The Denton County Transportation Authority Board of Directors appointed Paul Cristina as its new president and CEO.

The appointment comes after a nearly six-month search after former CEO Raymond Suarez resigned in March. During that search, Cristina served as interim CEO.

The board shortlisted and interviewed five candidates with three finalists, according to a DCTA news release. The board selected Cristina based on his “demonstrated aptitude in leading the agency as interim CEO.”

“The DCTA board appreciates Paul’s collaborative communication and leadership style, and he has gained the trust and confidence of the board over the last six months,” said Cesar Molina, chair of the DCTA Board of Directors, in the release. “We believe that his experience and vision will enable our agency to realize its tremendous potential to deliver value to the residents of Denton County and our region.”

Before joining DCTA as the deputy CEO, Cristina served as director of public private partnerships at BNSF Railway Co., according to the release.

“Paul has taken the past few months to drive the organization forward, not simply be a caretaker, in his interim role,” said TJ Gilmore, vice chair of the DCTA Board of Directors and Lewisville mayor, in the release. “He has demonstrated leadership, teambuilding, and the ability to build board consensus. He has a strong vision for building accountability and efficiency within the agency which maximizes the opportunities for transit for Denton County residents.”

Cristina earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and a master of business administration from Florida State University. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas and resides in Flower Mound with his wife and their three children.