transportation finance policy.
Prior to his work at TriMet, Bernie served as district administrator for U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin (D-OR) for almost a decade with responsibility for natural resource, transportation and economic development policy. After his work at TriMet, he became a director at Pacific Power with responsibility for community services in Oregon, Washington and California. Following this position, he served as the vice president of government affairs and economic development for the Portland Business Alliance. He has been the Alliance’s staff liaison to the Oregon Business Plan and has served on the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee and the Central City 2035 Technical Advisory Committee, among many others.
As a native Oregonian — raised in Beaverton — and a graduate of the University of Oregon, Bernie brings a wealth of understanding of the critical role transit plays in our region. And with his vast experience inside and outside of TriMet, he’s developed an expertise in working alongside both businesses and community groups.
Executive Director of Finance & Administrative Services
“I believe that working with public transit is as much a calling as an occupation, and working at TriMet provides the ultimate industry opportunity to serve a truly transit-oriented community at one of the country’s finest transportation organizations.
Dee Brookshire has more than 20 years of experience in public agency and private sector finance. Among her many community involvements, Dee has served on the finance committee for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Sacramento Business Services Center.
She also served as the chief financial officer for the Sacramento Regional Transit (RT) District for seven years.
Dee led economic recovery efforts at RT, bringing back more efficient and cost-effective transportation services following the economic downturn.
In addition to her financial experience in transit, she has worked for public utility districts and city government, and as a public agency consultant. Her background includes substantial debt restructuring and multiple bond issuances for public agencies. She has also aided in successful labor negotiations for agencies with multiple bargaining units.
Dee joined TriMet in 2014, and she is responsible for directing the agency’s financial service, providing oversight and directing procurement and contracts, financial analysis and grants. She will continue the work of the agency’s 5-year plan to ensure financial stability.
Dee received her MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno, and received her B.S. in Business Administration-Finance/Economics from California State University, Sacramento. She is also a Certified Government Financial Manager through the Association of Government Accountants.
“I love that TriMet is all about connecting people with mobility options that invigorate this region and help keep it livable and sustainable for everyone.
Shelley Devine joined TriMet in March 2008 as Senior Deputy General Counsel and was promoted to General Counsel in March 2014. In addition to advising the General Manager and Board of Directors, Shelley oversees the Legal Services Division, which includes Litigation, Real Estate, Records Governance and Transit-Oriented Development.
Before joining TriMet, Shelley spent a decade as in-house counsel for two national corporations headquartered in Portland — KinderCare and Hollywood Video. Prior to her in-house work, she was a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of a national law firm.
Shelley received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was an editor of the California Law Review, and her B.A. in Journalism, with honors, from the University of Oregon. A native Oregonian, she lives on a small farm in Southeast Portland and is an enthusiastic regular TriMet rider.
Executive Director of Maintenance Operations
“A vibrant transportation system is the heart of a city; it builds community and provides opportunity for everyone. I am fortunate to be part of the TriMet team working to deliver safe and reliable service to our community.
Roland Hoskins oversees the maintenance of TriMet’s buses, light rail vehicles and non-revenue vehicles.
Roland has more than 30 years of expertise in business management, human resources, labor relations and organizational development. Before joining TriMet, he served as Assistant General Manager of Administration at Lane Transit District in Eugene, Oregon, where he directed the agency’s finance, administration, human resources and procurements departments, as well as managed its $185 million operational and capital budget.
Roland received his bachelor’s degree and MBA from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.
Executive Director of Transportation
““I’m pleased to be working for a highly-regarded transit agency in a community that’s committed to multimodal transportation. I believe in TriMet’s mission, and look forward to working with our employees to build upon current accomplishments, advance safety and grow our service. Success to me is being proactive and preventing problems through analysis and process improvement.
Patrick Preusser leads the operational activities for bus, MAX Light Rail, WES Commuter Rail and LIFT paratransit service. The division includes about 1,750 employees who deliver more than 101 million rides a year.
Patrick brings 19 years of railway experience working in both public and private sector operations, including freight, commuter, passenger and transit, all with a dedication to advancing safety and operations. He comes to TriMet from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he served as Operations Manager for the Saudi Railway Company (Serco). Prior to that, Preusser was Executive Director of Rail Operations for Metro in Los Angeles; he has also worked for Amtrak and for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Rail Administration.
