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Home > Newsroom > Three New Members Appointed to RTA's Board of Commissioners

Three New Members Appointed to RTA's Board of Commissioners

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu and the City Council of New Orleans have appointed three new Commissioners to the Board of the Regional Transit Authority in New Orleans (RTA). Sharonda Williams, Barbara Waiters and Ashleigh Gardere were sworn in at the RTA Board Meeting held earlier today. Additionally, the RTA’s Board of Commissioners elected Sharonda Williams to serve as the new Chair of the Board. 

Sharonda Williams is Special Counsel at Fishman Haygood. Sharonda served as City Attorney for the City of New Orleans from May 2013-November 2015. As City Attorney, Sharonda was the lead attorney handling the most comprehensive police consent decree in the history of the United States. At the same time, she represented the City in another consent decree aimed at reforming the Orleans Parish Jail, which was then-recognized as one of the worst prisons in America. Sharonda also was the lead attorney representing the City in settling a more than 30-year dispute relating to back pay and pension issues for the New Orleans Firefighters. Sharonda had served as Chief Deputy City Attorney from October 2011 until May 2013. Prior to joining the City of New Orleans legal staff, Sharonda was a partner in the general litigation section of a major New Orleans law firm, where she handled cases ranging from construction disputes, medical malpractice, insurance coverage disputes, entertainment law contract negotiations, intellectual property licensing issues and bankruptcy adversary proceedings. 

Barbara Waiters is the Director of Community and Economic Development at Delgado Community College’s Workforce Development and Technical Education Unit, which provides customer-driven assessment and training programs as an inducement to secure new value added businesses to our region, to respond to permanent closures and layoffs, and to provide existing businesses with the necessary training for expansion. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Algiers Economic Development Foundation, leading a number of programs and activities, including the creation of its Strategic Plan. 

Ashleigh Gardere serves as a Senior Advisor to Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu. In this capacity, Ashleigh manages the Mayor’s Economic Opportunity Strategy and supports the revitalization of the Claiborne Corridor through a cross-sector initiative called The Network for Economic Opportunity. The Network is responsible for the start-up, development implementation and management of productive partnerships among local industries, small businesses, residents, non-profits and city agencies to drive long-term revitalization. Ashleigh previously served as Vice President of Community Relations at Chase bank for Louisiana. During her tenure there, Ashleigh piloted the firm’s place-based neighborhood revitalization strategy.

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