RTD Board chair Rivera-Malpiede receives high honor from COMTO

Angie Rivera-Malpiede, chair of the Board of Directors of the Regional Transportation District (RTD), is among 13 women being honored virtually today with a Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation award for 2020 from COMTO, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

The award, bestowed at the organization’s 50th anniversary national meeting and training conference, is one of COMTO’s highest honors. It recognizes the accomplishments and influence of female executives in transportation from across the United States. RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson received this award in 2019.

The presentation of the 2020 awards was scheduled for March of that year in Washington, D.C., and postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rivera-Malpiede reflected upon what this honor means to her shortly after the awardees were announced last year. In thinking about her work since then, she spoke about how almost the entirety of her tenure as chair has been marked by extraordinary crisis – “and I think in a time of crisis, you are forced to become balanced with yourself,” she said. “It has been the most extraordinary experience of my life because I didn’t know I had this depth of strength.”

Rivera-Malpiede was elected chair of the Board in 2020 and 2021. “I feel very honored and privileged that I was selected to do this for two years in a row,” she said. “The year was filled with so many milestones – not little ones, but huge ones. It has been an honor to navigate them with such an outstanding team. I am really proud of the work we’ve done together.”

Rivera-Malpiede was elected to the RTD Board of Directors in November 2018 and took office in January 2019. She represents District C, in the northwest portion of Denver and covering all of Edgewater, portions of northwest Denver, and the areas of Wheat Ridge south of 38th Avenue and east of Wadsworth Boulevard. Rivera-Malpiede previously served as director for this district for two terms, having been appointed to the position by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2010.

During her time in office, Rivera-Malpiede oversaw the reopening of Denver Union Station and the expansion of the FasTracks public transit program, including construction of RTD’s first commuter rail line, the University of Colorado A Line to Denver International Airport. She was appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Hispanic Transportation Council in 2013.

Rivera-Malpiede is an avid mass transit advocate, and she is dedicated to establishing sustainable transportation options that are inclusive across all socioeconomic levels. As vice president of the Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities, she manages the Sustainable Development Initiative, which includes advocacy and programs promoting alternative transportation modes. She is also executive director of Northeast Transportation Connections (NETC), a nonprofit that provides transportation solutions to the communities of northeast Denver.