Ed Alvarez
On January 10, 2020, Ed Alvarez was appointed BART Chief of Police. He had been serving as interim chief since May 2019. Prior to that, he had served as the Support Services Deputy Chief. Alvarez began his law enforcement career with the BART Police Department in 1998 after graduating from the Oakland Police Department’s 140th Basic Recruit Academy. He has since worked as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Detective, FBI Human Trafficking Task Force, Patrol Sergeant, Field Training Sergeant and CAP Team Sergeant. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 2011 and has since managed several units within the Support Services Bureau which includes Communications, Revenue Protection, Records, Property, Traffic, Vehicle Maintenance and Administrative Services. He has also been a Zone Commander, Watch Commander, and Field Training Coordinator. Chief Alvarez is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Union Institute and University along with an Associate of Arts Degree from Chabot College in Administration of Justice. He is bilingual in English and Spanish.
Ian Ambrose
Ian Ambrose entered the railway industry in 1985 as an IT specialist involved in the design of vehicles, infrastructure, operations and commercial systems. Ian joined AEA Technology Rail in 2000 to develop emerging light rail and tram-train schemes and in 2006 he was invited to join Network Rail where he has seen the tram-train pilot through from its inception in 2007 to delivery in 2018. He now heads the new Light Rail Technical Support Team in the Technical Authority He has been a member of the UITP Regional and Suburban Railways Committee for 12 years
Bruce Armistead
Mr. Armistead’s 30 years of experience includes working on a variety of mass transit projects specializing in railway operations and maintenance. Responsible to develop a detailed system definition of attributes providing a holistic and comprehensive overview for operation and maintenance requirements. Prepare foundational documents describing the operating characteristics and service plan for the high speed rail system including infrastructure and rolling stock. His responsibilities include Integration of operations and service planning efforts with ridership demand forecasts of trip time, system capacity requirements and service design. Ensure the development of an Operations Plan consistent with the phased implementation of the project infrastructure. This plan will include passenger stations and on-board train operations.
Martha Averso
Martha is a Vice President of Gannett Fleming with 40 years of experience overseeing designs for transit, transportation and industrial projects. She has led the design of tunnels and underground structures, including sections of the Washington METRO, as well as the inspection and rehabilitation of underground structures across the U.S. She led several studies and designs for water infiltration on the Red Line of the Washington METRO, and she served as the Technical Lead for this systemwide water infiltration remediation project.
Josephine Ayankoya
Josephine Ayankoya is Race, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA). As the Race, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Josephine directs ongoing change management and evaluation processes to advance racial equity in the workforce and in the community. Taking a comprehensive and intersectional approach, she identifies policies, practices, and procedures to center equity across the SFMTA’s workstreams, and implements and assesses efforts to operationalize equity across the agency. Josephine’s skills are refined by six years of professional experience in developing and directing equity and inclusion programs that have engaged thousands of people around the world. Additionally, she has 10 years of leadership in creating innovative cultural engagement, education, health, housing, and enrichment programs in African Diasporic, African American, LGBTQ, unhoused, Latinx, and other marginalized communities. Josephine earned a Bachelors of Arts in African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on Arts and Societies in the African Diaspora. Following, she attained her Master in Public Health degree from Emory University, focusing on Behavioral Science and Health Education.
Alexander Barron
Alex is an Associate Director of the Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. He is the Head of Metro and Light Rail Benchmarking, leading the Community of Metros (COMET – 42 metro systems globally) and the Benchmarking Group of North American Light Rail Systems (GOAL – 14 light rail systems in the US and Canada). Alex also co-founded the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group (ISBeRG in 2010) and the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG in 2012). He has a Master of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and previously worked in strategic planning for bus and subway at MTA New York City Transit.
Denise Barthel
Project manager (M.Sc.) for research projects and trendsetting passenger information with a focus on “Crowd and capacity management in public transport” at the Public Transport Authority Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB). After studying transport economics at the Technical University in Dresden, she is responsible at the VBB for the ongoing development of passenger information – analogue and digital, stationary and on the road (track). Ms. Barthel and her team regularly collaborate in national and international research projects and are involved in national and European standardisation initiatives.
Andrew Bata
Currently Head of UITP’s North America’s operations. (UITP is a global non-profit association established in 1885 with a membership of 1800 urban transport systems and industry suppliers, with 17 regional offices worldwide.) Responsible for member client relations, developing professional programs, study missions, conferences and training sessions as well as serving as a resource for international best practice and information exchange for the urban transit industry. Previously with the New York MTA in various executive positions, culminating as Chief of Innovation and Global Best Practices.
Carlo Bianco
Carlo Bianco is a highly experienced senior rail Operations Director with railway management roles stretching back to the 1980s. He has extensive international experience across a broad spectrum of rail mobilization, rail operations and maintenance delivery. He developed his career within the ATM Group, the Public Transport Operator of the city of Milan (Italy). Focusing his activity on driverless metro operations, he worked for five years as Operations manager in the Copenhagen Metro (Denmark), system currently operated by ATM (through the sister company Metro Service A/S). In 2011 he was responsible for the startup of the automatic people mover of Princess Noura University in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). In 2012 he returned to Milan as responsible for the startup of the driverless line M5 which started commercial operation in February 2013. Carlo’s operations experience also extends to the project phase – pre-revenue operations. He is currently in charge of the mobilization and start up of the new driverless line M4, whose commercial operation is planned for early 2021. Since 2019 Carlo has been the Chairman of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros and has been teaching the participants in the UITP Trainings on automated Metros since the first edition. He is currently working as Metro Safety Director and Operations Director for automated metro lines for ATM Milan. He is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Metro Service A/S Copenhagen, where he also covers the role of Project Director for the new Light Rail Ring 3 (under construction).
Don Billen
Don serves as the Executive Director of Sound Transit’s Planning, Environment, and Project Development (PEPD) department. His responsibilities include system, project, and service planning as well as managing Sound Transit’s sustainability, transit oriented development, and access programs. Don and his staff are currently leading planning and development for 4 light rail extensions, 3 bus rapid transit lines, 2 light rail O&M facilities, 1 bus base, and multiple station access improvements. On the transit oriented development front, they are managing development agreements that will deliver more than 1,000 units of housing, over 700 of which are affordable, and all of which have ground-level retail space. Don holds Master Degrees in Transportation System Planning and Public Administration from the University of Washington as well as an undergraduate degree in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College.
Laura Brelsford
Laura Brelsford joined the MBTA in 2007 as part of the newly formed Department of System-Wide Accessibility. Since that time, she has worked to advance the MBTA’s mission of becoming the global model for accessible public transportation. She and the dedicated SWA team have spearheaded a number of major accessibility initiatives including the development of an internal monitoring program, a first-ever training for front-line staff responding to customers with disabilities during emergencies, and the development of the Plan for Accessible Transit Infrastructure—a roadmap for making the system fully accessible. Her top priority, however, is to ensure that people with disabilities, employees as well as riders, have a voice in decision-making. As a full-time wheelchair user, Laura leverages the MBTA’s accessibility on a regular basis and (when not quarantining) can frequently be spotted on the Red Line. She is a 2004 graduate of Mount Holyoke College.
Lou Brown
Lou Brown is an experienced and dedicated transportation system safety engineer with more than 47 years of government and industry broad-based management and engineering expertise in many modes of transportation including: transit safety, automotive and aviation safety. Lou is currently the Program Technical Safety Lead assigned to the Jacobs Sanford, Florida, office where he provides oversight of the CFRC/SunRail Positive Train Control (PTC) Implementation for FDOT in Sanford, FL. Previously, Lou was the Assistant Chief Safety Officer for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) where he oversaw all safety and security certification for large scale WMATA projects such as the Dulles Silver Line Project. Lou has been the Chair of the Safety Coordinating Council since 2018 and was one of 35 members nationwide who participated in the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Mobility and Recovery Task Force last year. Lou has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University and a masters in aviation management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Lou is also a registered Professional Engineer in Florida, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Nicole Bucich
Nicole Bucich has 30 years of experience in the transportation engineering and planning fields and is currently the Planning Director at the Northeast Corridor Commission. She is responsible for leading the development of CONNECT NEC 2035—a 15-year strategic development plan for the Northeast Corridor—through the creation and facilitation of a highly participatory, consensus-driven planning process among USDOT, Amtrak, and eight state/commuter railroads. Prior to joining the Commission in December 2018, Nicole spent the majority of career as a consultant focused on transportation projects in the New York City metropolitan area. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her Master of Science degree in Transportation from MIT. She is also an adjunct professor at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Andy Byford
Andy Byford is a transport professional whose thirty year career has spanned three continents. Andy joined London Underground in 1989 as a uniformed Station Foreman before working his way up to General Manager of the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines. After a spell as Operations and Safety Director of two mainline train operating companies, Andy’s career took him to Sydney as Chief Operating Officer of Australia’s largest railway network then on to Canada where he headed up the Toronto Transit Commission. Most recently, Andy served as President of New York City Transit, the busiest and largest transit system in North America. Andy returned to Transport for London in June 2020 as Commissioner. He grew up in Plymouth and is a graduate of the University of Leicester.
