SANDAG CEO Hasan Ikhrata announces his departure


The head of the San Diego Association of Governments, the metropolitan planning organization for the county, notified the organization’s board late Friday that he would be stepping down in December.

SANDAG Chief Executive Officer Hasan Ikhrata’s last day with the agency will be December 29.

“This news is a bittersweet moment for our region,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, who will be leading SANDAG’s efforts to fill the CEO role along with other board members.

Hasan Ikhrata at SANDAG All Hands Meeting at the San Diego Central Library Shiley Event Center.


Ikhrata joined SANDAG as its CEO in 2018 after serving as executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments. He rose to the top slot at SCAG after holding a variety of leadership roles at the organization. SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan transportation agency representing six counties and 191 cities. SANDAG, like SCAG, is most well-known for its regional transportation projects.

Ikhrata holds a master’s degree in civil and industrial engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a PhD candidate in Urban Planning and Transportation at the University of Southern California.

“I came to SANDAG almost five years ago to reinvigorate this organization and reimagine a brighter future for the San Diego region,” Ikhrata said in a statement.

SANDAG Chair Nora Vargas and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria
SANDAG Chairwoman Nora Vargas (pictured center) and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria (pictured right) hold a check representing the region winning a $10 million grant from the state for a program that provides housing and transportation to the region’s disadvantaged communities. 


During his time with SANDAG, the organization has tackled “long-standing issues, such as transit to the airport, the falling Del Mar Bluffs, building a third crossing at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the need for free transit, more bikeways and housing.”

The organization has also been able to secure $1 billion in federal and state funding to move projects forward, Ikhrata said. This funded projects throughout the San Diego region and major progress was made on several, key regional priorities.

“As the agency starts its next chapter, this is the right time to hand over the leadership reins,” he said.

“I am grateful for Hasan’s vision, leadership, and unwavering commitment to helping us all reimagine the future of the San Diego region,” Vargas said. “Throughout his tenure, Hasan has spearheaded transformative changes in transportation and regional planning for the County of San Diego, and I want to wish him the best in his next endeavor.”

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