T hires new administrator and commuter rail chief

Panagore and DiAdamo both have experience locally

DAVID PANAGORE, WHO has described his career in government as a “theater director” and worked on turnaround efforts in Chelsea and Springfield, will now take a role backstage for Boston area transit riders as chief administrative officer of the MBTA.

A lawyer who has studied engineering, politics, philosophy, and physics in addition to theater, Panagore received a master’s in public administration and has served as Provincetown’s town manager since September 2015. He will take the reins of his new post at the T in mid-May making an annual salary of $230,000.

The hire announced in a memo Friday comes amid another shuffle at the MBTA, as Rob DiAdamo will take over as executive director of commuter rail, succeeding Dan Grabauskas, a former MBTA general manager, in that role.

Panagore will succeed Jeff Cook, the acting chief administrative officer, in a position that has previously been occupied by Michael Abramo and Brian Shortsleeve. Handling the transit agency’s administrative and financial responsibilities, Panagore will report to General Manager Steve Poftak.

Panagore has held posts in Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, as well as San Diego, California, but his career began squarely within the MBTA service area. For five years starting in 1993, Panagore worked on the turnaround of Chelsea, including as chief legal counsel and school construction project director. From there, he went to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, where he was project director for the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the largest building in New England.

In an interview last year with PTownie, a community news outfit in Provincetown, Panagore related his work in government to his past experience as a theater director.

Meet the Author

Andy Metzger

Reporter, CommonWealth magazine

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger joined CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

About Andy Metzger

Andy Metzger joined CommonWealth Magazine as a reporter in January 2019. He has covered news in Massachusetts since 2007. For more than six years starting in May 2012 he wrote about state politics and government for the State House News Service.  At the News Service, he followed three criminal trials from opening statements to verdicts, tracked bills through the flumes and eddies of the Legislature, and sounded out the governor’s point of view on a host of issues – from the proposed Olympics bid to federal politics.

Before that, Metzger worked at the Chelmsford Independent, The Arlington Advocate, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle, weekly community newspapers that cover an array of local topics. Metzger graduated from UMass Boston in 2006. In addition to his written journalism, Metzger produced a work of illustrated journalism about Gov. Charlie Baker’s record regarding the MBTA. He lives in Somerville and commutes mainly by bicycle.

For DiAdamo, who leads on transportation issues for the Chicago-based Bronner Group, it will be a sort of homecoming. DiAdamo was previously deputy general manager and chief of staff at the T, and served as general counsel in the old Executive Office of Transportation. He will make $195,000 annually.

Laurel Paget-Seekins has been promoted to assistant general manager for policy at the T, and Mike Muller was promoted to assistant general manager for strategic initiatives.