Bruce Chang
Bruce has intensive project management and construction experience on large scale multi-disciplines mass transit railway projects in both brownfield and greenfield construction site. He is now leading teams to manage different E&M systems such as Platform Screen Door, Signalling System, Communication System, Control & Monitoring System, Power System, Automatic Fare Collection System , in MTR network. He is also the Project Manager for the design and construction contract of Hong Kong Airport Authority Skyplaza & Midfield Concourse Automated People Mover works. and responsible for project management on different E&M systems, such as PSD, AFC, Telecom, HV/LV, Building services, Engineering vehicles, Signalling & Control, in MTR network for the past 20 years.
Philippe Citroën
Philippe Citroën has served as UNIFE Director General since June 2011. In 1993, he became Manager and Chief of Staff at RATP Paris. Subsequently, he joined the SNCF as Strategy Director in 1999. Prior to assuming his position at UNIFE, he served for 8 years as CEO of Systra, one of the world’s leading public transport engineering companies.
Marissa Clarke
Marissa joined the TriMet team this past February. She has worked in community development and engagement for the past 5 years in one of the most diverse communities in Portland Oregon. She practices Asset Based Community Development and works to bridge communication between government agencies, non-profits, and the people they serve.
Randy Clarke
Randy Clarke currently serves as the President and CEO of Capital Metro, the public transit provider for Austin, Texas and its nearby communities. Randy also leads Austin Transit Partnership as its Executive Director, overseeing the design and implementation of a $7.1 billion transit network expansion program. Prior to his current role, Randy held key leadership positions in public transportation in both Boston and Washington, D.C., and he earned his Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern Maine. Under Randy’s leadership at Capital Metro, transit ridership reached all-time highs following the 2018 redesign of its bus network, along with multi-million dollar investments to the system and a renewed focus on improving customer experience. Randy sees the operation through the eyes of his customer by using the service every day, giving him insight that’s fueled his challenge to “do more” in providing quality transportation options to the growing region. When away from the office, Randy enjoys traveling and competitive running with his wife Kimberley, who he met, as fate would have it, while riding a train.
James Darmody
I have spent the last 42 years involved with the construction, operations and maintenance of the WMATA transit system, initially with Bechtel Associates who provided construction management services, and then with WMATA directly. I am a Senior Geologist in the Civil and Structural Engineering Department.
LaShanda R. Dawkins
Leveraging years of experience as a Labor & Employment litigator, Dawkins leads and influences the strategic development and implementation of Human Resources programs for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in Atlanta, Georgia. She has the pleasure of driving the strategy at a time when MARTA is focused on becoming a large-scale project delivery organization, planning for the largest expansion in 40 years. Dawkins serves as the Vice Chair of APTA’s Workforce Development Committee and is a Leadership APTA Class of 2015 graduate. Dawkins is a graduate of the Benjamin Banneker Honors College and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting from Prairie View A&M University and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. She is a member of the State Bars of Texas, Florida, and Georgia.
Jana Demas
Jana has worked at King County Metro in the Seattle area for over 13 years. She started in 2008 as a Bus Service Planner, helping to plan local transit service in South King County. She then moved into Strategic Planning where she managed and contributed to several iterations of Metro’s Strategic Plan, Service Guidelines, and Metro Connects, Metro’s long-range vision for mobility in our region. From 2015 to 2018, Jana was the Supervisor of the Strategic Planning team, working in partnership with Metro employees, key community stakeholders, and elected officials across the county to communicate, coordinate, and implement Metro policy for service allocation, sustainability, and fares. In 2018, she joined Human Resources as a Strategic Planning Manager, improving the employee experience in the recruiting and centralized workforce development functions. Earlier this year, Jana accepted a position as the Rail Deputy Division Director for Metro’s Rail Division, which operates and maintains Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail system. Jana has a proven ability to build teams for success, solve problems and break down barriers, and navigate systems and structures for successful implementation and execution. Through her work, Jana seeks to center and operationalize equity and lead with a commitment to belonging and inclusion. Jana has lived in all four corners of the United States and in four countries abroad. She loves to travel with her husband and two children. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, and thinking of creative ways to entertain her children during COVID.
David Dimmer
David Dimmer is the Director of Product Strategy for the Urban Rail Signalling Business Line of Thales Group. He has been a member of the urban rail signalling and train control competence centre since 1987. David played a leading role in the design of the SelTrac™ radio based product, which has been installed on more than 20 lines in China, and lines in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, New York, Doha, Hyderabad, Santiago, Disney World, West Virginia University, and Ottawa. David is the Canadian representative on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Working Group 40, which is developing the IEC 62290 standards for Communication Based Train Control systems. He is also representing Thales on the IEEE WG2, which is currently updating the IEEE 1474 standards.
Projjal K. Dutta
Projjal K. Dutta AIA, LEED AP, is the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s first ever Director of Sustainability. He has two primary responsibilities: 1) To reduce the environmental footprint of the MTA and 2) to verifiably measure the carbon benefits that accrue to the region, due to the MTA. In a carbon-constrained future, this has a great potential to generate resources. Projjal was instrumental in the measurement and verification of MTA’s carbon footprint, and its registration with the Climate Registry. He has played a leadership role in the transit industry’s effort to quantify its carbon benefits. He has lectured and written extensively on the subject of ‘carbon avoidance’; including at Harvard, Yale and Columbia Universities. He is a published author and a regular contributor to publications, both physical and digital, focused on the environment. His work has been cited in the New York Times, NPR and other outlets. In May 2017 Projjal took over the chairmanship of the Sustainable Design Commission of the UITP (the affinity group of public transportation agencies world-wide). He also serves on the board of ioby (in our backyard) a crowdfunding platform for community lead development. He has a Masters in Urban Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelors in Architecture from the School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi.
Michael A Echols
Michael A. Echols (Mike), is the author of the 2020 book Secure Cyber Life: The Government is Not Coming to Save You. Mike spent 10 years in critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity leadership at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He spent another 6 years as a consultant to DHS for the creation of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, National Response Framework and Critical Capabilities List. Mike led several national security and risk management initiatives prior to departing DHS in September 2016. At DHS, Mike was the Director of the Government Industry Planning and Management Branch. He was Chairman of the Communications Sector, Government Coordinating Council where he led a national risk assessment across wireline, wireless, cable, broadcast and satellite. He was also the Designated Federal Official for the President’s NSTAC (30 CEO level members from across IT, Comms and Defense). Mike also Chaired the Network Security Information Exchange consisting of cybersecurity experts from Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand. Mike served as the U.S. Representative to the NATO Civil Communications Policy Committee (CCPC) in Brussels. He also led classified and unclassified threat information sharing programs at DHS. He was the point-person for President Obama’s E.O 13691, Promoting Private Sector Information Sharing – developing the program for ISAOs. In 2016, Mike launched Max Cybersecurity LLC, a SBA 8a HUBZone company in Washington DC. Mike was featured on a PBS Cybersecurity Special, Roadtrip Nation” and has published Forbes articles related to cyber education and “smart cities” technologies. Mike is currently the facilitator for the APTA Control and Communications Security Working Group. His leadership is also helping to securing new autonomous vehicle infrastructure in U.S. cities. Mike is also developing “Cyber Secure Zones (CSZs), in coordination with federal agencies and HBCUs. CSZs are a national security strategy for “Whole of Community” cybersecurity management, skills training, broadband for all, and community advancement. Mike is a columnist for Homeland Security Today Magazine.
Johannes Emmelheinz
Johannes Emmelheinz has been CEO of Siemens Mobility Customer Services since 2012.  The economic efficiency and availability of rail service are the keys to our customers success. Siemens Mobility Customer Services helps attain these objectives as a reliable partner. With our groundbreaking technologies, more than 100 years’ experience and a worldwide network of experts, we help to optimize operations and increase efficiency of asset utilization.  Johannes has studied Biomedical Engineering at Giessen University and Business Administration at IWW Hagen Distance Learning University. Prior to 2008, he was the Head of Services Business for various sectors and regions worldwide within Siemens AG. From 2008 to 2012 he was CEO of Siemens Rail Services and has then taken over the responsibility as Siemens Mobility Customer Services CEO.
