Richard W. Andreski

Rich Andreski is Bureau Chief for Public Transportation for the State of Connecticut. In his 23-year career with NJ Transit and the Connecticut Department of Transportation, he has played critical roles in the planning and implementation of rail and bus infrastructure in the greater New York metro area.

In his role as bureau chief, Rich is responsible for the development of Connecticut’s public transportation system including the Metro-North-operated New Haven Line, the innovative CTfastrak bus rapid transit system, and Connecticut’s newest high-speed intercity passenger rail line – Hartford Line. This statewide public transportation system serves more than 81 million people annually. Additionally, he oversees the state’s historic Connecticut River ferries and the regulation of taxi, livery and transportation network companies.
Rich is motivated by a mission of public service. He believes transit plays a critical role in the quality of life, addressing climate change, and giving people access to employment, education and other opportunities in their communities. He keeps the customer experience at the heart of every investment decision.

Rich is active in the American Public Transportation Association, where he founded the APTA Emerging Leaders Program, an immersive year-long leadership development program and currently serves on the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Committee and the APTA Awards Committee. Rich holds a BS from Lafayette College and MCRP from Rutgers University. He resides with his family in Glastonbury, CT.

Nacera Bechari

I joined the ONCF in November 2006 and I have evolved in my career in the marketing function by contributing to the realization of several projects for travelers such as the reservation in 2cl, the ecom site, the pricing strategy, the sales channels, the online claim site, digital services….

Currently at the head of the marketing department, I have for 3 major missions:

  • Carry out market research for the quantification of potential , forecasts,  and the identification of development opportunities
  • Define the strategy and marketing objectives to be achieved
  • Implementation of the marketing policy in terms of all aspects of the marketing mix (transport plan, prices, services, distribution and communication…)

My role is to manage the teams specialized by offer to develop new services adapted to all categories of travelers; and seeking to continuously improve passenger satisfaction

I am laureate of the National School of Business and Management of settat/Morroco and holder of a Master in Marketing from the University of Paris VII- France and more than 18 years of experience in marketing

Amit Bose

Amit Bose serves as the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. Previously, Bose worked at HNTB, an architectural and engineering firm, where he also served as board chair of the Coalition for the Northeast Corridor and on the New Jersey Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. He has previously served in the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) as Deputy Administrator, Chief Counsel, Senior Advisor and Director of Governmental Affairs; U.S. Department of Transportation as Associate General Counsel and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs; New Jersey Transit; and New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Duane Callender

Duane Callender manages the Credit Programs Office within the Build America Bureau which houses the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) credit program and the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) credit program. He directs a staff responsible for all aspects of underwriting, portfolio management and risk management. Mr. Callender oversees a portfolio that has encompassed $44 billion in Federal credit assistance to intermodal, highway, transit, port and rail projects totaling over $140 billion of transportation infrastructure investment in the U.S. He began his federal career as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1998, working in DOT’s Inspector General’s Office. He has also held positions in DOT’s Office of Budget and Programs; where he was responsible for oversight of the Maritime Administration budget and at the Budget Office of the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department.

Raphaëlle Chapuis

Raphaëlle is an engagement manager based out of McKinsey & Company’s Montreal office serving clients on public infrastructure related topics, with a strong focus on rail and urban transit. She serves rail public and private players in achieving higher efficiency, providing higher levels of service and producing more ethically.

Elaine Clegg

Elaine Clegg is uniquely experienced as an advocate, nonprofit leader and elected representative who brings together diverse stakeholders and viewpoints. She was elected to the Boise City Council in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. Elaine currently serves as City Council President. She previously served as President of the Council in 2007-2009, 2016-17 and 2020-21. She served as President Pro Tem of the Council in 2018-2019.

Elaine has advocated for innovative transportation improvements. During her tenure the City has adopted a Master Streets Map to guide context sensitive roadway design, developed a roadway connectivity measurement, and completed a full Comprehensive Plan update. She has also been a leader in completing the integration of transportation and land use via corridor and new arterial master plans, and extension of the bicycle and pedestrian network citywide. The State Street corridor has been planned as the region’s first Bus Rapid Transit corridor. Clegg has twice brought initiatives to provide additional funding for more and better transit service resulting in longer hours of services and improved frequency of service on Boise highest ridership routes. Additionally, she is focused on the update of the various city zoning code sections currently underway.

