Mortimer L. Downey

Marking the Passing of Mort Downey

Nov 6, 2023 | News

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of longtime VTC board member and former Chair, Mortimer L. Downey, III, who passed away on November 2nd following a long illness.

Born in Massachusetts in 1936, and raised there and in Connecticut, Mort served in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve prior to pursuing his career in transportation. He served as executive director and chief financial officer at the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (NY MTA) for 12 years. Perhaps most notable in a long list of achievements, Mort served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation from 1993 to 2001, having been appointed during the Clinton Administration and gaining the distinction of being the longest-serving person in that role.

Following his tenure at the U.S. Department of Transportation, he served as a transportation consultant and on the Boards of Directors of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). He was also a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Mort’s guidance and commitment to VTC over the years has been truly appreciated. We are so thankful he remained engaged after he stepped down as our Board Chair.