Phillip Eng
Phillip Eng is the President of the MTA Long Island Rail Road, the largest and busiest commuter railroad in the nation serving over 91 million riders a year. Appointed in April 2018 following several years of declining on-time train performance, Mr. Eng quickly set out to make immediate and long-term improvements by initiating the railroad’s Forward program – a set of strategic initiatives aimed at improving service reliability and enhancing the customer experience. Many of Mr. Eng’s accomplishments as President involve collaboration with the LIRR management and workforce to develop first-in-the-nation technologies to address long-standing issues, like improving grade crossing safety through a partnership with Waze, leading to grade crossing alerts being used globally. To combat the ever-present Autumn issues of leaves on tracks, which cause delays and can damage car wheels, Mr. Eng and his team developed and deployed an industry-leading laser train resulting in dramatic service improvements. Facing the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 Mr. Eng’s focus is keeping employees and customers safe by increasing disinfecting and cleaning of trains, stations and workplaces at frequencies never before seen at the agency. To put power in customers’ hands, the LIRR led the nation with real-time train information so riders can see current train capacity to make informed travel decisions and find less-crowded trains. To further protect riders and increase confidence that public transportation is safe to ride, the LIRR is piloting new air purification systems in train cars that effectively kill airborne viruses like COVID-19. Under Mr. Eng’s leadership, the LIRR now has improved reliability, all while delivering a historic $6B capital program that’s modernizing and expanding LIRR infrastructure including Double Track in Suffolk County, Main Line Expansion in Nassau County, East Side Access, Jamaica Capacity Improvements, new M9 fleet and Centralized Train Control, and more. Mr. Eng first joined the state public transportation agency in 2017 as the MTA’s Chief Operating Officer, where he led initiatives to modernize transportation systems through innovative technologies. These included the development of the new contactless fare payment system OMNY and testing new signaling systems including the use of ultra-wideband. Mr. Eng also served as the Acting President for New York City Transit leading the early efforts of the Subway Action Plan. Mr. Eng’s public service career began in 1983 at the New York State Department of Transportation as a Junior Engineer. He gained expertise working his way up through various groups from Structures, Bridge Inspection, Maintenance, Design and Construction before joining management and executive leadership roles. At NYSDOT, Mr. Eng held various positions including Construction Supervisor, Regional Director, Chief Engineer before his final post as Executive Deputy Commissioner. During his tenure at DOT, Mr. Eng played a vital role improving project delivery and use of design-build to deliver significant projects such as the I-81 Environmental Impact Study, Rochester Train Station, and construction of the new Kosciuszko Bridge in Brooklyn and the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge in the Hudson Valley. Mr. Eng earned his Bachelor of Engineering at Cooper Union and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. A native and life-long Long Islander, Mr. Eng currently resides with his wife, Carole, and their four children in Smithtown. He commutes to his office in Jamaica via the LIRR’s Smithtown Station daily.
Geisha D. Ester
Geisha Ester is a workforce development professional with a passion for developing and leading high-quality, high-impact career development initiatives that positively change lives and help meet the current and future needs of the agency. As Vice President of Training and Workforce Development for the Chicago Transit Authority, Geisha leads training and workforce development for over 11,000 employees. Her work includes strategically building training solutions that attract, develop, and retain talent for the second largest transit agency in the nation. Geisha has a passion for youth learning and development programming and is an advocate for returning citizens. She leads CTA’s Second Chance Program, a nationally recognized program that has become a model in the industry for preparing those re-entering the workforce, including returning citizens and others with barriers to employment. Geisha has the honor of serving a team of workforce development professionals that are dedicated to assisting CTA employees and the City of Chicago’s most vulnerable populations gain resiliency and self-sufficiency through effective professional development and career coaching initiatives that promote permanent employment and career advancement.
Ian Fisher
Ian Fisher has been Manager, Operations Planning at the BC Rapid Transit Company (BCRTC) since 2014. BCRTC is a subsidiary of TransLink, the regional transportation authority for the Metro Vancouver region and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 59 km (37 mi) Expo and Millennium “SkyTrain” automated light metro lines. BCRTC has operated at GoA4 since revenue service began in 1986. Operations Planning provides service planning and scheduling, service delivery and delay analysis, and expertise on ATC and related systems. The region is also served by the 19 km (11 mi) Canada Line GoA4 light metro, opened in 2009 as a public-private partnership, with BCRTC serving as contract manager for TransLink. Before joining BCRTC, Ian worked in diverse transit planning roles at TransLink for 10.5 years, and in transportation and land use planning at the City of Vancouver for five years.
Mari Flink
Mari Flink is responsible for Helsinki Region Transport sales, marketing, customer experience and customer service. HSL transports 400 million people annually and over million a day. Flink has 25 years of experience in leading, managing and developing digital sales, marketing and communications processes. Her special expertise is in change management of transforming traditional processes towards digital and mobile era to meet the needs of customers and organisation’s strategic targets. Flink has successfully led paradigm changes, where people’s motivation and ability to learn new are crucial.
Kendra J Freeman
As Vice President, Kendra’s provides oversight for MPC’s program work and guides the organization’s approach to community engagement in research, policy advocacy and technical assistance. With 20 years of experience in program development and operations, she held leadership positions in the private and nonprofit sectors with a focus on equitable development and capacity building. Kendra holds a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in public administration from DePaul University. She serves as the co-chair of Elevated Chicago, is on the advisory committee for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Greater Chicago, and the Board of Directors for Storycatchers Theatre.
Lucy Galbraith
Lucy Galbraith, AICP, is the first Director of Transit Oriented Development at Metro Transit of the Twin Cities region. She has been a practicing Urbanist for more than 20 years, in federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, and private consulting. Current external professional activities include serving on the RailVolution National Steering Committee, co-chairing the APTA Transit Oriented Communities committee, and providing advice to cities and transit agencies as a NACTO resource. Combining economics and urban design, Lucy works at various scales to improve equitable and sustainable urbanism in all communities. Her main areas of focus currently are 1)parking policies/practices, 2)transit universal design, and 3)TOD impacts on health, equity, and climate. Lucy holds degrees in math and economics from Rice University and Yale University and has studied architecture and planning at the University of Texas at Austin.
Anish Gandhi, PE, MS, MBA
Executive Director – Positive Train Control at Metro-North Railroad. Over 17 years of experience in the Transportation/Railroad industry with specialty in Program Management of Communication & Signal and Train Control systems projects providing leadership in engineering, design, testing and deployment. Managed over $500M in program budget and aggressive schedules. Holds his Bachelor’s and Masters in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology as well as a Professional Engineer licensed in the state of New York. He also holds Master in Business Administration from Montclair State University, NJ.
John Geitner
Mr. Geitner has been involved in environmental management and energy programs for over 18 years in a variety of industries and for various companies. After completing his graduate degree in Earth and Environmental Science he began in the teaching field for a time before engaging in environmental and safety management in the telecom sector. Following this he moved more directly into environmental training/consulting working for Lion Technology in Lafayette, NJ. While at Lion Mr. Geitner worked closely with several different clients in the petroleum, petrochemical and transportation fields dealing with environmental compliance and environmental management system development. Next, Mr. Geitner went to work for Hess Corporation where he served as manager of environmental compliance for terminals and refining overseeing compliance for over twenty (20) U.S. based and international facilities. While at Hess, Mr. Geitner was instrumental in the development and production of the corporation’s Annual Sustainability Report. At NJ Transit, Mr. Geitner oversees a department that is responsible for all environmental compliance and permitting programs, NJ Transit’s Energy Management programs as well as NJ Transit’s Sustainability efforts such as the implementation of sustainable practices and green initiatives.
Peter Gertler
Peter has more than 30 years of experience in the development, design and program management of transportation infrastructure and rail projects. He is currently the Program Manager for the HNTB Team leading Strategic Advising and Program Management services for Link21. Link21 is a program of national significance and will transform the 21-County Northern California Megaregion with improvement and new connections including a new transbay passenger rail crossing between Oakland and San Francisco. In his current role, Peter directs over 100 professionals providing key technical and strategic services to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).  Peter is a native of San Francisco and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from the University of California Berkeley, and a Master of Arts degree in City Planning and a Master of Science degree in Transportation Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Gertler is also a former American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Board Member and former Chair of the APTA High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee.
Aston T. Greene
Aston Greene is currently the Executive Officer & Deputy Chief of System Security and Law Enforcement at LA Metro, the nation’s 3rd largest public transit agency. Spanning the security spectrum from, law enforcement, emergency management to physical security, Chief Greene’s role is critical to LA as it shapes the security future for mass transit in the region for decades to come to include managing the continuing homelessness crisis, building cyber security preparedness and reimagining public safety in the area of public transit. His current role includes overseeing the existing law enforcement contracts and budgets with multiple jurisdictions (LAPD, LASD, LBC) and supporting the Transit Security Department’s Security Officers, Physical Security & Emergency Management Division. Prior to his career at LA Metro, Chief Greene was a Major/Commander at the MARTA Police & Emergency Management in Atlanta, GA the 9th largest public transportation system in the U.S. Chief Greene is noted as a Security Expert & Emergency Manager as a member of the ASIS Supply Chain & Transit Security Council. Chief Greene manages a variety of high-profile security projects (i.e. Emergency Security Operations Center, Security Technologies for Emergency Management, Security Plans, etc.) He has 25 years’ experience in law enforcement and security starting as a New York State Corrections Officer in 1996. He then relocated after 9/11 to Atlanta, GA, joining the DeKalb County Police Department/Division of Homeland Security in 2002. While at DeKalb he worked to establish the DeKalb Emergency Management Agency and development of the DeKalb Emergency Operations Center and its Local Emergency Operations Plan. He has secret security clearance from DHS/TSA and has been a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) for the State of Georgia and has received advance training in the areas of counter-terrorism and he is also a GA P.O.S.T. Certified Instructor. Chief Greene’s academic credentials (B.S. & M.P.A.) are undergirded by his extensive project and program management experience in the area of security and emergency management projects focused on Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and implementing TSA grant related priorities and developing security certification programs. He has led multiple compliance audits for the TSA BASE Assessment program and FTA’s Security Mandates for Transit (49 CFR pt. 659/674). As Deputy Chief, he is responsible for critical emergency management strategies and plans at LA Metro including security programs and plans for expansion as the region prepares for the 2028 Olympics. Further, he is responsible for an aggressive training and exercise program to include table top and full-scale exercises in accordance with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). He has one of the most accomplished training and exercise credentials in the nation and continues that pattern of preparedness at Metro.