Elaine has worked for Idaho Smart Growth (ISG) since 1998, where she specializes in providing community assistance by working directly with over two dozen Idaho communities. She has completed policy, zoning and pedestrian/bicycle action plans that support smarter growth through land use and transportation integration in areas around the State.

Elaine has been asked to share her broad experience via service on several boards. She represents the City of Boise on the Board of the region’s MPO – the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS), serves as the past chair of the Valley Regional Transit Authority Board and represents the Boise region as President of the Association of Idaho Cities board. Nationally, Elaine is Past-President of the Board of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations. She Chairs the Transportation and Infrastructure Services Committee for the National League of Cities, is a member of the Greater Northwest Passenger Rail Working Group working to restore passenger rail in the northwest region.

Lonnie Coplen

Lonnie Coplen founded ARC in 2015 to advance the science and practice of affordable, resilient and rapidly renewable infrastructure. Lonnie’s executive, program and project management experience spans the public, private and non-profit and sectors in transportation, environmental, energy, industrial, residential and commercial practice areas. Her expertise includes engineering, planning and construction management, strategic planning, life cycle asset management, risk management and mitigation, at-risk construction, advocacy and education programs, policy development and implementation, and multi-media communications. Honors and awards include:  CMAA Presidents Award (2012) and Letter of Appreciation, U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation /Cooperative Threat Reduction (2012).

Craig Covil

Mr. Covil, PE, was until recently the Managing Director for P3 infrastructure development at Itinera Infrastructure & Concessions Inc and Chief Development Officer for Design-Build Contractor Halmar International. Before that he was 25 years with international engineering group Arup, and also 6 years as a senior manager in the Airport Authority of Hong Kong. Craig has worked both in public agency and private sector sides, covering planning, design, construction, financing and O&M aspects of major international projects Mr. Covil leads on the coordination, project origination, teaming, technical strategy for solicited and unsolicited proposals, and project development and delivery for major Design-Build and P3 projects. He has 35 years’ experience delivering major civil infrastructure, tunnel, land reclamation, maritime, highway, building, aviation, and transit infrastructure around the world; delivering projects in the UK, Australia, Asia, South Africa, Canada, and USA. Most recently he led the $1.4bn Fulton Street Station and the $4.5bn Second Avenue Subway and was also involved in the Tappan Zee Alternative Analyses as a Principal at Arup. He was most recently involved in leading teams on PANYNJ’s LGA and Newark AirTrain projects, winning $1.8bn MTA Penn Station Access project and shortlisted on the $3+bn Maryland Capital Beltway Phase I and $1.3bn Georgia SR400 highway projects. He has an international resume and worked overseas. He was a senior manager at Hong Kong Airport Authority’s $40bn new airport.

Over his career he has managed large multidisciplinary design and construction teams on major award-winning design-build and P3 infrastructure projects. He led large programs of engineering work with MTA post Hurricane Sandy recovery and was the Program Facilitator for Governor Cuomo’s $1.3bn Enhanced Stations Initiative (ESI) modernizing 33 NYCT subway stations across the five Boroughs. He has been involved in leading the planning and engineering design of projects at 5 Amtrak stations; WUT, Penn Baltimore, Penn New York, Chicago Union and Boston. In total Craig has worked on over 50 stations across the world, covering subway, commuter, high speed rail, airport rail and international stations. His work as a civil and geotechnical engineer focused on site preparation, civil engineering, foundations, underground structures and performance analysis. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering with Honors from the University of Surrey and a Master of Science in Soil Mechanics & Engineering Seismology from Imperial College, London. He is a Professional Engineer (PE) with numerous certifications; FASCE, FICE, FHKIE, FIEAust, and DBIA, a Member of the Moles, and sits on, or has sat on several boards including non-profits. His board and technical / business advisory roles have included Pencil, American Friends of Cecily Fund, Friends of +Pool, The Lowline, New York Sun Works (Science Barge). He is also an avid supporter of The Partnership for the City of New York. Craig is recognized as a pragmatic, practical and innovative engineer that gets the project delivered.

Cosema E. (Connie) Crawford, P.E.

