MTA Executive Management Team
Stephen G. Bland — Chief Executive Officer
Stephen G. Bland serves as the chief executive officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority. He was appointed MTA CEO in July 2014, and officially began his new duties on Aug. 25. He has served as the CEO, executive director, or general manager of both large and small transit systems during his extensive career, in cities such as Pittsburgh, Penn; Albany, N.Y.; York, Penn.; and Gloucester, Mass. He also served as the program director on the CTfastrack, a 9.5 mile advanced bus rapid transit system between New Britain and downtown Hartford, Conn and has done other consulting work on similar projects. Bland holds a Master of Public Affairs in Public Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs, with Distinction in Transportation Planning and Management from Indiana University.
Edward W. Oliphant — Chief Financial Officer
Edward W. Oliphant serves as chief financial officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority. He served as interim MTA/RTA CEO for five months from April 1 through August 24, 2014. Prior to joining the transit authorities in October 2002, Oliphant was the director of finance at Private Business Inc. in Brentwood, Tenn. Oliphant is a certified public accountant and has more than 30 years of professional experience in accounting and finance. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a major in accounting from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, graduating with high honors.
India Birdsong — Chief Operating Officer
India Birdsong serves as the chief operating officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority. She began her duties in June 2015. Prior to joining the transit authorities, Birdsong served as the Senior Manager of Bus Supervision & Instruction, Central Region for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). During her tenure with CTA, she also held positions leading operations for a CTA Operating Division, Bus Operator Instruction, and Special Events Planning. She began her career there as an operations planner. Birdsong is active in several transit industry organizations, including the American Public Transportation Association, Transit Cooperative Research Program, and Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. She is also proficient in Spanish. Birdsong has a bachelor's degree from Temple University and a master's degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rita Roberts-Turner — Chief Administrative Officer
Rita Roberts-Turner serves as the chief administrative officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority. She began her duties in May 2016. Prior to joining the transit authorities, she served as the chief of staff for the Office of the General Counsel at Vanderbilt University. She began a long career in public service having worked as an assistant public defender, assistant metropolitan attorney, and later as chief of staff for former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. She also served as the director of the Metropolitan Government's Human Resources Department before joining Vanderbilt University. Roberts-Turner holds a bachelor's degree from Western Kentucky University where she graduated cum laude. She earned her law degree from Temple University School of Law. She is an active member of the Tennessee Bar Association and Nashville Bar Association, and is also on the board of Gilda's Club Nashville and the Tennessee State Board of Appeals.
Julie E. Navarrete — Chief Development Officer
Julie E. Navarrete serves as the chief development officer of the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Regional Transportation Authority. She began her duties in June 2016. Prior to coming to Nashville, she served as transit development officer at Hampton Roads Transit in Virginia. She has 20 years of transportation project management across the industry and the country. Navarrete holds a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Old Dominion University. She has served in leadership and advisory roles on numerous boards including the American Public Transportation Association Policy and Planning Committee and Environmental Subcommittee, American Planning Association (Virginia and North Carolina Chapters), Women's Transportation Seminar (North Carolina Triangle and Hampton Roads Chapters), Southeast High Speed Rail Association, and Light Rail Now - Virginia Beach.