Ronnie Hakim
Ronnie is responsible for collaborating with HNTB leadership nationwide on strategic planning and implementation, industry representation, business development, service delivery, and client collaboration and satisfaction. Her Professional Affiliations include APTA, WTS, RailVolution, COMTO and she is a member of National Academy of Construction. Before joining HNTB, Hakim had 33 years of industry leadership experience at New York City Transit and New York MTA. Upon leaving the MTA in 2010, she was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and New Jersey Transit before returning to the MTA in 2015. She most recently served as managing director of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where she was responsible for leading more than 70,000 employees in five operating agencies, overseeing transit systems that carry 9 million riders each day. She also was responsible for promoting the 2015-2019 $32.5 billion MTA Capital Program as well as working on the framework for the 2020-2024 $51.5 billion Capital Program.
Erik J. Hansen
As vice president of government relations, Erik Hansen leads development of U.S. Travel’s domestic policy agenda, and represents the travel community before the Executive Branch and Congress. Hansen focuses on issues related to aviation, surface transportation, infrastructure and federal travel. He also served as general manager of the Connecting America Through Travel conference, which convened travel industry leaders, transportation experts and policy influencers to help shape the discussion on revitalizing America’s travel infrastructure. Before joining the U.S. Travel Association, Hansen worked for five years as a legislative aide on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and for the office of Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, he served as Field Director for the reelection campaign of Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), and worked in the government affairs office of Prudential Financial.
Polly Hanson
Ms. Hanson coordinates with APTA stakeholders to develop transit security, risk and emergency management standards and policies. Hanson performs peer reviews and assists with safety audits. Hanson serves as the Vice-chair of the TSA Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee. Previously, Hanson was the Chief of Police for AMTRAK where she led a national police department responsible for protecting over 30 million passengers and 20,000 employees. Prior to Amtrak, Polly was a career SES 1811 serving as the Director of the Office of Law Enforcement and Security for the Department of the Interior. At the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C., Polly was the Executive Director, Strategic Services Bureau and oversaw the development of policy and procedures, tactical crime analysis and research, applicant and promotional testing. Polly began her career at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority where she served for 27 years and progressed through the ranks to serve as the Chief of Police of a tri-state agency police department. Polly received her masters degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins and her bachelors degree in communications from Temple University
Noah Heulitt
Noah has over 14 years of experience in increasingly responsible roles within heavy industry at several companies with a focus on services and rolling stock, including Bombardier Transportation and Arcelor Mittal. In his role with Alstom, Noah is responsible for coordination with Alstom’s global engineering and product management teams to set product strategy for the North American market. He acts as the Regional Lead for Alstom’s Rolling Stock Sales, business development and Rolling Stock Commercial Strategy and Capture Planning. Noah is a recognized executive with heavy equipment, operations, and industrial systems experience in the Transportation and Steel Sectors. He has extensive experience in project delivery with profit and loss accountability, client relationship management, business development, and line leadership of both professional and union employees in an industrial setting. He also holds a Bachelor’s in Science, Mechanical Engineering from Temple University.
Gayang Ho
Gayang joined UITP in 2014 UITP Asia-Pacific, with the responsibility of developing knowledge and research programmes for Asia-Pacific Division. As the Head of Research for UITP Asia Pacific, she is tasked to lead the policy and research developments for UITP Asia-Pacific Centre for Transport Excellence (AP CTE). In the past few years, she led research projects on Artificial Intelligence in Mass Public Transport and Sharing Data in Public Transport – Value, Governance and Sustainability. Currently, she is working on ‘Governance on On-Demand Mobility’ study. She is also the lead secretariat for UITP Asia-Pacific Organising Authorities Platform that brings authorities of Asia to exchange on critical public transport policies and issues. With over 15 years of experience in research, Gayang has previously worked in the field of quantitative market research data analysis related to marketing strategy and customer insights from a broad spectrum of industries. Gayang holds a Master of Commerce (Marketing) from University of New South Wales, Australia, and Bachelor Degree of Business Administration – Specialised Programme in Strategic Management from University of Toronto, Canada.
Gayang is married with two children and currently resides in Hong Kong.
Jordan Holt
Jordan has been with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority since 2014, and is currently the Director of the Office of Transit Performance Management where she oversees target setting, performance reporting, benchmarking, and business planning for Metro’s Operations. Jordan started her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, where she took public transit daily – through rain, mud, and blizzards. She has an Undergraduate Degree from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Public Affairs and Urban Planning from Princeton University.
Jennifer Hu
Jennifer Hu is Texas Central’s Director of Railroad Legal and Regulatory Affairs. She brings 20 years of experience in government, regulatory, and international affairs. She is responsible for legal and regulatory issues related to the operation of Texas Central’s high-speed rail system. She also advises on federal regulatory, policy, and legislative issues related to high-speed rail. She was part of the Texas Central core team that worked with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to develop the petition for the Rule of Particular Applicability to deploy the Shinkansen system in Texas. She serves as a voting member of the FRA Railroad Safety Advisory Committee and Passenger Safety Working Group. In addition, she is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s two rail standing committees. She is a graduate of MIT, Georgetown, and The George Washington University Law School, and is a member of the New York and Texas State Bars.
Michael Hunter
Michael Hunter joined FRA as an attorney in the Safety Law Division in October 2012, and has worked primarily in the area of passenger equipment safety standards, with a focus in high-speed and high-performance passenger rail. Michael also works on non-traditional and emerging transportation technology, and engineer and conductor certification issues. Since joining FRA, Michael has drafted several regulations, most notably the Standards for Alternative Compliance and High-Speed Trainsets safety standards rulemaking (Tier III), and the Texas Central High-Speed Rail Safety Standards rule of particular applicability. Michael graduated from the Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville Florida in 2012. Prior to attending law school, Michael served as an Officer in the United States Army Military Police Corps from 1999 to 2009. During that time, Michael served as a Platoon Leader and a Company Commander, and deployed twice—once to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and once to Baghdad, Iraq.
Dr. Steve Hursh
Dr. Steve Hursh is President and Chief Scientist of the Institutes for Behavior Resources, where he directs research and application efforts on human performance and fatigue, behavioral economics, drug abuse, and cooperative team performance. Dr. Hursh is a technical leader of an effort to model the relationship between sleep deprivation and performance. His patented biomathematical model -the Sleep, Activity, Fatigue, and Task Effectiveness or SAFTE™ model- has been accepted by the US Department of Defense as the standard warfighter fatigue model, has been validated and calibrated by the Department of Transportation as a fatigue risk management tool, and is currently used by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to assess fatigue in transportation operations. He is also the co-inventor of the FAST™ (Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool) and FAST Aviation computer programs used by government agencies and various industries to assess and manage fatigue in operational settings.
Ibrahim Ibrahim
Ibrahim is the Managing Director of Portland Design. Based in London and established in 1987, Portland is part of the global Perkins&Will architecture and design group. Portland is a leading strategic branding and retail design business and works on a broad range of projects including retail, F&B, consumer brands, shopping centres, airports, train stations, mixed use developments and urban regeneration Portland’s understanding of consumers’ relationship with brands and their engagement with branded physical and digital environments lies at the heart of their work. This understanding is built through research and insights that drive future customer expectations. Portland places great emphasis on ‘future readiness’. Ibrahim originally trained as an aeronautical engineer and is a post graduate of the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a regular speaker at conferences and a frequent contributor to journals and trade press. He has written regular pieces for The Economist ‘Insights’. Ibrahim has two children and when he is not overseeing the ‘ideas fuelled’ environment at Portland he is normally with his family or in his workshop making sculpture and furniture, fiddling with classic cars or managing a woodland whilst riding his tractor!
Ahmed Idrees
Ahmed Idrees is SCADA and Control Systems Engineer Manager in the Light Rail / Transportation sector. Ahmed has 25 plus years of experience in Electrical and Instrumentation and Control systems engineering in numerous industrial and municipal sectors. Experience ranges from detail design engineering to field start-up and commission to managing engineers and contractors. As the Chair of the APTA Control & Communications Security Working Group (CCSWG), Ahmed Idrees is leading the group of transit professionals and subject matter experts in collaboration with the TSA to develop and publish best practice recommendations around securing (cybersecurity focus) our critical transit systems. The goal of these standards and white papers are to add security features based on cyber and intrusion vulnerabilities to the controls and auxiliary system of the transit operation technology systems.
Tina Ignat
Coordinating TAM Program at Metra Commuter Rail since 2015 which includes the development and update of the agency’s TAM Plan, coordinating NTD Reporting, and leading TAM implementation.
