Clément Michel appointed Keolis North America Director

02-16-2016. Clément Michel has been appointed the new International Regional Director for Keolis North America, effective from 15 February. His priority will be to bolster Keolis’ existing operations in the USA and Canada and lead future expansion in the region across a range of transport modes. Keolis’ North American regional office is moving from Washington DC to Boston.

Clément Michel has more than 15 years’ experience in passenger transport and network operations. Most recently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Yarra Trams in Melbourne, Australia, he has expertise in strategy development, business transformation, employee engagement and governance in both private and public sectors. 

Clément joined the public transport industry in 1999 at SNCF (French National Railways), most notably as Managing Director, from February 2005, of Gare de Lyon in Paris – one of France’s busiest train stations with 100 million passengers per year. By the age of 30, he was responsible for more than 1,000 employees and succeeded in improving punctuality, quality of service and commercial turnover, including during the 2007 Rugby World Cup despite extensive station renovation work occurring at the same time. 

In November 2009, Clément moved to Melbourne, Australia to commence his role at Yarra Trams as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the beginning of the new Keolis Downer franchise (in which Keolis has a 51 percent stake). He transitioned to the role of CEO in January 2013. 

As CEO, Clément's vision was to make Yarra Trams a fully effective and efficient organisation that would be safe, passenger-focused and sustainable. Melbourne’s tram network is the largest in the world with 25 lines, 500 kilometres of track, 2,400 employees and 190 million trips per year. During Clément’s tenure a new leadership framework was implemented, clarifying reporting lines and strengthening the manager-employee relationship. As a result of the increase in managerial support to front-line staff, the overall performance of Yarra Trams has improved. Indeed customer satisfaction has increased significantly, rising ten percentage points over the past six years since Keolis Downer began operating Yarra Trams. 

Clément is committed to diversity and ensuring equal access to roles. As a result of initiatives under his leadership, the number of women applying for driver roles has increased nine-fold, and the number of female employees has increased by 33 percent, growing from 300 to 400 employees. Women now represent 40 percent of Yarra Trams’ senior management team, compared to 10 percent previously. 

41-year-old Clément has a Master’s degree in engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris. 

He will be settling in Boston, the new location for the regional office of Keolis North America.