(Listed in agenda order.)
TERESA ALVARADO, MCE - Director, SPUR San Jose
Teresa Alvarado leads SPUR's work in San Jose. She formerly served as a communications and community engagement executive with the Santa Clara Valley Water District and as the first executive director of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. Earlier in her career, she worked in government relations and corporate philanthropy for Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
A San Jose native with a long history of civic leadership, Teresa currently serves on the boards of San Jose Jazz, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). She is founder of the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley and serves on its advisory board.
Teresa is a former board member or advisory board member of SPUR, Greenbelt Alliance, the Rotary Club of San Jose, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. She was an appointee to the City of San Jose's Envision San Jose 2040 General Plan Update Task Force and was the first community member appointed to the San Jose Mercury News editorial board.
She holds a Master of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering from Tufts University, a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental technology and management and a minor degree in technical writing from San Jose State University. She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education's Women and Power: Leadership in a New World program, the Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth's Brand and Reputation program and is an American Leadership Forum senior fellow.
REMI MATEO - Chair, Transport Presidio
Attending Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco for a Masters in Public Administration in Sustainable Management. Mateo is also Chair of the PGS student association "Transport Presidio" - dedicated to the education of sustainable transportation. Hobbies include hiking, Toastmasters, and especially reading - a favorite for graduate students. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mateo has a Bachelors in Sociology from CSU Northridge, and is a 2016 Fellow for the World Energy Innovation Forum. Currently an advocate for the developmentally and physically disabled community at the Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center, Mateo educates clients on American with Disabilities Act (ADA) rights, cooperatively finding solutions towards their mobility independence. Mateo's interest in transportation is especially focused on social equity and making sure all riders have access to quality transit.
GREG JUSTICE - Founder & Editor, TransportiCA
Besides bounding and serving as Editor of TransportiCA, Justice is also Founder & Principal of Aggie Writing Services, founder of the Sustainable Chamber of Sacramento and the "Transportation and the Triple-Bottom Line" conference, as well as, Chief Sustainability Officer for the newly-formed nonprofit, "California Green Academy." His passion for sustainable and active transportation comes from, despite being an L.A. native, not having a driver's license, nor planning to obtain one in the future.
Attending San Jose State University for graduate certificates in Environmental Planning and Transportation and Land-Use Planning. Double-majored at U.C. Davis in Public Service and Law & Society, minoring in Professional Writing, emphasis in legal and technical writing. Justice has previously worked for Unitrans, Caltrans' Division of Rail, Air Resources Board, Cal/EPA's Scientific and Peer-Review Program, for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Dr. David Long, California Secretary of Education.
SUSAN HANDY, Ph.D., MCE - Director, National Center for Sustainable Transportation, University of California, Davis
Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis, teaching in the Environmental Policy and Planning major and in the Transportation Technology and Policy Program. Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation, part of the federal university transportation centers program. Research focuses on the relationships between transportation and land use, particularly the impact of land use on travel behavior, and on strategies for reducing automobile dependence. Recent work includes a series of studies on bicycling in Davis, including an exploration of the formation of attitudes towards bicycling and a study of factors affecting bicycling to high school, in addition to projects for the California Air Resources Board and Caltrans on the impacts of “smart growth” strategies on vehicle travel. Also serves on the Committee on Women’s Transportation Issues and an associate editor of the newly launched Journal of Transport & Health. Received B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University (1984), M.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University (1987), and Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley (1992).
BEVERLY SCOTT, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Beverly Scott & Associates, and Professor, Mineta Transportation Institute
Dr. Scott is a frequent motivational speaker on the critical need to invest in smart infrastructure to advance American competitiveness and sustainable outcomes — its potential to advance “equity, inclusion, and shared prosperity”; and, the necessity of workforce and leadership development.
Dr. Scott serves in an Advisory capacity to the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University Law School in the areas of transportation, infrastructure and equity (www.charleshamiltonhouston.org). She is also a Senior Fellow at the Transportation Learning Center, a unique transportation labor-management partnership focused on skills training, research, safety and health for the sector’s frontline workforce (www.transportcenter.org).
Dr. Scott’s career in the public transportation industry spans more than three decades, including four appointments as General Manager/CEO – General Manager, Massachusetts Bay Transportation and Rail & Transit Administrator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the Sacramento Regional Transit Authority (SRTD), and the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), one of four statewide public transit systems. She has also served in senior level positions at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York), New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJT), the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA), Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), and the Houston Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Houston METRO).
