Lona Edwards Hankins

Chief Executive Officer

Lona Hankins serves as the Authority’s chief executive officer. Previously, she served as the RTA's chief of infrastructure and long-term planning. In that position, Lona oversaw the development and execution of capital assets and the implementation of infrastructure improvement projects across all modes of the Authority’s transit operations and administration. In her over 30 years of work experience in the industrial and public sector, Lona has spearheaded the rebuilding of New Orleans schools during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Previously serving as the director of major capital projects for the Recovery School District (RSD), Lona completed over $2.0 billion in projects across 40 school campuses for the children of New Orleans.

Katherine Bush Felton

Chief of Staff

Katherine Bush Felton serves as the chief of staff for the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority. Katherine brings 15 years of public sector experience, including time at the White House during the Obama Administration, the office of U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-15) and various departments within the City of Seattle where she most recently served as the director of communications for the Mayor’s Office.

Justin Cayless

Chief Transit Officer

Justin serves as the Chief Transit Officer. This is his second tour of duty at the RTA, having previously served as the as the Director of Operations and then Senior Director of Operations from 2021-2022. is a transit executive known for his strategic leadership and transformative impact in the transportation industry. He most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer overseeing HNS Management Inc., where he was responsible for the operations and management of more than 1200 employees, 500 vehicles and the fixed-route bus systems in Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford, Conn., for CTtransit in collaboration with CTDOT.

His expertise lies in building and leading high-performance operations and technology driven teams, implementing data-driven decision-making, and executing organizational restructurings to drive sustainable growth and performance.

Gizelle Johnson-Banks

Chief Financial Officer

Gizelle Johnson-Banks is the chief financial officer, bringing over 19 years of financial management, reporting and facility operations experience to the RTA. Prior to joining the RTA, Ms. Johnson-Banks served as the chief financial officer for FirstLine Charter School Network, managing a $50 million budget and six school networks. Gizelle was responsible for strategic financial planning and analysis, business modeling, implementation of new systems and the reorganization of the finance and accounting departments.

Ryan Moser

Chief Asset Management Officer

Ryan brings a wealth of transportation experience in New Orleans and his native Colorado, where he’s worked in public service and as an entrepreneur. In his current role, Ryan oversees all of the maintenance for facilities, bus and rail, as well as asset life-cycle planning. He plays a pivotal role in optimizing the organization’s resources and operations. Ryan began his career at RTA in 2017 and previously served as Maintenance Supervisor, Superintendent of Bus Maintenance, and Fleet Technology Manager. A passionate advocate for the transit industry as a career opportunity for youth coming out of high school, Ryan earned a trade school degree from Wyo-Tech, a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies from Colorado Christian University, and a Master of Business Administration from LSU Shreveport. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Ryan relishes spending quality time with his loving family and is the proud father of six children.

Dwight Norton

Chief Planning and Capital Projects Officer

Dwight serves as the Chief of Planning and Capital Projects. Dwight has been with RTA since 2021 when he joined the team as Senior Director of Strategic and Long-Range Planning and has contributed greatly over the last couple years in terms of moving the agency's strategic plan forward. Dwight has more than 18 years of experience in transportation and community development. With the support of his planning and capital team, he will continue to advance our transportation capital projects, push for innovation in our transit service planning, modernize our fare technology and software systems, and spearhead our region’s first Bus Rapid Transit project.

Mike Smith

Chief Safety, Security, and Emergency Management Officer

Mike brings more than 20 years of experience in transit safety, operations, regulatory compliance, and project management. Prior to joining RTA, Mike served as a contractor to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Transit Safety and Oversight, where he was responsible for developing regulations, standards, technical guidance, tools, and training for the transit safety industry. Mike has also held operations and safety positions at several transit properties including the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Mike holds Transit Safety and Security Program certificates from the U.S. Department of Transportation in both rail and bus transit and is certified under the FTA's Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program.

Tracy L. Tyler

Chief Legal Officer

Tracy L. Tyler is the Chief Legal Officer. In her role, Tracy will guide the RTA’s legal strategy, and mitigating our risk, as we continue to push toward delivering our priorities – World-Class Ridership Experience, Innovation, Regional Connections, Equity and Workforce Development. A native New Orleanian, Tracy brings possesses nearly 18 years of legal expertise in the public sector. In her most recent role as Chief Deputy City Attorney at the City Attorney's Office in New Orleans, Tracy oversaw a team of attorneys responsible for examining all contracts negotiated by the Office of the Mayor for compliance and legal validity. Additionally, Ms. Tyler served as an Assistant Legal Counsel for the New Orleans Aviation Board (NOAB), an independent board overseeing the operations of the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Her responsibilities at NOAB included providing legal guidance on airport operations, as well as advising on municipal issues such as public bid law, procurement, open meetings law, contract matters, public records law, ethics, DBE regulations, and personnel/civil service affairs.