Connie Crawford has 40 years of public and private sector experience in the management, design and construction of major transportation programs.  She served as Chief Engineer for MTA New York City Transit, where she was responsible for a $2.25 billion annual capital program for subway and bus infrastructure.  Previously, as Chief Engineer for the New York City Department of Transportation, she managed planning, design, construction and maintenance of the City’s bridges and tunnels.

Ms. Crawford managed major transit projects in the Middle East, including $2 billion of construction on the Doha Metro system and program planning for a 100km metro system in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.  She served as the chief engineer for the Northeast Corridor Maglev Train project that proposes to provide one hour service at 311mph between New York City and Washington, DC and she provided oversight for the Santa Ana Streetcar Project in California for the Federal Transit Administration.

Ms. Crawford holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from Princeton University, where she also taught a course on bridge engineering. She is a licensed professional engineer and is involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Transportation Diversity Council, FIRST Robotics and the Moles.

Nicole Doheny

Nicole is part of Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC, a team of professionals dedicated to helping create and implement innovative commercial and financial strategies to deliver critical infrastructure projects and programs.  Prior to joining the firm, Nicole worked in infrastructure investment banking, focusing on public-private partnership transactions and project financings to deliver large-scale projects across the United States. Nicole earned a BS from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Albrecht (Al) Engel, P.E.
Al Engel is an independent management consultant with a focus on public transportation doing business as Al Engel Consulting.

 Al served as Amtrak Vice President – High Speed Rail from October 2010 to December 2011.  In that role he reported to the CEO and served on the Executive Committee. He provided the leadership for advancing Amtrak’s high speed rail initiatives in the United States especially the planning and project development for Next Generation High Speed Rail (220 mph) in the Boston to Washington D.C. corridor (the NEC).

Prior to joining Amtrak, Al served as Vice President and Director of High Speed Rail for AECOM, a multinational infrastructure engineering and project delivery firm listed in the Fortune 500.   Al served as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Co., Incorporated from 2006 to 2008.

From 1991 to 2006 he served as President and CEO of SYSTRA Consulting (formerly LS Transit Systems, Inc.) a U.S. consulting firm affiliated with the French National Railway and Paris Metro.  He has been active in high speed rail and the rail transportation industry for more than 40 years, including principal roles on the California high speed rail and Amtrak Acela Express projects.

Engel started his career at General Electric Transportation Division in Erie, Pennsylvania where he progressed through various management positions to Manager of Domestic electric motive power.  Projects included Amtrak’s first electric passenger locomotive procurement, the E60P.

From 1978 to 1985 he was with Gibbs & Hill, Inc., a major New York-based engineering firm (now part of AECOM) managing transportation and other infrastructure businesses.  In August of 1985, Engel was appointed the first President and CEO of LS TRANSIT SYSTEMS, INC. (LSTS), a newly formed corporation specializing in public transportation planning and engineering.   From April 1989 to January 1990 Mr. Engel served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Atlantic Track and Turnout Co., a steel product fabricator and distributor specializing in rail and track accessories.

Engel served on the Northeast Corridor Advisory Commission Executive Committee and has served on the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Board of Directors from 2004 – 2015, 2018-2020 and served as Chair of the APTA High Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Committee.  He is Past Chairman of the IEEE Land Transportation Division, and also Past Chairman of the High Speed Ground Transportation Association.

He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer..  He completed Master of engineering studies at Penn State and is also a graduate of the General Electric Management Institute at Crotonville.  He has received numerous awards including the Railway Age W. Graham Claytor, Jr. Award for Distinguished Service to Passenger Transportation.

Mr. Engel has held elective office through his service as a Borough Councilman in Glen Ridge, Essex County, NJ, 2000 – 2002.  He is married to wife, Nancy and they reside in the Philadelphia area.  They have three adult daughters.

Hon. Nuria I. Fernandez

Nuria Fernandez was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 15th Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on June 10, 2021. She was previously appointed as Deputy Administrator and senior FTA official on January 20, 2021. With more than 35 years of experience, Fernandez made a name for herself as an inspiring leader in the transportation industry. She came to FTA after serving as General Manager and CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), where she was responsible for 2,100 employees and oversaw projects, programs, and transit services that provide mobility solutions for more than two million people who live and work in the Silicon Valley.

