Charlie Zelle named Metropolitan Council Chair

Posted In: Council News
Date: 12/23/2019

Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan announced the appointment of Charles Zelle as Chair of the Metropolitan Council.

Portrait of Charlie Zelle.“It is my honor to appoint Charlie Zelle as Chair of the Metropolitan Council,” said Governor Walz. “As a key economic driver in the state, the Metropolitan Council is critical to our vision of One Minnesota. Charlie will bring this unifying lens to his work as Chair. He knows that when Rondo thrives, the Range thrives. When Minneapolis thrives, Mankato thrives.”

“Charlie understands the challenges and the opportunities currently facing the metropolitan region,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “He knows the Metropolitan Council is critical to ensuring people of color share in the economic growth of the region and to solving the skyrocketing rates of homelessness in the area. As chair of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, I look forward to working with Charlie to bring Minnesotans in from the cold.”

"I am very excited to join the Walz Flanagan Administration as the chair of the Metropolitan Council,” states Zelle. “The Council serves the critical function of bringing Twin Cities leaders together to invest in infrastructure and build an equitable economy. I am committed to applying my private and public sector experiences to help achieve the vision of a prosperous region — for everyone."

This appointment is effective January 6, 2020.

Charles A. Zelle is chairman of Jefferson Lines, an intercity bus company with scheduled passenger routes in 14 heartland states from Minnesota to Louisiana. He held the position of president and CEO for more than 20 years until 2012, when he was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In that capacity, he oversaw a multimodal state transportation agency with an annual budget of more than $4 billion. Zelle has served as a board member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), served on its executive committee, and was chair of its Public Transportation Council. In addition, he has served as a member of the executive committee of the Transportation Research Board and past president of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO).

Zelle has been recognized for his work in transportation policy as a recipient of the George Rucker Award by the Community Transportation Association in 2009 and the Ray L. Lappegaard Distinguished Service Award by Center of Transportation Studies in 2012.

Born and raised in St. Paul, Zelle received a B.A. from Bates College and an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management.

Posted In: Council News

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