Debra A. Johnson
RTD General Manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson Debra A. Johnson is a person in the people business, a transit executive guided by the knowledge that her decision-making has direct bearing on the public’s ability to make connections that benefit their lives. She is completing her seventh month in Denver at the Regional Transportation District, a system that includes bus, light rail and commuter rail options. During the COVID-19 pandemic last year, RTD’s commuter rail services retained 45% of pre-COVID-19 ridership numbers – the best in the nation for commuter rail. Johnson previously served as Deputy CEO of Long Beach Transit, and she has held executive positions at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). Johnson serves on APTA’s Board of Directors, Commuter Rail CEOs Committee and Emerging Leaders Committee. She believes that opportunity is inherent in every challenge.
Kevin Jones
Kevin Jones has over 20 years in the transit safety & security industry, including time at an agency along with current consulting experience. Currently, Kevin is a Senior Associate and Project Manager with ADS System Safety Consulting, LLC. At ADS, Kevin helps to lead a team that is responsible for assuring compliance with the federally mandated Safety and Security requirements for transit agencies, including SMS and Safety Certification during design and build of applicable transit systems. Kevin is a Senior Associate Staff Instructor for TSI and has been actively teaching for 17 years. He is also actively involved in APTA where he currently is the Vice Chair of the Rail Safety Committee and Chair for the APTA Recommended Practice on Safety & Security Certification. Kevin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Safety and Environmental Management from Slippery Rock University and has earned the TSSP designation through TSI and the PTSCTP Certification (Bus and Rail) from FTA. Kevin also has earned the designation of Certified Safety & Security Director and Certified Safety Executive from the World Safety Organization.
Joshua Katz
Joshua Katz is the Chief Safety Regulations Manager for the Illinois Department of Transportation’s State Safety Oversight Agency. He has worked in the transportation industry for the past nine years, and for the past five years Joshua has been with the SSOA overseeing safety, security, and emergency preparedness of the Chicago Transit Authority in the Chicago metropolitan area, and the Bistate Development’s MetroLink Light Rail System in the St. Louis metropolitan area. During this time Joshua has been a proponent of the Safety Management Systems or SMS approach to reducing safety risk in the rail transit environment. In addition to his oversight responsibilities Joshua has issued multiple special studies focused on safety and security at the CTA.
Larry Kelterborn
Mr. Kelterborn is internationally recognized as an industry specialist on rail safety issues. Larry has been deeply involved in most of the North American high-speed rail projects that have been planned, including the Texas Central high-speed rail project, where he led the railroad’s effort to petition the FRA for a Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA). Larry also led the efforts to develop similar RPAs for two separate 200 mph high-speed rail projects in Florida, including the Florida Overland eXpress (FOX) system, which was based on TGV technology. Larry has also played significant roles in other HSR projects including the Brightline, Amtrak’s Acela, DesertXpress, Florida JetTrain, TGV Texas and TGV Canada. Larry was one of the original working group members of the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), Phase II Passenger Safety Working Group. He is currently on the Technical Advisory Board of the International High Speed Rail Association.
John Killeen
John Killeen currently serves as CEO and General Manager for Keolis Commuter Services (KCS), the MBTA’s operating and maintenance partner for the nation’s fifth largest commuter rail network. MBTA Commuter Rail is the largest privately-run transit network in the United States, including approximately 2,400 employees and 500 daily scheduled trains. Prior to serving as the organization’s top executive, John served for four years as VP of Asset Management, overseeing a diverse team that maintained 400 miles of track and approximately 75 locomotives and 400 coach cars. While in this position John and his team drove performance enhancements across the fleet, including locomotive reliability and coach car availability gains which contributed to an on-time performance average that regularly exceeded the 10-year average and 90 percent. John is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the railway industry. Before his time in Boston, John held senior management positions on several networks across the United Kingdom, including GTR, Southern Railway, HSBC Rail and Eurostar. A graduate of the University of Sheffield, John earned a Master of Science in Railway Systems Integration.
Joseph King, PE PMP
Joe is a Project Manager at Gannett Fleming responsible for all aspects of project performance including project execution and controls, client interface, financial reporting, sub-contractor oversight, and personnel management.
Anne Kovachevich
Dr Anne Kovachevich is the Foresight and Innovation Leader at Arup. Foresight is a global team that help Arup and their clients identify trends, explore ideas and radically rethink the future. Anne has a background in sustainable building design and aerospace. Anne has experience working on many transport projects including the recent RISSB and ONRSR Track worker safety study, the ACRI review on regenerative energy capture for Rail and preliminary works for the MaaS trial and the University of Queensland. Anne is passionate about making cities great places for people and the natural environment.
Pallavi Lal
Pallavi Lal has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from India and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University. She has published papers based on her research in Biomechanics. Pallavi serves as Vice President for the New Jersey Region and leads the Vehicle Engineering Practice at Hatch. She is a professional engineer and has over 20 years of experience in rail transportation industry. Pallavi has experience in both the technical and managerial aspects of leading a project from its inception to completion. As an experienced project manager, she has been involved in numerous high-profile and successful vehicle projects at NJT, PATH, EXO, LIRR and MNR. She is affiliated with ASME and has served as a chair of Philadelphia Chapter. She was appointed as an Industry Advisor to Drexel University, continually serves as a Judge in Future Cities Competition, and continually participates in lectures promoting STEM at various middle and high schools and colleges. At Hatch, she is involved in promoting diversity and inclusion. Currently, she is honored to serve as Director-at-large at WTS, New Jersey Chapter. Pallavi’s focus on innovative design, cost effectiveness, safety, risk management, reliability centered maintenance complemented with problem-solving attitude has led to successful endeavors. Outside work, she loves to travel and try different cuisines with her husband and son. She loves creating various art forms along with spending time with her dog and son.
Matthew Lewis
Matthew Lewis is a Senior Rail Operations Analyst with 12 years of rail network simulation experience across North America, 9 of them with Gannett Fleming. Prior to working with Gannett Fleming, he was at Systra Consulting. He developed the rail network simulation modeling to validate the capacity of the proposed SEPTA King of Prussia branch line to support the planned level of service during peak and off-peak periods and related analyses. He has a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in astrophysics. Prior to working in the railroad industry, he did work in solar physics, atmospheric acoustics, and software testing.
Sally Librera
Sally is Vice President for Strategic Planning and Client Support at HNTB. She has extensive experience in successfully leading large, complex transit operations with a strong focus on improving system performance; identifying and implementing efficiencies; integrating reliability-based maintenance; and maximizing the value of operating and capital investments. As the former senior vice president for subways at MTA New York City Transit, Sally led North America’s largest urban rail transit operation, leading a team of 30,000 employees and serving nearly 6M daily riders. Sally oversaw 8,000 train trips on a fleet of 6,400 railcars across 660 miles of track and 472 stations each day. Sally was the first woman to lead the NYC subway operation. She led the NYC subways team through a dramatic performance turnaround by focusing on targeted, data-driven system improvements and full staff engagement. Sally and her team significantly improved on time performance, cut train delays in half, and safely reduced customer journey times on every line in the system. Sally also led MTA’s Staten Island Railway, a 24/7 heavy rail operation, and has served in executive posts focusing on safety management, transportation policy, workforce development, operations efficiencies, and reliability-based maintenance.
Hannah Lyons-Galante
Hannah Lyons-Galante currently serves at the Climate Change Resiliency Specialist for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Her work focuses on conducting vulnerability assessments, providing guidance to engineers, and developing policies & procedures to get climate change adaptation efforts adopted throughout the organization. Prior to joining the MBTA, Hannah earned her Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her graduate work focused primarily on designing with trees and with water. During her summers spent interning in Boston and NYC, Hannah was involved with a wide variety of green infrastructure projects: Park design at Fresh Kills landfill, greenway planning, land use history research on an abandoned rail tunnel beneath a neighborhood park, and conducting post-construction evaluations of stormwater management systems. In the years prior to earning her masters, Hannah taught high school science, conducted an open space mapping project with Mass Audubon, and published original research on tropical dry forests. With an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College (BA 2012), Hannah aspires to bridge the worlds of ecology and design.
Jaime Maguire
Jaime Maguire is the Program Director for Protran Technology’s Transit Safety Solutions Division. Jaime has been with Protran Technology since 2013 at which time she started as the Operations Manager for the safety product line and later moved into the position of Safety Solutions Deployment Manager. The deployment role allowed her to work directly with transit agencies across the United States to help implement safety technology systems in order to meet agency-specific safety needs. Jaime is now the Program Director of the Transit Safety Solutions Division and is focused on further developing and expanding the Protran Technology safety product portfolio to meet the evolving safety needs of the transit industry. Jaime’s goal as Program Director is to continue to work directly with customers to understand, adapt, and provide innovative technology solutions. Protran Technology is a division of the Harsco Rail Corporation based in Columbia, South Carolina.
