Since the beginning of the year, Ernest Kandilige has been serving as Metro’s Interim Deputy General Manager. Starting today, I’m delighted to share that we will no longer need “Interim” in his title, as I have officially appointed Ernest as Metro’s Deputy General Manager.

As Deputy General Manager, Ernest is focused on supporting Metro operations in Vehicle Maintenance, Bus Operations, Transit Facilities, Safety and Security, Marine and Rail. I am confident in the leadership that Ernest brings and know how deeply he cares about the role Metro plays in improving the quality of life in King County. Ernest leads with equity at the forefront and is committed to helping Metro bring our Long Game to fruition. His focus on continuous improvement will help us deliver services that our riders care about and create a space where employees can feel supported to experiment and learn.

Headshot of a smiling Ernest Kandilige.

In Ernest’s own words:

“I was born in Ghana, West Africa, and growing up there taught me how to be resourceful. With limited accessibility, we didn’t always have many choices. For example, when it came to food, we often only had access to what we were able to grow ourselves. My experiences during my time there instilled my passion for continuous improvement and encouraged me think about the ways in which I could efficiently utilize the resources at hand. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest 21 years ago, I carried that mentality with me. It has influenced my work throughout all facets of my career from my time as a public-school educator to my work in the private sector, and throughout the years I have spent in public service. ”

As Deputy General Manager, Ernest brings the values of continuous improvement to Metro’s work. includes evaluating the ways in which we can improve processes, rethinking how we can efficiently utilize resources, exploring how we can best deliver services that our customers care about, and creating a space where employees can feel supported to experiment and learn.

Before joining Metro, Ernest served as Senior Continuous Improvement Manager for King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget and has many years of experience in the private sector. In private industry, he served as both a human resources manager and as a training manager in Lean manufacturing principles.

I am so grateful to Ernest and his commitment to our organization. Not only is he immensely qualified, he also understands that how we implement our work is as important as the service itself. Ernest’s experience is critical to Metro’s success in recovering from the pandemic and growing Metro services to meet our community’s needs. Ernest is a wonderful example of modeling our values, respecting and caring for the people doing the work, and pressing the agency to continue to grow and improve.