Sharmila Samarasinghe, Chief Operating Officer

Sharmila Samarasinghe is the WMSC’s Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Samarasinghe leads a team of experts at the WMSC tasked with the day-to-day monitoring and oversight of safety protocols and practices on the WMATA Metrorail system. Ms. Samarasinghe and her team have extensive knowledge and background in transit safety and operations, especially track and structures, rail vehicles, traction power, and signals and communications systems. Based on Ms. Samarasinghe and her team’s efforts, the WMSC can take action to ensure WMATA Metrorail carries out reforms and corrective actions to improve safety. Ms. Samarasinghe has fifteen years of experience as a system safety, transportation and security professional in the rail and railroad industry. Ms. Samarasinghe has held a variety of important posts at state transportation agencies and at metropolitan and regional planning organizations. Before joining the WMSC, Ms. Samarasinghe served for over two years as chair of the Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), an organization that preceded the WMSC in overseeing WMATA Metrorail safety but that lacked the enforcement powers the WMSC now possesses. Before her service at the TOC, Ms. Samarasinghe worked for the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Virginia Railway Express, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Ms. Samarasinghe has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.