Thomas Martin
Thomas Martin graduated from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering with a focus in Structural Engineering. As Senior Tunnel Engineer and Professional Engineer (PE) at Gall Zeidler Consultants, he has been involved in multiple tunneling projects, performing design, tunnel inspection and scanning, as well as project management services. Mr. Martin not only worked on award-winning refurbishment design projects, but also served on several expert review panels dedicated to the investigation and improvement of tunneling methodologies and thus structures. He has also been involved in the development of standards and specifications for small- and large-scale projects. In performing these tasks, Mr. Martin has coordinated between multiple disciplines and stakeholders during inspections, design, and construction. His work has included extensive experience in leak remediation inspections, assessments, designs, and construction phase services of national and international projects.
Eric McGraw
Eric McGraw has been the Manager of Signal Engineering at Chicago Transit Authority for the last three years. Previously, he acted as a product development engineer at what is now Hitachi Rail, formerly Union Switch & Signal, where he spent fourteen years.
Tom McLaughlin
A data led digital professional with a laser focus on the best customer outcomes. I bring over 15 years of digital retail experience from some of the biggest retailers in the UK and Australia. Being part of the Metro Trains Melbourne team has given me a whole new perspective on customer experience, and drive for excellence. I want Metro to be on the cutting edge of digital transformation in public transport setting the foundations for future generations.
David L. Mieger
David Mieger is the Senior Executive Officer for Long Range & Transit Corridor Planning at LA Metro. He has over 40 years of experience in the fields of transportation planning, urban planning, urban design and environmental clearance. His work focuses on securing planning, design and environmental approvals for major transit and urban infrastructure projects. His department includes over 60 staff who prepare the Countywide Long Range and Short Range Transportation Plans as well as Alternatives Analysis, Conceptual Design and Environmental clearance that currently includes more than 20 transit corridor projects. Transit modes include heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit and active transportation.
Andrew Mitchem
Andrew is a highly experienced railway infrastructure engineer with more than 30 years’ experience across the rail industry in senior leadership roles. His main area of technical expertise is in Rail Infrastructure management, with 17 years of frontline experience as a Rail Signal Engineer in the UK and a further 7 as an Infrastructure engineer responsible for all infrastructure assets in a geographic region. Andrew is a qualified reliability centered maintenance facilitator and his primary focus is the corporate improvement of asset management practice and infrastructure maintenance processes to deliver high infrastructure reliability, availability and performance. He specializes in the management and delivery of integrated maintenance activities and renewals projects covering a range of asset groups including signals, track, electrification, structures and earthworks. Now based in New York, he leads Network Rail Consulting’s team of experienced engineers and operations specialists providing accelerated learning to transit organizations who seek to optimise their organizational asset management practices.
Ana M. Moreno
Msc Industrial Engineer with more than 25 years of professional experience, essentially in the railway sector, dealing with different kind of projects, in countries like Japan, Italy, England or Spain and with diverse partners and private and publics clients, having extensive senior management expertise in large organizations with operations around the world in leading companies like CAF. More than 12 years of work involvement at executive level or as a member of the Board of Directors in positions directly linked to the world of construction, operation, maintenance and financing, covering all the areas in the railway sector. Currently she is CEO of Los Tranvías de Zaragoza. As a complement to her degree and training as an engineer, Mrs Moreno holds a two-year studies in her PhD, an MBA from Comillas University and a PADE (Senior Management Program for Executives) from Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa, IESE, Madrid.
Stacey Mortensen
Since 1991, Stacey Mortensen has worked in Transportation Engineering and Passenger Rail Service. She was the founding Executive Director responsible for planning and start-up of the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) Rail Service, now operating as the Altamont Corridor Express Service. Based on the success of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission’s ACE Service, Stacey and her team were also chosen to manage the San Joaquin Intercity Passenger Service which runs from Bakersfield to Sacramento and Oakland and operated by Amtrak. This has helped consolidate and coordinate rail planning and operations in Northern CA. These California San Joaquin Valley passenger rail services were awarded funding from recent California Transportation Funding Programs. The Rail Commission is delivering a $1B expansion program, named Valley Rail, to add significant new service by 2023 and 2026 and connect to the future CA high-speed rail system in Merced, CA.
Greg Nazarow
Greg Nazarow has led the rail operations simulation and analysis practice at Gannett Fleming since 2005, when he founded it. He has nearly 30 years of experience in rail operations including computer rail network operations simulation. Greg has developed or supervised the development of rail operations analyses in the United States, Canada and Latin America for many different clients involving technologies ranging from light rail to subways — including rubber-tire subways — to commuter rail, intercity rail and freight rail. Prior to joining Gannett Fleming, he was at Systra Consulting for a decade and before that was employed in the manufacturing and electric power sectors in the United States and Europe. He has a BSME from Tufts University and an MBA from Babson College.
William J Palko
Mr. Palko is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, is a licensed professional engineer and has 38 years of experience in rail systems. Hi is currently a Senior Vice President with Mott MacDonald. Mr. Palko leads a design team for CTA’s Blue Line signal system upgrade design-build project.
Ron Pate
Ron Pate serves as the Director of the Rail, Freight, and Ports (RF&P) Division at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). He is responsible for directing WSDOT’s rail, freight and marine port programs, which include planning, capital improvements, and operations. The RF&P Director actively directs and sets the vision for division management and staff to ensure multi modal needs are part of planning, programming and capital delivery processes.
Eric Papetti
Eric Papetti is the Acting TAM Program Manager for FTA, currently based out of Region 1 in the greater Boston area. He has been with FTA for over 7 years, and is dedicated to promoting effective asset management practices which enable connected, accessible, and equitable transit service.
Jeffrey A. Parker
As a recognized national leader in transportation and transit, Jeffrey A. Parker has more than 35 years of experience in both the private and public sectors of the transportation industry, heading operations and expansion programs for several multimodal agencies. Parker was named General Manager/CEO of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) in March 2018. Under his leadership, MARTA is undertaking its most ambitious transit expansion and modernization program since its founding forty years ago. Prior to joining MARTA, he was Vice President of one of the country’s leading architecture and engineering consulting firms.
Matias Sevel Rasmussen
Dr. Matias Sevel Rasmussen is the Signal Systems and R&D Manager at the Copenhagen Metro. He is responsible for a broad range of signalling related projects for the metro lines M1-M2 and for the recently inaugurated M3 circular line and the M4 line. He is currently leading the investigation for re-signalling of lines M1-M2 and leading the design of other solutions that can increase capacity. His responsibilities also include the company’s involvement in various R&D projects. Formerly, he has been working with advanced decision support algorithms in routing and scheduling software systems. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Denmark in operations research. He has a M.Sc. degree in computer science and a B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Copenhagen.
Ian Rainey
Ian Rainey is Senior Vice President of Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail, a U.S. company working to deploy Japanese Superconducting Magnetic Levitation train technology on the Northeast Corridor. Traveling at over 300 mph, Superconducting MagLev will enable a DC to New York travel time of less than one hour. Ian is a founding partner of several other ventures, including the high-speed rail project in Texas. Prior to entering the private sector, Ian served in government as a Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Defense, and as an officer in the Navy. Ian is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Michael Ratnasingham
Michael is a Transit Leader that specializes in Systems Engineering with over 20 years of senior level management experience focusing on multi-disciplinary transit projects in the United States and Europe. His broad experience encompasses light rail, streetcar, subway, heavy rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit (BRT), numerous project delivery methods such as Design-Bid-Build (DBB), Design-Build (DB), Construction-Management-General-Contractor (CMGC), and Public Private Partnerships (P3), and projects operating in all transit environments including at-grade, elevated, street running and tunnels. Michael is currently a Senior Executive Officer at Los Angeles Metro responsible to oversee and lead Metro’s Systems Engineering Department for all bus and rail initiatives. He holds a BSc in Aerospace Engineering from the Netherlands and is a licensed Professional Engineer.
João Rebelo
João Rebelo, Portuguese, was graduated in Electrical Engineering (1980) from Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto and he is currently Vice President of UITP and Director of Metro do Porto. He has been working for the last 20 years in Public Transport, Light Rail Systems, and Urban Mobility related fields. In fact, he joined Metro do Porto in the beginning of the Project, back in 2001, and he is engaged in the design, construction and operation of the Light Rail System in the Metropolitan Area of Porto, Portugal. Since 2001, he is an active member of the Light Rail Committee of UITP. In June 2019, his peers elected him as Chair of the Light Rail Division and currently he is UITP Vice President and member of the Executive Board.
Kevin Reilly
Kevin Reilly is a Principal Consultant for Hatch LTK, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm specialized in the transportation, infrastructure, and energy sectors. He provides in-depth knowledge and experience to transit agencies derived from implementing SMS throughout the transportation industry to effectively execute new projects and solutions. He is an expert in human factors design, organizational safety management, and investigating safety events. Most recently, Kevin has implemented SMS for medium and large transportation agencies using technological and organizational solutions. Kevin has practical experience applying risk management using reactive and proactive analyses of data to determine effective risk controls. He regularly works with federal and state regulators to ensure safety and compliance with all applicable safety regulations. Prior to joining Hatch LTK, Kevin held various positions implementing voluntary employee reporting programs, fatigue risk management, and internal audits. Kevin has experience applying 49 CFR part(s) 270, 672, 673, 674 and 14 CFR part(s) 5, 117, and 119.
