Metrolink Monday announced the appointment of the first-ever “chief people officer” of the regional passenger railroad that services six Southern California counties.

Ilyssa DeCasperis, who was selected after a national recruitment search, brings more than 32 years of legal experience and 20 years in human resources management to the position.

DeCasperis “will lead strategies and processes to build and retain team members and will serve as the agency’s Equal Employment Opportunity Officer,” according to a Metrolink statement.

“We are excited to welcome Ilyssa to the team as she brings a fresh perspective to address the changing workplace as our region emerges from the coronavirus lockdowns,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Her skill and perspective will contribute greatly to the growth of our organization and help continue to develop our most treasured asset: our employees.”

DeCasperis most recently was vice president of human resources at Doctors Hospital in Riverside. Prior to that, she spent two years at New York City MTA in labor relations.

In addition to her transportation experience, DeCasperis also represented medical schools, healthcare facilities and school districts as a labor negotiator.

She said she looks “forward to aligning with the business strategy and goals of the agency and helping build out key areas for strategic growth, including talent acquisition, performance management and learning and development, with an eye toward diversity and inclusion.”

Metrolink is the largest commuter rail agency in California and the third-largest in the country, operating seven lines along a 538-mile network that travels across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

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