Dr. Scott is recognized throughout the U.S. and North American transportation industry for her visionary leadership, results driven management style; focus on people and communities; and progressive approach to labor management relations. Among her most notable industry contributions is her pivotal leadership role in the critical areas of workforce and leadership development and work to improve outcomes for people and communities – particularly our most vulnerable. In this regard, she is an ardent proponent for significantly increased “people development and investment” at all levels.
Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards and recognitions, i.e., the 2015 Hubert Humphrey Award for Distinguished Public Service from the American Political Science Association (APSA), 2015 Government Sector Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce for Outstanding Service, the prestigious Sharon A. Banks Humanitarian Service Award from the Transportation Research Board, National Academies of Science; named Woman of the Year by the Women’s Transportation Seminar. In 2012, she was named a “Transportation Innovator of Change” by President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Transportation for her long record of exemplary leadership and service in the transportation industry.
In 2011, she was appointed by President Obama to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), a panel of experts including top business executives, leading academics and local government officials who report to the White House through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with responsibility for making policy recommendations to protect and preserve the physical assets that are critical to the U.S. economy and national security. In 2012, she was appointed NIAC Vice-Chair (www.dhs.gov/national infrastructure).
A past Chairperson of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Dr. Scott currently serves on the national Boards of the American Public Transportation Association (www.apta.com), Women’s Transportation Seminar Foundation, (www.wtsinternational.org), Rail-Volution (past Chairperson) (railvolution.org), and Americans for Transit (www.americansfortransit.org).
Dr. Scott holds a doctorate in political science, with a specialization in public administration from Howard University; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fisk University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa).
RICHARD A. MARCANTONIO, J.D. - Managing Attorney, Public Advocates, Inc.
As a managing attorney, Richard A. Marcantonio leads Public Advocates’ transportation, housing and climate justice advocacy and litigation team. His deep knowledge of both affordable housing and transportation equity makes him a valued interdisciplinary advocate. As California reforms its approach to regional planning for land use and transportation, Richard is working with coalitions around the state to ensure that laws calling for greenhouse gas emission reductions are implemented to bring benefits, rather than added burdens, to low-income communities and communities of color.
Richard has worked tirelessly to challenge discriminatory funding patterns that deny low-income and minority communities equal access to basic transit services. From our class-action lawsuit against the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission on behalf of East Bay residents who rely on eroding bus service, to our groundbreaking Title VI administrative complaint convincing the federal government to withhold $70 million from the BART Oakland Airport Connector, Richard has helped make transportation a civil rights priority. He has also worked to ensure that local governments meet their obligation to accommodate their fair share of the region’s need for affordable housing.
Richard has served as lead counsel in a number of affordable housing cases, including Osorio v. City of Pittsburg, Fonseca v. City of Gilroy, and Urban Habitat Program v. City of Pleasanton and Peninsula Interfaith Action et al. v. City of Menlo Park. Richard was also co-counsel in Williams v. City of Antioch, a successful challenge to discriminatory policing of African-American families who participate in the federal Section 8 housing assistance program.
In the area of transportation justice, he was co-counsel in Darensburg v. Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a federal civil rights class action on behalf of minority bus riders who have seen service cut as a result of inadequate funding, and represented the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union in Labor/Community Strategy Center v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Before coming to Public Advocates, Richard served as director of litigation at Legal Aid of the North Bay for nine years, specializing in housing issues in Marin and Napa Counties. Richard was lead counsel for intervenors in Home Builders Association of Northern California v. City of Napa, which established the validity of “inclusionary zoning.” He was lead counsel in Marin Family Action v. Town of Corte Madera, a challenge to the housing element of the Town of Corte Madera, and in a suit against a Napa slumlord for equitable relief and damages on behalf of nearly 500 Napa farm workers and their families. Richard has also practiced civil and appellate litigation at the Howard, Rice law firm and clerked for the Hon. Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
Richard received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1982. He graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif from New York University School of Law in 1987, where he was articles editor of the N.Y.U. Review of Law and Social Change, and represented low-income clients at N.Y.U.’s Urban Law Clinic and Unemployment Action Center.
Genesis/Gamaliel Network, Carl Anthony Legacy Award (2013)
California Lawyer Magazine California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) Award (2011)
Legal Aid Association of California’s Attorney Award of Merit (2010)
CHRIS LEPE, MUP - Senior Community Planner, TransForm Silicon Valley
Chris Lepe is the Silicon Valley Senior Community Planner for TransForm. Chris engages community leaders, elected officials, transit riders, and the broader community in transportation, land use, and housing plans, projects, and policies. He is the primary organizer of the annual "Let's Get Moving, Silicon Valley Transportation Choices and Healthy Communities Summit" and the co-host of the Bay Area Health in Transportation (BAHT) webinar. Chris is also the co-chair of the Traffic Safe Communities Network (TSCN) Steering Committee and a member of the Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) Community Leader Roundtable.
