Leslie Richards

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Leslie S. Richards
Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania
Assumed office
May 11, 2015
GovernorTom Wolf
Preceded byBarry Schoch
Member of the Montgomery County
Board of Commissioners
In office
January 3, 2012 – January 2015
Served with Josh Shapiro, Bruce Castor
Preceded byJim Matthews
Succeeded byValerie Arkoosh
Personal details
Born (1967-04-03) April 3, 1967 (age 52)
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceWhitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania
Alma materBrown University
University of Pennsylvania

Leslie Richards (born June 20, 1973) is the current Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, appointed by Governor Tom Wolf in 2015 and confirmed in May 2015.[1] Previously, she was a member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

Personal life and education[edit]

Richards earned a bachelor's degree in economics and urban studies from Brown University, and a master's degree in regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She has three children with her husband, Ira: Rebecca, Benjamin, and Sophie.[2]


Richards was elected to the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors in 2007, and became chairwoman of the board in 2008.[3]

Richards was elected to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners in 2011. Her election, along with that of fellow Democrat Josh Shapiro, marked the first time in over a century that Democrats controlled the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.[4] Richards served as Montgomery County's representative on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.[5] Richards also serves on the board of SEPTA.[6]

Pennsylvania political operatives had mentioned Richards as a potential Congressional candidate in Pennsylvania's 6th congressional district.[7] Richards declined to run for the seat after incumbent Congressman Jim Gerlach retired in 2014.[8]

In 2015, following the election of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, Richards was nominated to serve as Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania. She was subsequently confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate in May 2015.[1]

In 2017, Richards was appointed the first female chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission as well as the Public Private Partnership (P3) Board.[9]


Award Organization Year
International Woman of the Year Women's Transportation Seminar 2018
Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation Conference of Minority Transportation Officials 2018
Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award City and State PA 2018
Service to Humanity March of Dimes of Southeastern Pennsylvania 2018
Female Innovator of the Year The Stevie Awards 2017
Female Executive of the Year The Stevie Awards 2017
Women of Distinction Philadelphia Business Journal 2017


  1. ^ a b Field, Nick (14 May 2015). "PA-Gov: Wolf Signs First Bills, Nine Cabinet Members are Approved". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Leslie S. Richards, Vice Chair". Montgomery County. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  3. ^ Finarelli, Linda (4 February 2011). "Whitemarsh Supervisor Leslie Richards runs for county commissioner". Montgomery Media. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  4. ^ Simmoneau, Ben (3 January 2012). "Democrats Take Control Of Montgomery County For First Time In A Century". CBS. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  5. ^ Powell, David (20 January 2012). "Leslie Richards Selected for DVRPC". Bryn Mawr Patch. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  6. ^ "SEPTA Board Member Named 'Woman Of The Year' By Local Organization". SEPTA. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  7. ^ Cahn, Emily (30 January 2014). "In Pa., House Democrats Are Really Ready for Hillary". Roll Call. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Leslie Richards won't run for Gerlach seat". Philly.com. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  9. ^ "PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards Named First Female PA Turnpike Chair". PA Turnpike. July 18, 2017. Retrieved August 2, 2017.

External links[edit]