Mayor Gavin Newsom was saddened to hear of the passing of former MTA Board Chairman Cleopatra Vaughns yesterday. Newsom expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Vaughns stating, “At this time, I join with other civic leaders and those who had the pleasure to work and know Cleopatra, our most sincere condolences.”
Reflecting on the contributions of Ms. Vaughns, Newsom went on to say “Cleopatra shepherded the Municipal Transportation Agency during some difficult financial times and was responsible for bringing Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. to San Francisco to run the MTA. The city has lost an exceptional civic and community leader.”
Ms. Vaughns was one of the “original members” of the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, appointed in 2000 by Mayor Willie L. Brown, and retired from government service in 2006. Cleopatra was Chairman of the MTA Board from 2004-2006.
As a retired registered nurse and Manager of Community and Marketing Relations for Blue Shield, Cleopatra held leadership positions in many community, business and professional organizations including Chairman of The City Club of San Francisco, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and National President of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Ms. Vaughns also served on the Board of Directors of the American Public Transportation Association, and was active in the Northern California Chapter of the Committee of Minority Transportation Officials.
Former Mayor Willie L. Brown named a day in her honor and the League of Women Voters of San Francisco recognized Ms. Vaughns a “Woman who could be President”. Ms. Vaughns, an avid jazz pianist, is survived by her beloved son, Phillip Vaughns, Esq.
Mayor’s Office of Communications