City Club of Chicago: Metra CEO James Derwinski
April 23, 2018
James Derwinski – Executive Director & CEO – Metra
James M. Derwinski
James M. Derwinski was selected as next CEO/Executive Director of the commuter rail agency by a unanimous vote of the Metra Board of Directors in August 2017.
Derwinski has had a long career in Metra’s Mechanical Department most recently serving as its Chief Mechanical Officer. In that role, he oversaw 650 employees responsible for the repair, inspection, cleaning and maintenance of nearly 1,200 railcars and locomotives. He was also in charge of Metra’s in-house railcar and locomotive rehabilitation programs, a contract for locomotive re-manufacturing and the installation of Positive Train Control on cab cars and engines.
After a six-year stint in the U.S. Navy as an electrician on nuclear submarines, Derwinski began his railroad career as a locomotive electrician with the Chicago & North Western Railroad in 1993. He joined Metra as an electrician in 1997 and steadily rose through the ranks serving as a foreman, general foreman, shop superintendent, director of systems maintenance, locomotive superintendent, Rock Island division director and Milwaukee division director and then senior director of mechanical operations. He was named Chief Mechanical Officer in September 2013.