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DART board names David Leininger as interim president/executive director

🕐 2 min read

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board of Directors selected David Leininger to serve as DART’s interim president/executive director at a special called meeting Nov. 20.

The appointment follows Gary Thomas’ recent decision to retire from DART after almost 20 years of leadership at the agency.
Leininger will join the agency as the deputy executive director on Nov. 30, 2020, and assume the role of interim president/executive director on Feb. 1, 2021.

Thomas’ retirement is effective at the end of January 2021. He will continue to provide support for the interim president/executive director and the board on a part-time basis as needed. Board Chairman Paul N. Wageman has established an Ad-hoc Search Committee to lead a comprehensive national search process to identify the president/executive director of DART.

“This is both a challenging and exciting time for the agency and the North Texas area,” Leininger said in a news release. “Gary has built a world-class team here at DART, whose dedication to both our residents and the agency’s mission is evident across the service area. I look forward to working closely with the board, our strong management team and our talented employees to ensure our customers continue to receive the superb service, safely and securely, that they have come to expect from DART.”

Leininger served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at DART until his departure in 2018.

“David’s experience with the agency and our service area cities, as well as his extensive public service background, makes him a great choice for this position,” said Wageman. 
Leininger originally joined DART as senior vice president, chief financial officer in December 2008. In February of 2012, he was promoted to executive vice president and given the additional oversight of the Information Technology, Marketing & Communications, Procurement and Risk Management departments.

“I would like to thank DART’s employees and management team for their tremendous effort and achievement which have brought us here,” Thomas said. “I have great faith in David’s experience, knowledge and drive to ensure the agency’s continued success serving the residents of North Texas.”
Prior to joining DART, Leininger was associated with the City of Irving for five years, serving initially in the capacity of CFO and subsequently as Managing Director of Development Services and Economic Initiatives.

His previous public sector experience includes positions as Budget Director and Director of the Office of Economic Development for the City of Dallas and Fiscal Services Administrator for the City of Garland.
Leininger spent nearly 25 years in the private sector in a variety of real estate development roles.

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