The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district has chosen a new general manager and is negotiating a contract, officials said.

However, the district is still not identifying the individual, although SMART executive director Farhad Mansourian has confirmed the person is from outside of California.

The SMART board three week ago interviewed three finalists out a pool of 35 applicants for the position. The board is scheduled to announce the new general manager at its Aug. 17 meeting.

The position has been vacant since General Manager Lillian Hames resigned in January, although Chief Financial Officer David Heath briefly took over as the interim general manager.

Mansourian on Friday indicated that a contract was being negotiated. The position has paid $175,000 a year.