Executive Leadership Team

Arthur C. Smiley III

Arthur C. Smiley III

Chief Financial Officer

“But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
— Robert Lee Frost


Arthur C. Smiley III oversees more than 80 professionals involved in all aspects of METRO’s financial management: accounting, treasury, investment, revenue collection, management analysis, capital and operating budgeting and grants.

Meeting the region’s ever-expanding transit needs requires large numbers of buses, trains, Park & Ride facilities, transit centers, vans, trucks, emergency response equipment, and close to 4,000 employees. It’s not easy being the guy who has to figure out how to pay for it all. But Art and his team do a superb job of keeping pace with ongoing financial obligations, while at the same time making sure METRO is prepared for rainy days like the ones experienced during Hurricane Harvey.

Under Art’s leadership, METRO has received recognition and plaudits for financial transparency and excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association, the Texas Comptroller Leadership Circle, and the Texas Public Interest Research Group. It is significant that both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s renewed METRO’s favorable bond ratings after the Harvey flood, specifically citing the agency’s speedy resumption of normal service as evidence of METRO’s strong operational practices.

Art’s success as the CFO of METRO has required more than just a talent for finance and organization. It has required creativity and the willingness to envision bold solutions. One of his proudest moments at METRO was initiating the discussions leading to the purchase of the H2 light-rail vehicles which upgraded and expanded high-capacity service.

The son of a brick mason, Art grew up in a small town in Ohio. He spent considerable time as a teenager working in the construction industry alongside his father. So, it’s no surprise that most of his 30-year professional career has involved analyzing and making recommendations related to major construction and infrastructure projects.

It’s no surprise, either, that he wasn’t daunted by the myriad challenges of Houston’s rail project - Art has met diverse challenges his whole life. He’s a scholar and graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Stanford University and Columbia University. As a high school athlete, he was the top New England heavyweight wrestler three years in a row, All-New England in football, and voted the top student athlete during his senior year. In college, he competed in wrestling, and played lacrosse, rugby and varsity football. He played twice in the Rose Bowl, winning both times. Art is an explorer of transit systems all over the United States, as well as in Mexico City, Paris, Toronto, Calgary and London. He is a gospel song lyricist, quite probably a composer in his next career, and the husband of Qiyamah.

Past Positions

  • METRO, Senior Auditor
  • METRO, Director of Audit
  • METRO, Vice President and Chief Auditor
  • General Foods Corporation, Marketing
  • Equitable Life & Casualty, Industry Analyst and Investment Manager, Rail and Airline
  • Exxon USA, Financial Analyst, Major Capital Projects

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Member, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), 1987-Present
  • Vice Chairman, APTA Committee of Audit Professionals, 2014-2016
  • Committee Member, METRO Non-Union Employee Pension Plan, 2016-Present
  • Trustee, METRO Transport Workers Union Pension Plan, 2013-2016
  • Vice Chairman and Committee Member, METRO Non-Union Employee Pension Plan, 2007-2013


  • Recipient, Association of Fraud Examiners Lifetime Achievement Award

Civic Activities

  • Volunteer, Institute of Internal Auditors, Houston Chapter
  • Volunteer, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Houston Chapter
  • Volunteer, United Way of the Gulf Coast Funds Allocations Committee
  • Volunteer, Sickle Cell Research Support Foundation Advisory Board

Education and Certifications

  • Certified Internal Auditor
  • Certified Fraud Examiner
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • M.B.A., Finance and Accounting, Columbia University, New York
  • B.A., Economics, Stanford University, California
  • Preparatory, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire


Phone: 713-739-6057