Among the highlights of her tenure at VTA was the completion of the first Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) heavy rail service into Silicon Valley, a 10-mile, $3 billion line that opened to passenger service in June 2020.  She also received federal approval in 2018 to extend the heavy rail service for another six miles.  When completed in 2026, the heavy rail service will total 16 miles of rail and six stations that will provide transit alternatives for tens of thousands of commuters in and around the Silicon Valley.

Fernandez is also responsible for the creation of VTA’s Innovation Center, an incubator to encourage collaboration, test the latest technology, and imagine new ways to keep the valley moving forward by leveraging the expertise of Silicon Valley’s high-tech corporations and universities.

Prior to leading VTA, Fernandez served in leadership positions at some of the busiest transit agencies in America, including Chief Operating Officer of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Senior Vice President of Design and Construction for the Chicago Transit Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, consecutively. She also served as Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation, overseeing O’Hare and Midway Airports.

In 1997, Fernandez was appointed by President Bill Clinton as Acting Administrator of FTA, where she led the agency’s programs, including $1 billion in annual grant funding to local communities for planning, design, and construction of new and expanding rail and bus systems.

She served as Chair of the American Public Transportation Association from 2019-2020 and on the boards of the Mineta Transportation Institute, The Transportation Learning Center and on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board.

Fernandez was born and raised in Panama City, Panama.  She holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and an M.B.A. from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Norman Forde

Norman Forde is currently the National Fleet and Facilities Lead for WSP. He is an accomplished senior executive and project manager with more than 30 years of domestic and international experience in the transportation industry. Has managed and overseen all phases of multimillion-dollar private and public programs. He specializes in rolling stock projects from specification through all phases of design engineering, construction, warranty, and vendor managed inventory. He has been a project management oversight consultant for both FRA and FTA and served as APTA’s representative at the 9th World High Speed Rail Congress in Tokyo, Japan. Long standing member of APTA, he is currently the vice chair of the PRESS Policy and Planning Committee and senior member of the APTA High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee.

Daniel Freire

Daniel Freire, Renfe of America, is Project Manager of the team consulting for Texas Central. The company undertaking the development, design, construction, finance, and operation of a new high-speed passenger train line that will connect North Texas and Greater Houston. Daniel previously was Head of Corporate Strategy at Renfe, Spain’s rail operator. At Renfe he has held several leadership positions in the areas of High Speed Rail (HSR) and Commuter Rail; both for Renfe Spain and for Renfe’s Haramain HSR project in Saudi Arabia.

Prior to joining Renfe in 2005, Mr. Freire consulted for strategy and transportation projects in the US, Puerto Rico, Philippines, and Spain. After University, Daniel worked in the financial sector for Société Générale in Spain, Crédit Agricole in France and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduating with an MCP in Planning and MS in Transportation. Other academics include an EMBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology and a B.A. in Business Administration from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Patrick J. Fuchs

Patrick Fuchs was sworn in on January 17, 2019, as a Member of the Board for a term of office expiring on January 17, 2024, following his confirmation by the United States Senate on January 2, 2019.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Fuchs was senior professional staff member working on surface transportation and maritime issues for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation under the leadership of Chairman John Thune of South Dakota.

Mr. Fuchs has played an integral role in the development and enactment of major railroad legislation, including the first reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Board since its creation in 1996 and the first passenger rail reauthorization in over seven years.  He also worked on legislation to improve rail project delivery, rail financing, and hazardous materials safety, all of which were enacted as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), the five-year, $305 billion surface transportation authorization.

Mr. Fuchs helped develop and enact the first reauthorization of the National Transportation Safety Board in over a decade.  He also worked on legislation to increase safety by addressing opioid abuse in transportation, reforms enacted as part of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.  His work also includes reauthorization of the Federal Maritime Commission as well as three reauthorizations of the Maritime Administration, enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Acts for Fiscal Years 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Prior to serving Chairman Thune, he was a policy analyst and Presidential Management Fellow at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he managed railroad and maritime regulatory reviews.  During his time at OMB, Mr. Fuchs worked on regulations pertaining to rail safety technology, rail tank car safety, and railroad operating practices, among other issues.  He has also worked for the U.S. Department of State, where he received the Meritorious Honor Award for extraordinary contributions to substantive economic analysis.  His experience also includes time with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education.

