Tom Downs, a former Amtrak chief executive officer, has been chosen to by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to serve as a voting member on Metro’s board of directors.

He will be joining D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells to represent the city, confirmed the mayor’s press secretary Doxie McCoy. The pick was first reported by TBD TV.

The two will be taking the place of D.C. Councilman Jim Graham and Neil Albert, the city administrator under Mayor Adrian Fenty. The positions are unpaid, but come with a ride-free-for-life card on the transit system. The city's two alternates have not been named, though Graham could be chosen for that role.

In addition to Downs’ transit experience, he served as city administrator in the District during the 1980s.

His appointment represents part of a major upheaval on the 14-member board. At least six members will be new to the board, replacing long-term stalwarts who have come under fire in the wake of the June 22, 2009, Red Line crash.

Arlington Board member Christopher Zimmerman surprised board members and transit advocates alike when he announced his resignation last month. Maryland representatives Gordon Linton, Elizabeth Hewlett and Marcell Solomon are all leaving their posts, as well.

Among the new faces joining Downs and Wells: Arlington County board member Mary Hynes and former Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter. Replacements for the other members have not been named.

The new members are expected to be sworn in on Jan. 27 at the first full board meeting of the new year.