Leslie S. Richards
Leslie S. Richards is the 11th General Manager of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), where she oversees a budget of more than $2 billion and 9,500 employees As the sixth largest public transportation agency in the U.S., SEPTA operates across six transportation modes and has 2,800 vehicles in service, 285 subway and rail stations, 13,000 bus and trolley stops, and 150 routes. Prior to joining SEPTA in 2020, Ms. Richards served as the first woman secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S. At PennDOT, Ms. Richards was focused on creating strategic solutions for the long-term success of Pennsylvania’s transportation needs through innovative, collaborative programs such as PennDOT Connects. A staunch advocate for women and diversity in transportation and government, Ms. Richards has been recognized for her leadership in the industry and commitment to public service. Prior to her public service, she worked in the private sector as a senior project manager for environmental and civil engineering firms. Ms. Richards earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and urban studies from Brown University, and a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She teaches a graduate transportation planning program at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design. She lives with her husband and three children in Montgomery County.
Catherine Rinaldi
Catherine Rinaldi, President of MTA Metro-North Railroad since February 21, 2018. Ms. Rinaldi is the sixth president of Metro-North Railroad, and the first woman to hold that position.. In October of 2018, Ms. Rinaldi unveiled “Way Ahead,” which sets forth Metro-North’s strategies for setting the standard for safety, reliability and innovation in the delivery of excellent customer service. She is focused on improving the reliability of Metro-North’s service, while at the same time continuing the intensive infrastructure program essential to maintaining the safety of the Metro-North system. On the safety front, she has led efforts to implement positive train control across Metro-North in compliance with federal requirements. Metro-North’s customer facing safety program TRACKS, which stands for Together Railroads and Communities Keeping Safe, won the 2018 APTA Gold Award for Safety. Ms. Rinaldi has implemented a series of efforts to improve employee engagement, and, specifically, the engagement of women in the Metro-North workforce. She created a Lunch and Learn series at Metro-North, and moderated a series of panel discussions regarding women in transportation, designed to create additional networking and professional development opportunities for the women of Metro-North. Ms. Rinaldi was honored as the Woman of the Year by the Greater New York Chapter of WTS in 2018. Ms. Rinaldi is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College and received her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Martin Ritter
Martin Ritter is the President and CEO of Stadler US Inc. Since accepting the promotion and relocating to Salt Lake City in May of 2016, Martin has been relentless in the systematic growth and development of this US operation. Painstaking detail has been dedicated to the development and launch of a new 250,000 sq. ft. US Manufacturing Facility, which was officially opened in May of 2019. Some of Martin’s greatest successes to date have been the completion of the TEXRail project, the first project fully assembled at the US location and winning the contract to supply METRO trains for MARTA, the largest US contract thus far. Prior to his current executive leadership role, Martin served Stadler Rail Management as a Strategic Special Assistant to former Stadler Rail Group CEO and President of the Board of Directors Peter Spuhler, where he was responsible for developing business solutions and leading several strategic projects. It was in this role Martin uncovered the strategic opportunities relating to the development of a new manufacturing site in the US. In every assignment, Martin has proven that he can develop and implement plans to accelerate market expansion, attract and hire top talent, dramatically increase business partnerships, and strengthen brand positioning.
Jonte Robinson
As Chief Officer of the Office of Civil Rights, Equity & Inclusion at Sound Transit, Jonté oversees the agency’s Equity, Inclusion & Culture, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Title VI and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) / Small Business Programs. Jonté has also served as the Deputy Director of the Office of EEO, Equity & Inclusion as well as Deputy Director of Civil Rights. Prior to joining Sound Transit in 2015, Jonté was the Title VI Coordinator, and Human Resource Consultant at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) where she provided oversight to over 200 sub-recipients and provided expert EEO, Diversity and Affirmative Action consultation to regional directors and other senior leaders across the various regions assigned to her. Jonté has also worked at the Washington State Department of Personnel as a Leadership and Professional Development Program Manager. She has also served proudly in the United States Army. Jonté is an active community leader who has a strong commitment to Community Development. She and her husband founded the Healing Hands C.D.C. to provide resources, personal development, and empowerment to members of the community who are traditional under-served. Jonté has earned a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii.
David Roden
Mr. Roden has 40 years of experience in travel demand forecasting, traffic simulation, transportation planning, and software development. He pioneered advanced analytical methods used in 24-hour simulations of regional highway and transit networks, dynamic express toll models, tour mode choice, and performance-based project priority analysis. He developed the Mobilitics scenario planning tool to estimate the long-term impacts of connected and automated vehicles (CAV), telework, E-commerce, transit service changes, ride sourcing and shared-rides and the near-term impacts of COVID-19 travel restrictions and feeling safe returning to work and using transit and childcare on roadway and transit demand.
Peter Rogoff
Peter Rogoff is the Chief Executive Officer at Sound Transit, the Seattle-based three-county regional transit provider in Washington state’s Central Puget Sound. Appointed by the Sound Transit Board in 2016, Rogoff is currently leading the agency as it plans and builds the largest transit expansion in North America, a voter-mandated 116-mile regional rapid transit network. In addition to helping craft the historic $54 billion expansion measure approved by voters in 2016, Rogoff oversees its unprecedented construction achievements including routing light rail across a floating interstate bridge. Rogoff has transformed the agency’s processes and approaches around six core values of collaboration, customer focus, inclusion and respect, safety, integrity and quality. These efforts have given rise to new business units centered on the passenger experience as well as a new Office of Equity and Inclusion. As a 30-year transportation professional, Rogoff was appointed by President Barack H. Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate twice, first as Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration from 2009-2014, and then from 2014-2016, as the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Prior to serving in these distinguished positions, Rogoff spent 22 years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, including 14 years as Democratic Staff Director on the Transportation Subcommittee. Rogoff helped launch the Washington state’s first chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials. Rogoff currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Public Transportation Association and the Board’s Finance Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Committee to the University of Washington’s Mobility Innovation Center.
Porie Saikia-Eapen
Porie Saikia-Eapen is a Registered Architect in NY, RIBA Chartered Architect UK, CIOB Chartered Construction Manager, UK, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building. Currently as the Director, Environmental Sustainability and Compliance at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of NY, she is responsible for taking forward the vision for Environmentally Sustainable MTA, developing strategies for long-term sustainability of the organization and the region. Her advocacy for a sustainable built environment is reflected in the various elected and selected positions of president, board member, governor, trustee and advisor etc. that she holds in the design and construction industry globally.
Dr. Joshua L. Schank
Joshua Schank is the first-ever Chief Innovation Officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). Dr. Schank joined Metro in 2015 to establish the agency’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI), which is responsible for fostering innovations that improve mobility, equity and environmental outcomes across LA County’s 88 cities. Dr. Schank leads an office with an expanding mandate that includes shaping LA Metro’s high-level strategic vision, serving as a liaison to the academic community, designing, piloting and implementing innovative programs and policies, and engaging entrepreneurs and businesses to develop public-private-partnerships. As CIO of Metro, Dr. Schank helped OEI create and lead numerous transformative projects including the Vision 2028 Strategic Plan, Metro Micro, Mobility on Demand, Metro’s Traffic Reduction Study, Metro’s Fareless System Initiative, Better Bus, two Pre-Development Agreements for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor, a Public-Private-Partnership for the West Santa Ana Branch, and an aerial tram from Union Station to Dodger Stadium. Under Dr. Schank’s leadership, Metro’s innovative Unsolicited Proposal Policy has generated numerous projects and plans for improving mobility and accountability in Los Angeles County, including the use of drones for data collection, mobile tolling, automated bus lane enforcement, travel rewards, and automatic wayfinding for the visually impaired. Prior to joining Metro, Dr. Schank served as President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a leading national transportation policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C. He previously led the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center and has worked as a consultant for Parsons Brinkerhoff (now WSP) and ICF International. Dr. Schank served as Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) during the authorization of SAFETEA-LU and is the co-author of All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding. He began his career working on behalf of the riders of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City and has never lost that spirit. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
Carrie Schindler
Carrie Schindler is Director of Transit and Rail Programs for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) where, since 2015, she has been responsible for delivering the promises of Measure I, San Bernardino County’s half-cent transportation sales tax as it relates to transit and rail efforts. She joined SBCTA in 2012 as Chief of Fund Administration after spending ten years with the County of San Bernardino where she served in many capacities including Resident Engineer and Chief of Transportation Planning. Prior to joining the public sector she worked in the private sector on transit related efforts in the San Diego area. Carrie is a graduate of San Diego State University in Civil Engineering and a registered Professional Engineer in California. She is a wife and mother of three wonderful kids.