Chris' work with TransForm includes coordinating a survey of merchant perspectives on transit, pedestrian, and bicycle improvements along the Alum Rock BRT corridor, implementing a community-based input process for safe routes to transit in the Mayfair neighborhood in San Jose, and organizing the campaign to stop VTA's proposed fare increases in 2003. Chris also translated TransForm's Access Now! guide from English to Spanish and was the lead author of Cutting Carbon as well as Commutes, an analysis of VTA's proposed transportation funding measure.
Chris has taught courses in the Environmental Studies, Health Science, and Intercultural Studies Departments at De Anza College and San Jose State University (SJSU). He received his BA in Environmental Studies with a minor in Latin American/Latino Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and his Masters in Urban Planning at San Jose State University.
JEANIE WARD-WALLER, M.Eng./M.Phil - Policy Director, California Bicycle Coalition
Jeanie Ward-Waller is the Policy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition. Jeanie leads CalBike's work to increase funding for bicycle infrastructure and sustainable communities, and advance policies that support active transportation and increase bicycling, especially in underserved communities. A key aspect of Jeanie's work involves convening statewide active transportation, health, and equity organizations through the Coalition for Active Transportation Leadership, and partnering with affordable housing, transit, and conservation advocates through the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition. Prior to working on transportation policy, Jeanie worked as a licensed structural engineer in Boston for five years. She holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brown University, an M.Eng. in Structural Engineering from MIT, and an M.Phil. in Engineering for Sustainable Development from University of Cambridge.
KAREN PHILBRICK, Ph.D. - Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
Karen Philbrick has served as executive director of the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium and the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) since 2014, after five years of service as MTI research director. As research director, she oversaw the work of more than 230 principal investigators, the competitive selection of 138 research projects, and the publication of more than 175 peer-reviewed research reports and journal articles. Dr. Philbrick is responsible for day-to-day administration and management and long-term financial and strategic initiatives.
Prior to joining MTI, she was assistant director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation at the University of Denver, where her contributions included research expertise on transportation fatigue management and operator response to work-related trauma.
In 2014, Dr. Philbrick was appointed by US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to her second two-year term on the USDOT Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS), where she chaired the working group charged with identifying key elements of a fatigue management program for the transit industry.
Dr. Philbrick was elected to the prestigious Executive Committee of the national Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) in 2013. Two years later, she was elected CUTC treasurer and in 2016 she was elected Secretary.
Dr. Philbrick received the 2015 CUTC-ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership and that same year was honored to receive a commendation on behalf of the City of San Jose from Mayor Sam Liccardo for excellence in transportation policy leadership. In 2016 the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Dr. Philbrick a “Woman Who Moves the Nation” and the SJSU Urban and Regional Planning Department presented her an award for significant contributions to faculty and students.
On an international level, Dr. Philbrick has contributed to the development of educational and training materials for intermodal specialists. Her work has formed a key portion of an international training effort and seminar, Innovations and Challenges in Intermodal Transportation, in the Philippines and Indonesia. She has been a member of the US delegation to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group since 2000.
Dr. Philbrick serves her profession on the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Foundation Board and as a member of the advisory board for the Los Angeles Metro Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI). She serves her community as an active member of the Rotary Club of San Jose where she co-chairs the Fun and Friendship committee and serves on the Rotoplast and Rotocare committees that offer volunteer-based free medical services.
Dr. Philbrick holds a PhD from the University of Denver and an MA and EdM from Columbia University. She earned her undergraduate degree from California State University, Fresno.
SEAN RANDOLPH, Ph.D. - Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Sean Randolph is Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education that works to foster a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley. The Economic Institute produces authoritative analyses on economic policy issues affecting the region and the state, including infrastructure, globalization, energy, science, and governance, and mobilizes California and Bay Area leaders around targeted policy initiatives.
Dr. Randolph previously served as President & CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, which merged with the Bay Area Council in January 2008, and as director of international trade for the State of California, where he developed trade strategy and directed international business programs to stimulate exports and introduce California companies to overseas markets. Before service with the state, he was Managing Director of the RSR Pacific Group, an international business consulting firm specializing in Asia and Latin America, and before that served as International Director General of the Pacific Basin Economic Council, a 15-nation international organization of leading U.S., Asian and Latin American corporations.