Mr. Fuchs graduated with distinction in economics and political science and earned an M.P.A. from the University of Wisconsin, where he received the Director’s Achievement Award for his outstanding academic record.  Mr. Fuchs and his wife, Katherine, were born and raised in Wisconsin.

Allison Ishihara Fultz

Allison Ishihara Fultz is Chief Counsel of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). She is the principal legal advisor to the agency and leads FRA’s staff of legal professionals.

Allison joined FRA from private practice, where she focused her work on transactional and regulatory matters related to transportation infrastructure projects. She represented public transportation providers, a transit safety oversight agency, State departments of transportation and regional transportation bodies, local governments, and private entities nationwide before numerous federal agencies and state and federal courts. She counseled clients extensively on the acquisition and abandonment of railroad rights-of-way, shared use of rail corridors by freight and passenger operators, rails-to-trails proposals, regulation and contracting for inter-city passenger rail service, infrastructure project development, historic preservation, environmental reporting, agency rulemaking, project procurement, and drafting and negotiation of contracts for railroad construction, operations, and maintenance services.

Allison has also authored studies and served as a committee member for the Transportation Research Board. She served on the Montgomery County, Maryland, Board of Appeals, including as its Chairman, for eight years, deciding on petitions for relief under the County’s zoning ordinance on numerous land use and administrative matters.

Prior to entering the practice of law, Allison was a registered architect and designed and directed construction projects and feasibility studies for projects in the United States and Canada.

Allison received her JD from the American University Washington College of Law, and her AB and Master of Architecture degrees from Princeton University.

Grace Gallucci

Grace Gallucci is the Executive Director for the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, which is the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for greater Cleveland. She is responsible for transportation planning and resource allocation in the five county region and has held this post since 2012. Ms. Gallucci has nearly 30 years of finance and planning experience in the field of transportation, including positions with the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority where she held the titles of Deputy Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, as well as Director of Office of Management & Budget for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and as an management analyst for the Office of Transportation, Broward County, Florida. Ms. Gallucci has also been an adjunct professor/lecturer at Cleveland State University, Kent State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University teaching courses in public finance, economics, public policy and transportation management. Ms. Gallucci holds a Master of Science in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University, and both a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Dayton.

Stephen Gardner

The Amtrak Board of Directors appointed Stephen J. Gardner as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 17, 2022. He is the thirteenth executive to lead America’s Railroad. Drawing on two decades of railroad industry, transportation policy and business experience, Stephen will help guide Amtrak as the company recovers from the pandemic and enters a transformational era of modernization, service expansion and growth. Under Stephen’s leadership, Amtrak is focused on improving today’s service for customers while rebuilding infrastructure, acquiring modern trains, and pursuing network growth opportunities to bring more train to more people around nation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, state and commuter partners, host railroads and other stakeholders. Additionally, Stephen and the Executive Leadership Team continue to focus on Amtrak priorities including implementing the company’s industry-leading Safety Management System, expanding diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts, adopting innovative technology and driving sustainability and rail’s role in addressing the crisis of global climate change.

Stephen had served as President since December 2020. In this role, he led the company’s day-to-day operations, with an emphasis on regaining customers following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and strengthening key relationships with states and other partners through the strong delivery of Amtrak’s Annual Operating Plan and long-term goals. Responsible for modernizing Amtrak’s products, services, infrastructure and fleet, he had oversight of Marketing, Operations, Planning and Asset Development, and Government Affairs and Corporate Communications.

Stephen previously served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer from May 2019 through November 2020. He also led Amtrak’s Commercial function as Executive Vice President from October 2017.

Programs overseen by Stephen since he joined Amtrak in 2009 included efforts to expand State Supported service partnerships; increase capacity on Acela, Amtrak’s premier service; improve Northeast Corridor infrastructure; formulate policies to execute the company’s strategic plan; and guide general development and planning activities.

Prior to Amtrak, Stephen worked as a staffer for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and several Senate and House of Representative offices on transportation matters.

Early in his transportation career, Stephen held operating and managerial positions with Guilford Rail System’s Maine Central Railroad in Maine and Massachusetts and the Buckingham Branch Railroad in Virginia.

Stephen received his Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and two children.

Joseph J. Giulietti

Joseph J. Giulietti is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. He was nominated by Governor Ned Lamont in January 2019 and confirmed by the Connecticut General Assembly a month later.

