SANDAG | Chief Deputy Executive Director
Kim Kawada became the Chief Deputy Executive Director at SANDAG on Dec. 1, 2013, after serving in a variety of leadership roles at the agency for nearly 19 years. She is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of an agency with a $1.2 billion budget and about 330 employees. Before her promotion, Kawada was the TransNet and Legislative Affairs Program Director. TransNet is the local half-cent sales tax for transportation approved by San Diego County voters. It’s the most significant local funding source for highway, local street, pedestrian, and bike improvements, as well as smart growth and environmental conservation. Over the past two decades, Kawada has played an instrumental role in many of the agency’s programs and projects, ranging from long-term transportation planning to budgeting to setting legislative priorities. Her leadership on legislative efforts enabled SANDAG to operate new toll and managed lanes to expand travel choices, and to use innovative project delivery methods to save money and accelerate completion. Kawada also has served as a key advisor for budgets during both up and down economic cycles. And she has extensive experience working with elected leaders throughout the region to build consensus to achieve wide-ranging regional goals.