His professional career includes extensive experience in the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Congress staff, and the White House staff. From 1981–85 he served in the U.S. State
Department, as officer for Asia on the Policy Planning Staff, as Special Adviser for Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Deputy/Ambassador-at Large for Pacific Basin affairs. From 1985–88 he served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, managing nuclear non-proliferation, energy research, and global oil and gas issues.
Dr. Randolph holds a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts and Harvard Universities), a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and studied at the London School of Economics. He currently serves on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
(BCDC), which he chaired from 2005–2012, and on the State of California’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission (PIAC). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and serves on the Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim, and the President’s Advisory Council of Excelsior College (New York). Dr. Randolph speaks frequently before business, government and university audiences, and writes for U.S. and international media on global, national, state and regional economic and policy issues.
ANNE RICHMAN, MPP - Director, Programming & Allocations, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Anne Richman has over 20 years of experience in infrastructure management. In her current role at MTC as Director of Programming & Allocations, she oversees MTC’s transportation funding programs (about $1 billion/year) and develops regional transportation policies, working with local, state, and federal agencies, elected officials, and community groups. Past positions have included work for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, United Airlines, and the US Department of Transportation, as well as in private sector consulting. Anne has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
NIZAR MELEHANI, PE - Director, Caltrans' P3 Programs
Nizar started with the Department in 1985 in District 10 Stockton. Prior to his current acting assignment as the Project Director for the Presidio Parkway Project and “Public Private Partnership Program Manager” he was the “Technical Lead” in the Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Program. Before joining the P3 program, Nizar severed in various assignments in the Division of Engineering Services as the Chief Structure Specifications Branch, Liaison Engineer in Office of Special Funded Projects, Bridge Design and Bridge Construction Engineer.
Successful procurement and the development of the Presidio Parkway Project as Public-Private Partnerships project
Successful delivery the PS&E for the 80/580/880 Mac Arthur Maze Emergency Repair project
Specification Engineer of the Devil’s Slide Bridge project.
Specification Engineer of the approach structures to the new Benicia-Martinez Bridge
Oversight on the consultant-designed Devil’s Slide Tunnels project
Lead specification technical advisor on the Caldecott Tunnel project
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, California State University, Sacramento, December 1982
Registered Professional Civil Engineer
STUART COHEN, MPP - Co-Founder and Executive Director, TransForm
Stuart Cohen is co-founder and Executive Director of TransForm. By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful and effective voice for world class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond.
TransForm's campaigns on transportation sales taxes and other funding measures have brought together diverse coalitions and helped raise over $8 billion for sustainable and socially-just transportation. Stuart has spearheaded a number of these efforts, as well as the successful effort to initiate the Bay Area's Regional Smart Growth Strategy. Stuart has been the primary author of ten TransForm reports, including the seminal World Class Transit for the Bay Area and, more recently, Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans.
Stuart has helped launch many of TransForm’s pioneering programs, including the Great Communities Collaborative, ClimatePlan, and GreenTRIP. The Great Communities Collaborative, founded in 2005, is an award-winning partnership of non-profits and community foundations engaging communities around the Bay Area in planning for sustainable, equitable development near transit. In 2007 he co-founded ClimatePlan, a statewide network that is promoting smart land use and transportation as critical components of California's climate strategy. In 2010, Stuart was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for his leadership in developing innovative programs such as GreenTRIP, TransForm's innovative program to certify and support low-traffic developments. In 2013, Stuart was named a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for championing innovative regional planning to create affordable, vibrant communities that improve quality of life and help the environment.
Founded in 1997, TransForm now has 30 staff with offices in Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento. Stuart now oversees TransForm’s work on state policy, the expansion of GreenTRIP and dissemination of regional policy innovations outside the Bay Area and California.
Previously, Stuart worked with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability as a researcher on the climate impacts of alternative transportation policies and fuels, and at NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) as a toxics campaign coordinator and Statewide Canvass Director. Stuart received a Master's Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.
CHARLES RIVASPLATA, Ph.D., MCP - Professor, San Jose State University; Research Associate, Mineta Transportation Institute; Senior Transportation Planner, SFMTA.
