James M. Derwinski

CEO/Executive Director

As CEO/Executive Director of Metra, James M. Derwinski oversees one of the nation’s largest, busiest and most complex commuter rail systems. With 243 stations, 11 routes and some 1,200 miles of track, Metra serves as an economic engine that extends far beyond its service area.

Following a long, distinguished career with Metra, Mr. Derwinski was unanimously elected CEO/Executive Director by the Metra Board in 2017.  Mr. Derwinski began his career at Metra in 1997 as an electrician, rising steadily through the ranks before assuming the role of Chief Mechanical Officer in 2013.

A six-year U.S. Navy veteran, Mr. Derwinski served our country as an electrician in America’s nuclear submarine fleet.  Upon leaving the service, he began his career with Chicago & North Western Railroad in 1993.

A longtime champion of public transportation, Mr. Derwinski is both a founder and chairman of the Commuter Rail Coalition (CRC), an advocacy organization that launched in 2019. CRC is an association of commuter rail agencies, operators and other interested parties acting together to educate and engage stakeholders on the importance and value commuter railroads bring to the nation as a whole and the communities they serve.

Also, Mr. Derwinski is a member of the American Public Transportation Association Board of Directors (APTA), serving on several key committees; is a member of the Safety Operations and Management Committee of the Association of American Railroads; serves on the MxV Rail Board of Directors; is Chairman of Illinois High Speed Rail Commission; and was recently named a member of the first-ever Passenger Rail Advisory Committee for the Surface Transportation Board.

He is currently leading Metra in restoring commuter confidence in public transportation in a post-COVID environment.  Under his leadership, Metra is bringing together business and community leaders to reignite the region’s economy. Always looking to the future, Mr. Derwinski is overseeing new transportation initiatives, including updating Metra’s aging fleet of railcars, contracting to deliver the first all battery passenger equipment in the United States, and making transit service more affordable and available to underserved communities.


Jim Derwinski