Central Ohio Transit Authority Board of Trustees Names Monica Tellez-Fowler New President/CEO

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to name Monica Tellez-Fowler as the new President/CEO upon the departure of Joanna M. Pinkerton on May 6. COTA hired Tellez-Fowler as Chief Operating Officer in March of 2023 and promoted her to Deputy CEO in May. Tellez-Fowler quickly made an impact by successfully leading negotiations with Transport Workers Union Local 208, reaching a three-year contract agreement, and avoiding a work stoppage.

“The COTA Board of Trustees believes that the organization is in excellent hands with Monica,” said Board of Trustees President Marlon Moore. “Monica has demonstrated she has the qualities to be a successful and compassionate leader of this organization. She has years of experience leading major transit projects that have had enormous impacts on improving mobility and she is the right person to lead COTA as we bring LinkUS to the community.”

“I am truly honored and grateful to the COTA Board of Trustees for the opportunity to lead COTA and continue working with more than 1,100 frontline workers and support staff,” said Tellez-Fowler. “This year will be a crucial time as voters will make an important decision about the future of public transit in our region. Together, with the support of our incredible team and community partners, we will continue to innovate and enhance mobility solutions for Central Ohio.”

Prior to joining COTA, Tellez-Fowler was Deputy CEO/Treasurer of Clark County Public Transit Benefit Area Authority (C-TRAN) in Vancouver, Washington. At C-TRAN, Tellez-Fowler was responsible for more than $100 million in annual operations and capital budgets and represented the authority on a $3.5 billion Interstate 5 bridge replacement megaproject across the Columbia River on the Washington-Oregon border. Before joining C-TRAN, she was the Chief Financial Officer of Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, Texas, where she oversaw the New Starts Federal Transit Administration grant application process for TEXRail, a $1 billion, 27-mile commuter rail between downtown Fort Worth and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Tellez-Fowler earned a Master’s of Business Administration from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Tarleton State University.