Dr. Rivasplata holds a B.A in Geography, as well as Master’s degrees in City Planning, (Transportation) Engineering and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. Under the supervision of Professors Martin Wachs and Daniel Sperling, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the impacts of policy reform on transit in Britain. Dr. Rivasplata has more than 25 years of experience in transportation planning. Since 2007, he has taught courses on regional and local transportation planning in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University (SJSU) and undertaken research projects at the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI). He has taught in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC-Berkeley and the campus’s Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Berkeley). Dr. Rivasplata is also a senior transportation planner at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), where he has been involved in the safe and convenient integration of modes (e.g., 2010 Fleet Plan, Bike Plan development) Travel Demand Management (TDM), and the comprehensive review of new development projects with transportation requirements. At SJSU, he has shared his experiences with students in the Department’s transportation planning courses.
JOSEPH KOTT, Ph.D., AICP, PTP - Professor, Mineta Transportation Institute, Presidio Graduate School and SJSU, and Principal, Transportation Choice for Sustainable Communities
Dr. Kott has more than thirty years of experience in urban and regional planning, transportation planning, and policy analysis, including service as Chief Transportation Official for the City of Palo Alto for seven years. Dr. Kott holds a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, master’s degrees in both transport planning and traffic engineering from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and a PhD in sustainable urban and regional transport from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, where he was affiliated with the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute lead by Professor Peter Newman.
Dr. Kott teaches transportation planning, urban planning, transportation planning, urban environmental planning, and sustainable urban development as an adjunct faculty member within the San Jose State University Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, the Stanford University Program on Urban Studies, the Santa Clara University Department of Environmental Sciences and Studies, and the Presidio Graduate School. He served as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford in academic year 2012-2013 and lectures regularly at Stanford and San Jose State on urban and regional planning and transportation topics. Dr. Kott is Vice-President of a not-for-profit research and policy organization, Transportation Choices for Sustainable Communities.
PhD, Sustainable Urban and Regional Transport, Curtin University
MS, Transport Planning & Traffic Engineering, Monash University
MA, Urban and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BA, Wayne State University
RICHARD W. LEE, Ph.D., AICP - Professor, SJSU, and Vice-President, Transportation Choice for Sustainable Communities
Richard (Rick) Lee is a certified planner, transportation consultant and academic with a longstanding and wide-ranging interest in sustainable transport and human-scale cities. He has over 30 years of diverse experience in transportation and urban planning. His consulting experience includes management of regional transportation plans, general plans, rail and bus transit projects, smart growth transportation studies, and a wide variety of traffic forecast studies. His fundamental career aim is to integrate the best academic research into the practice of transportation planning.
He holds a Ph.D. in City & Regional Planning as well as master’s degrees in both city planning and civil engineering from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and a BA (History) from Carleton College. He has taught transportation planning and led major research projects at several universities, including Massey University in New Zealand (where he lived from 1995 – 1998), UC Berkeley, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, UC-Davis, UCLA and San José State University (his current appointment). He is a Mineta Institute Research Associate and serves as an advisor to TransForm’s GreenTrip certification program.
He has authored or co-authored dozens of professional and academic publications, including Sustainable Transportation Indicators for California, Mineta Transportation Institute (2004), and “Smart Growth Parking Requirements Review,” ITE Journal, December, 2010.
RYAN POPPLE, MBA - CEO, Proterra
Ryan Popple is the president and CEO of Proterra, the leading innovator of zero-emission, battery-electric buses. Prior to Proterra, Ryan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. An early employee of Tesla Motors, he was senior director of finance, with a focus on strategic planning, technology cost reduction and corporate finance. Ryan has served in the U.S. Army, received a bachelor’s in business administration from the College of William & Mary and a master’s in business administration from Harvard University.
BEN TRIPOUSIS, MPA - Director, Northern District, California High-Speed Rail Authority
As the Northern California Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Ben Tripousis is responsible for the development of the California High-Speed Rail project, from the Bay Area to the Central Valley. This includes the electrification of the Caltrain Peninsula Corridor project, the San Jose to Merced project segment, and the future High-Speed Train connection to Sacramento.
In addition, Ben oversees the development of Regional Rail Improvements to the Capitol Corridor, Altamont Commuter Express and the San Joaquin Regional Rail systems.
Previously Ben served as Transportation Policy Manager for the City of San José, serving as the City’s liaison to all local and regional transportation agencies where he helped craft regional planning and funding policies for the 100 cities and nine counties in the Bay Area, and helped lead the development of long-range transportation policy for Santa Clara County.
Ben is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from San Jose State University.
