Transportation 2023: MONICA BACKMON
CEO, NORTHERN VIRGINIA TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY, FAIRFAX COUNTY
Backmon brings more than 20 years of transportation experience to her position, in which she oversees long-range planning, prioritization and funding for Northern Virginia regional transportation, with an aim of reducing congestion and funding multimodal transportation projects. Backmon became the NVTA’s executive director in 2014 and its CEO in 2021.
In the past year, the authority updated its master transportation plan, TransAction, which includes 424 projects, and in May NVTA accepted proposals for a consultant to start work on a preliminary deployment plan for a regional bus rapid transit system.
Last year, Backmon received the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) D.C. chapter’s Woman of the Year Award and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership. A two-time graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Backmon serves as a mentor through WTS.
HOW I CHOSE MY CAREER: In college, I needed a 300-level elective course for graduation and came across a course titled “Housing and the Elderly.” This single course changed the trajectory of my career and, I dare say, my life. It was here where I was introduced to urban and regional planning.