Janice R. Thomas was named Chief of Staff on December 1, 2019.
The Chief of Staff will serve as a highly effective communicator, key strategic advisor and planner to the CEO who will take responsibility for special projects and lead key initiatives by resolving complex issues that require executive leadership and direction. Also in this role, she is responsible for directing and managing the government affairs, marketing and community relations teams.
Ms. Thomas joined Metra in 2010, serving the agency in a variety of capacities, most recently as its Senior Division Director of Business Diversity & Community Relations. In this role she was responsible for the administrative oversight and management of the agency’s community relations, DBE and Title VI programs.
Thomas has more than 23 years of experience in government with a concentration in supplier diversity. She began her career as a compliance coordinator for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. Prior to joining Metra, she worked for the University of Illinois at Chicago as the minority and female business enterprise coordinator in the purchasing division.
Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Chicago State University. She is a certified professional public buyer (CPPB), and a professional member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing. She has also served as an honorary co-chair for the Minority Business Development Agency-MED Council of Chicago. She is a graduate of the American Public Transportation Association Leadership Program for executive professionals and a graduate of the Eno Transit Senior Executive Program.