DENISE TYRELL - Founder & CEO, Tyrrell and Associates
Denise Tyrrell has spent most of her career in leadership position in complex organizations with multiple stakeholders, timelines and financial requirements. As a result she has accumulated extensive experience and contacts in media, government, energy utilities, freight and passenger railroads.
Ms. Tyrrell achieved a national profile as the on-camera presence and primary spokesperson for the Metrolink Commuter Rail organization during the Glendale and Chatsworth mass casualty events. Her stance on maintaining the integrity of communications with the public sparked a nationwide discussion on ethics in media and communication. She continues to be viewed as a "rock star" in the crisis communication world where she is regularly asked to speak.
Her work has taken her to the California Public Utilities Commission where she has led the Safety and Enforcement Division, most notably as prosecutor of the $2 billion San Bruno case, among others.
She currently energizes the effort to build vital communication links between the CPUC, local governments and the major utilities covering such issues as energy efficiency, renewable energy, gas pipeline safety, broadband access, rail safety and other Commission concerns.
Ms. Tyrrell is presently leading a pilot program that will simplify green house gas reduction grants to local governments across six State agencies.
Specialties: Communication strategy, coalition building, relationship management, safety and resiliency advocacy, risk and reputation management,mass casualty crisis response and communications, change management, strategic planning and image/reputation management.
Ms. Tyrrell is on the Executive Committee of the International Electric Security Council, and has a home in San Francisco with her husband, Dan Ritey.
ERIC EIDLIN, MCP/MUD, AICP - Sustainability Director, Federal Transit Administration (Region IX)
Eric Eidlin is a transportation planner and sustainability lead with the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Region 9 office in San Francisco. At FTA, Eric provides assistance on planning and environmental issues to several transit agencies throughout California. Eric has served as the primary point-of-contact in his office for a number of federal interagency initiatives, including the HUD/DOT/EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and the White House’s Strong Cities Strong Communities Initiative (SC2). In these capacities, he has been involved in station area planning efforts in cities located along the future California HSR route. He has also served as technical advisor on station development to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
As an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the U.S., Eric traveled to France in Germany in 2013 and 2015 to study best practices in HSR station area planning. Eric published a report summarizing that research in June 2015. The report has been featured by over two dozen national and California news outlets, including Wired, the Atlantic, CityLab, Mother Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sacramento Bee.
Prior to joining the FTA, Eric worked as an urban design consultant on transit-oriented development projects in the Bay Area and elsewhere in California. Eric holds a master’s degree in urban design from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1999-2000, Eric studied urban sociology at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, as a Fulbright Scholar.
In 2014, Eric was named one of the top 40 professionals under the age of 40 in the field of public transportation by Mass Transit Magazine.
ELLEN GREENBERG, MCE/MCP - Deputy Director for Sustainability, Caltrans
Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ellen Greenberg as the California Department of Transportation's (Caltrans) Deputy Director for Sustainability, a position the Caltrans Director created to lead the department's efforts in developing and implementing initiatives to align with California's goals on sustainability.
Greenberg has over 30 years’ experience working with cities, transportation agencies and non-governmental organizations to guide development, conservation and transportation decisions. She comes to Caltrans from Arup, an independent design, planning and engineering firm, where she’s worked since 2010. Greenberg served in the leadership of Arup’s planning and infrastructure groups in San Francisco. During her time at Arup, she worked with transportation agencies including LA Metro, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Association of Governments, Translink (Vancouver Region) and the SF Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Ellen was lead author of Caltrans’ Smart Mobility Framework, which was initiated with support from the U.S. EPA Office of Sustainable Communities. Other areas of work with the EPA office have included urban eco-districts, reuse of obsolete shopping malls and sustainable street design. She also was appointed as the first visiting practitioner at the University of California, Davis National Center for Sustainable Transportation.
HILARY NIXON, Ph.D - Chair, SJSU Urban and Regional Planning Department, and Director, Research and Technology Transfer, Mineta Transportation Institute
Professor Nixon serves as chair of the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at San José State University. She specializes in environmental planning and policy, and also teaches courses on community planning, history and theory of planning, and policy analysis. Her teaching emphasizes the use of project-based, and community-based learning. Her research interests include household hazardous waste management, particularly electronic waste recycling, and the factors that influence pro-environmental behaviors. In addition, she serves as a Director of Research and Technology Transfer with the Mineta Transportation Institute where her work focuses primarily on the relationship between transportation and the environment. Dr. Nixon was recognized as “Advisor of the Year” by SJSU’s Student Involvement in 2009 and 2015. Dr. Nixon and her students have also received awards from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association for academic excellence.