Sound Transit names new interim Director of Link light rail project

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Ahmad Fazel, Deputy Project Director for Link light rail, will take over as interim Director of the Link light rail project, Sound Transit announced today. Fazel's promotion will take effect when Tuck Wilson, the current interim Director, resumes his advisory role as a project consultant at the end of June.

"Tuck's contract as Interim Director of Link expires in September," explained Joni Earl, Sound Transit's interim Executive Director. "Over the past few weeks, however, it has become apparent that he has delivered all that was expected of him....and more. And, with the Sound Transit Board expected on June 28th to sharpen its focus on options for Link we agreed that would be the perfect time for Tuck to step back into his consultant's role."

One of Wilson's most important accomplishments was the reorganization of the light rail department. It was during the reorganization that Fazel emerged as the obvious choice to step in and lead Link through this crucial next phase of development.

Prior to joining Sound Transit, Fazel was Project Director of Planning and Development for Denver's Regional Transportation District, where one of his major achievements was opening two light rail corridors on time and under budget. In addition, he served as Systems Engineer for Portland's Tri-Met Westside light rail project. Fazel joined Sound Transit last fall and was promoted to Deputy Director of Link early this year.

"I couldn't leave Link light rail in better hands," Wilson said of Fazel. "He's got the experience, the acumen and the skills to carry out the Board's program."

At its June 14 and 28 meetings, the Board is expected to make initial decisions about the future of Central Link light rail. Wilson will now focus on overseeing preparations for the June Board meetings and resolving outstanding issues on Tacoma Link.

"Tuck accomplished a lot at Sound Transit," Dave Earling, Sound Transit Board Chair, said. "He oversaw a major reorganization of Link staff and was instrumental in securing a $500 million grant agreement with the federal government."

"Tuck's leadership has helped staff prepare the Board for its major decisions this month. I'm glad we'll be able to continue to draw upon Tuck's experience as we move ahead with this project," Fazel said.

"Tuck is leaving the department in great condition, and I have every confidence that Ahmad will provide outstanding leadership as we go forward," Earl said.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.