The new Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO is coming from a transit agency with less than a third of the daily riders and employees, but county officials say she has all the qualities they’re seeking.
Katharine Eagan Kelleman will start her new job as Port Authority’s CEO on Jan. 16, moving on from a roughly three-year stint as CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority in Tampa, Fla., where she worked as the chief operation officer before being promoted.
“All the wonderful, life-changing opportunities we have are irrelevant without transit,” Kelleman said during a Downtown Pittsburgh news conference Wednesday to introduce her. “It’s been what I’m passionate about, as you can tell, and to have the opportunity to bring this focus and do things differently in a preeminent community in America is a dream come true.”
Kelleman agreed to a five-year contract at a salary of $230,000 a year — about $5,000 more than former Port Authority CEO Ellen McLean. Each year Kelleman is eligible for an annual retention and performance bonus of up to 10 percent of her salary.
The move to Allegheny County appears to be a step up in Kelleman’s 20-year transit career.