Patrick has a Master of Intermodal Transportation Management from University of Denver and is currently completing a second master’s degree in Public Administration.
Incoming Executive Director of Safety & Security
Marla Blagg is responsible for leading the safety, security, emergency management and environmental service functions at TriMet. She will be working closely with retiring Executive Director of Safety and Security Harry Saporta to ensure a smooth transition in advance of his departure from TriMet in early 2019.
Prior to joining TriMet, Marla spent six years as emergency manager at BART, where she established the transit agency’s first emergency operations center. She has nearly 20 years of emergency operations, management and training experience across law enforcement, fire, public health and transit.
Marla is a member of APTA’s Security Emergency Management Task Force Committee and serves as an adjunct professor for the Infrastructure Training & Safety Institute at Texas A&M University’s Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). She provides real-world training to first responders and public service professionals on disaster management, and she received a commendation for her emergency response efforts during Hurricane Irene in 2012.
Marla has a bachelor’s degree in applied science from the University of Calgary and a doctorate of chiropractic from Palmer College West. She is also a graduate of the University of the Pacific’s Transit and Paratransit Management Training Program.
Retiring Executive Director of Safety & Security
“I believe in public transit and the important service it provides to the Portland metro area. I truly enjoy what I do and work hard every day to ensure the safety and security of our riders and employees.
Harry Saporta is working with incoming Executive Director of Safety and Security Marla Blagg to ensure a smooth transition in advance of his early 2019 retirement.
Immediately prior to joining TriMet, Harry led the Surface Transport Safety and Security Project for Good Harbor Consulting, where he supported the development of the safety and security master plan for all modes of surface transportation for the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport and provided safety and security technical support to the Etihad Railway Project in the United Arab Emirates.
Harry also served as the director of the office of safety and security for the Federal Transit Administration before joining Parsons Brinckerhoff. In this capacity at the FTA, Harry was responsible for developing programs to meet the safety, homeland and transit security and emergency management needs of the public transportation industry throughout the United States.
Harry was awarded the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary’s Ribbon Award for development and implementation of the Five-Point Homeland Security Program that provided a strategic plan for combating potential acts of terrorism against public transportation agencies.
Harry has a B.S. in Transportation Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an M.P.H. in Safety Management from Tulane University. He is also a Certified Safety Professional.
Executive Director of Labor Relations and Human Resources
Kimberly Sewell has over 20 years of experience in law and labor relations. Formerly TriMet's Director of Legal Services, Kimberly has been with TriMet since 2002.
In her previous roles in the Legal Services Division, Sewell has developed a keen insight and understanding of employment and labor laws. She worked closely with the Labor Relations team, representing TriMet before the Employment Relations Board, resolving grievances, interpreting contracts and participating in negotiations and mediations.
Kimberly has also provided critical guidance to TriMet’s Human Resources team. She helped establish TriMet’s workers’ compensation program, assisted on development of HR policies and procedures, and advised the agency on state and federal employee rights and equal employment opportunity laws.
She has a J.D. from the University of Oregon's School of Law and received her bachelor's degree from Long Beach State University.
Executive Director of Engineering & Construction
“As a young person growing up in Portland, TriMet was my ticket to get to school, have fun with friends and travel to my summer jobs. TriMet’s investments in the region’s transit network have made this a truly special place. It is so rewarding to be a part of the team that makes this region one of the most livable communities in the nation.
Steve Witter directs all aspects of Engineering and Construction’s planning, development, design and construction, and improvement of TriMet’s transit system, including many “state of good” repair efforts, the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project, and the Southwest Corridor light rail project.
He joined TriMet in 2001, working in various capacities on other capital projects, including conceptual design of the MAX Green Line (opened in 2009), the MAX Yellow Line (opened in 2004), WES Commuter Rail (opened in 2009) and planning work for the Columbia River Crossing. Most recently, Steve served as Program Manager on proejcts including the agency’s MAX Orange Line, known as the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project.
Steve has a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and has taught design and graphics courses as an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Portland State University.
A lifelong Portland resident, he lives with his family in SE Portland’s Woodstock neighborhood.
To reach a member of TriMet’s executive team, contact:
TriMet Executive/Board Administrator
1800 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97201