Ruby Siegel
Ruby Siegel is a Vice President/Senior Project Manager with AECOM in the NY/NJ Metro region. Ruby has over 40 years of management and planning experience in the transportation field, specializing in public transportation. She has successfully advanced large, multi-jurisdictional projects through both Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) project development processes, including required environmental reviews. Ms. Siegel is currently working with NJ TRANSIT on a Network Planning Strategy to address near-term capacity improvements and an overall network-based approach to improving service to New Jersey customers. Prior to joining AECOM, Ms. Siegel held leadership positions at the MBTA in Boston, NJ TRANSIT in New Jersey, as President of her own consulting practice, and SYSTRA Consulting. Ms. Siegel has an A.B. in Urban and Economic Geography from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.C.R.P in Transportation Planning from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Julius Smith
Dr. Julius Smith’s Bio Dr. Julius Smith is the Vice President, Chief Information Officer for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and Chair of the APTA Security Standards, Enterprise Cybersecurity Working Group. Julius Smith is responsible for DART’s technology, cybersecurity posture, and the technology strategic roadmap to the enhance customer experience. He brings over thirty years of extensive professional experience in technology, innovation, security, and building strong collaborations and partnerships across federal, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served as DART’s first Chief Information Security Officer, developed DART’s Cyber Security Program, and Cyber Security Governance Council. He earned a Doctorate from Regent University School of Business and completed several security and technology certifications.
Quintin F. Sumabat
A transportation executive with a career spanning 30+ years with LA Metro experienced in Construction Management, Program Management, State of Good Repair Capital Projects, Operations, Capital Finance & Budget. Now a Deputy Executive Officer in Vehicle Engineering and Acquisitions for capital purchases of Bus / Rail Vehicles and Rail Vehicle midlife / modernizations. Responsible for mission critical Charging Infrastructure installations to support the Zero Emission Bus program by a 2030 completion target.
Narayana Sundaram
Narayana Sundaram is APTA’s Senior Director of Engineering and Commuter Rail Operations. In this role Narayana staff advises various commuter rail committees including the commuter rail CEOs committee. He is also responsible for all regulatory engagement for APTA’s commuter and intercity railroads as is the lead for the APTA contingent on FRA’s Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC). Narayana lead the APTA efforts on the full industry wide implementation of Positive Train Control for the commuter rail industry. Narayana manages APTA’s Standards program which has developed more than 310 standards and recommended practices. Prior to joining APTA, he held several positions with ENSCO, a technology provider in the rail industry. He spent 13 years at ENSCO holding several positions last of which was Business Area Manager for the Vehicle/Track Interaction Consulting Services. Narayana has conducted about 13 years of research for FRA for passenger and freight rail operations. Narayana holds a Masters of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from India.
Marcin Taraszkiewicz
Marcin Taraszkiewicz is Jacobs’ North American leader of its rail vehicle engineering group. He is responsible for managing numerous rail projects as well as coordinating the delivery of project work across the region. He also manages Jacobs’ global rail vehicle engineering community of practice. Marcin’s 28 years of professional experience saw him working across a large spectrum of transit modes, from automated people mover through intercity heavy rail, and numerous disciplines, including operations, maintenance, testing, design engineering, and asset management. Prior to entering the work force, Marcin obtained a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. He also holds an MBA from DePaul University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of New York, Maryland, and Virginia.
Adie Tomer
Adie Tomer is a Fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and leads the Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. Tomer is an expert in infrastructure policy and urban economics, with a particular focus on transportation and digital technology issues. Tomer’s work has received coverage and citations in international print publications and other media outlets, including The Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Tomer has testified in front of the U.S. Congress about the future of American infrastructure and has advised staffs of presidential candidates.
Kristi Urich
Kristi Urich is the Product Director for Workforce Management at Trapeze Group North America. She has worked closely with agencies across the US and Canada to bring innovative solutions to operations and planning, including real-time vehicle tracking and yard management solutions for rail and bus. Most recently she’s focused on expanding safety and compliance tools, particularly fatigue management, through the partnership with industry leader SAFTE-FAST. Kristi loves working one on one with agencies ensuring every component to a solution has a name and face that it serves, focusing on the people who move people.
Mark van Hagen
Mark van Hagen (1961, Master in Economic Geography) has been heavily involved in public transport for more than 30 years. Mark started his career at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Since 1990 Mark has worked for NS (the principal Railway Operator in the Netherlands) as a principal consultant customer experience. He is responsible for (innovative) studies on customer demands, chain management and station development. Working as a thought leader analyzing customer data and advising the top management of NS is also his responsibility. He received a distinction from the University of Twente, the Netherlands, for his dissertation on “Waiting experience at train stations”, completed in April 2011. Mark has published over one hundred international (scientific) articles with a customer centric view of the experience of public transport modes.
William Viqueira
Bill has over twenty-five years of experience in corporate finance including Director, Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch, Treasurer and Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at Lucent Technologies and the Chief Financial Officer at both a venture-backed technology company and a NYSE-listed company. Prior to taking on his current role at NJ TRANSIT in 2018, he was responsible for Treasury and M&A at Monster Worldwide. He received a B.A. and MA degrees in Economics from The John Hopkins University.
Joel Waugh
From 1990 to 2011, I proudly served in the US Army. Notable accomplishments during my career include a deployment to Bosnia and Herzegovina in support of NATO peacekeeping operations and two deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon retiring from the Military in 2011, I joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where I spent 8 years building a customer-focused cybersecurity program around the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) Risk Management Framework. My career at the FBI culminated as the Chief, Information Security Risk Management, responsible for the security for over 500 hosting environments and information systems across multiple security enclaves. Since 2019 I have been with WMATA in the role of Director of Cybersecurity, where I am excited to lead a dynamic team in the implementation of a robust cybersecurity framework founded on a Federal-style assessment and authorization process.
Glen Weisbrod
Glen Weisbrod is Chairman of EBP US, which was formerly known as Economic Development Research Group. He is a specialist in economic evaluation methods, and has evaluated the benefits of intercity and high-speed rail investments around North America. This includes work for the US Conference of Mayors, Coalition of Northeast Governors and American Public Transportation Association, as well as various state agencies from Maine to California. He was formerly Chair of the TRB Committee on Transportation and Economic Development.
Ryan White
Ryan White is freight planning and logistics specialist with VHB. Prior to joining VHB, Ryan worked as the Director of Freight Initiatives at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Ryan also has private sector supply chain experience working as a relocation and shipping consultant in Beijing.
Tamika Gunn White
Tamika Gunn White is the Senior Organizational Development Manager at Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her current role involves leading the management and implementation of the agency’s training and professional development programs, with a focus on improving workplace culture and employee engagement. Tamika is also a member of PSTA’s Leadership Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. In addition, Tamika is the facilitator of Leadership PSTA, the agency’s year-long leadership development program for high performers, in efforts to drive individual growth and organizational innovation. She is passionate about teaching, coaching and developing employees, helping them to expand knowledge, deepen skills, discover insights, and gain confidence to further elevate their performance and achieve their personal and professional goals. Tamika has a Master of Science degree in Management and Leadership. Her Bachelor of Science degree is in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, with a concentration in Sociology and a double-minor in Psychology and Education. She is also a Certified Personal and Executive Coach. Tamika is the Secretary of APTA’s Workforce Development Committee and a 2019 graduate of APTA’s Emerging Leaders Program. She is also a member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) and currently serves as the Membership Chair for the Central Florida chapter.
Alex Z. Wiggins
Alex Z. Wiggins, a veteran of the United States Army, Air Force Reserve and the Seattle Police Department, was appointed CEO of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority in July 2019. His transportation experience includes service as the City of Seattle’s Strategic Advisor for Light Rail, Chief of Staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation, Chief Administrative Officer at the North County Transit District in San Diego County, and Deputy Executive Director at Metra Commuter Rail in Chicago. Prior to taking the helm of the New Orleans RTA Alex served as Chief of LA Metro’s System Security & Law Enforcement Division. Alex holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from the University of Maryland University College, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Arizona State University.
John C. Wong
Mr. Wong offers more than 30 years of experience in the design, design management, program and project management of civil engineering projects, including transit infrastructure, institutional facilities and highway and bridge projects. Mr. Wong is a senior project manager and lead structural engineer experienced in the design and review of above and below ground structures in concrete and structural steel. His assignments have included engineering tasks for billion dollar highway privatization and railway transit structures including highways, elevated track structures and stations, underground stations, cut and cover structures and tunnels; as well as institutional and other transportation facilities such as schools, light rail structures and airports. He has also served in supervisory and project and program management positions during the design and inspection of numerous transit structures, tunnels, bridges and public facilities.
Mariia V. Zimmerman
Mariia Zimmerman is Founder and Principal of MZ Strategies, LLC — an urban policy firm located in Richmond, VA serving clients across the country. With over two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, Mariia has led a wide range of planning efforts addressing such critical community needs as transit-oriented development and affordable housing policies, to transportation finance and anti-displacement community development strategies. Mariia served previously as the Deputy Director for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Sustainable Communities and Housing. She also worked on Capitol Hill with Rep. Blumenauer and at the Federal Transit Administration, and while at the Center for Transit Oriented Development / Reconnecting America she helped to co-found Transportation for America. Mariia serves on the Board of Directors for the national Shared Use Mobility Center, and on the RVA Rapid Transit Board. In 2020, she was appointed by Governor Northam to the Virginia Passenger Rail Authority Board of Directors. Mariia has advanced degrees in Geography from PennState and in Urban Planning from the University of Minnesota.