King, a former Alameda County supervisor, is credited with steering the bus agency through arguably its toughest financial times. She was recruited to AC Transit in 2004 to become the assistant general manager for communications and external affairs. But five years later she was appointed to be the interim general manager as the district struggled to stay afloat through labor strife, reduced state and federal funding and severe service cuts.
"In her capacity as interim general manager, Mary V. King directed the day-to-day operations of the district with exceptional leadership and business acumen, exercising financial adroitness during a time of extreme crisis by masterfully reducing district expenses while sustaining vital bus services,'' the agency's board of director said in a resolution praising her tenure.
In 1988, she became the first African American woman to be elected an Alameda County supervisor. She was re-elected twice and served as board president for two years. Earlier, she led the drive for a successful county tax initiative campaign (Measure B) that created new sources of funding for public transit and other transportation projects and made Alameda County one of the first "self help" counties in the state. Upon leaving office in 2001, Ms. King became a private consultant specializing in government affairs, regional housing, land-use and transportation issues.