A 50-year veteran of the public transportation industry and a native of Connecticut, “Joe” Giulietti served as President of Metro-North Railroad from 2014 to 2017, and as Deputy Executive Director and then Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) from 1998 to 2014. The authority serves Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Giulietti began his career in 1971 with Penn Central Railroad as a brakeman and conductor while he was still in college. In 1978, he became a road foreman with Conrail (the successor agency to Penn Central) and joined the newly formed Metro-North in 1983 as superintendent of transportation, and later became engineer of track for the Harlem and Hudson lines.

After 14 years at SFRTA, Giulietti was tapped by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to serve as President of Metro-North and return it to a culture of safety, after a series of derailments and other mishaps. During his tenure at Metro-North, rail ridership reached an all-time record of 86.1 million, giving a significant boost to the economic health of the region the railroad serves. He retired from Metro-North in 2017 and then worked as an independent industry consultant.

Sadie Graham

Sadie Graham is the Director for the Link21 Program (formerly known as the New Transbay Rail Crossing) for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART). BART and Capitol Corridor are partnering with the State of California and other rail operators to transform the Northern California’s passenger rail network into a faster, more integrated system, providing safe, efficient and affordable travel for everyone. Under her direction, the team in using a Business Case Framework to guide the investment decisions for Link21. The Business Case is a transparent and evidence-based decision-making tool used to direct the evaluation of Program possibilities to ensure they meet the Vision, Goals and Objectives of the Program, are effective, achievable, and able to be delivered. Sadie is committed to advancing equity throughout the program by pushing the team to prioritize equity considerations early in the planning process, think innovatively about how equity can be technically evaluated, and working with historically underserved communities to ensure their voices are heard and to better understand how the Program can benefit those communities.

Prior to this role, Graham served as a project manager for BART’s Planning and Development Division and was responsible for developing, managing, and administering the planning and design phase for Capital Projects. She has led the pre-construction phase of several projects including the El Cerrito del Norte Station and 19th St/Oakland Station Modernization, Platform Screen Door Pilot Study and the Districtwide Sustainability Action Plan.

Graham holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College and master’s degrees in both Landscape Architecture and City and Regional Planning and Urban Design from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently serves on the City of Albany Transportation Commission.

Yassmin Gramian

Yassmin Gramian, PE, serves as the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, a position that she assumed in May 2020. She manages PennDOT’s annual budget of $9.5 billion and oversees programs and policies affecting highways, urban and rural public transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways. Under her leadership, the department is directly responsible for Pennsylvania’s vast system of state and local highways and bridges, as well as oversees the state’s vehicle registration, driver’s licenses and ID operations.

Gramian assumed the role of secretary amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. This challenging time necessitated quick, decisive action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to best protect citizens, employees, and business partners. Under Gramian’s leadership, PennDOT moved swiftly during the early stages of the pandemic to transfer essential functions to remote operations, while continuing to ensure roads were kept safe and passable, and crews remained available for responding to weather events. Gramian also serves as chair of the Transportation Revenue Options Commission (TROC), which was established by Executive Order of Governor Tom Wolf to develop comprehensive funding recommendations for Pennsylvania’s large and aging infrastructure.

Prior to joining PennDOT, Gramian worked for over 30 years in operations, design, and management of transportation infrastructure systems, including highway, tolling, bridge, and railroad projects. Gramian earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Michigan and completed the Tuck Management Training Program at Dartmouth College. She is a professional engineer in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Florida.

Sharon Green

Sharon Greene is a specialist in transportation infrastructure finance and planning and was the founding Executive Director of the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN), one of the first intercity rail joint powers authorities in the country. She served as principal consultant to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a five-county joint powers authority which implemented and presently operates the Metrolink commuter rail system. In this capacity, she developed and managed the multi-billion dollar financial plan and cost-sharing arrangement for the system. Sharon has led programs in public transit; high speed, intercity, and commuter rail; and freight and goods movement. Sharon provides strategic financial consulting services to many agencies that are currently in various stages of the federal Capital Investment Grant (CIG) process and to agencies pursuing federal and state funding and financing.

Sharon served on the Technical Committee for the APTA/ASHTO Business Case Evaluation Guide for Intercity Passenger Rail Investment. For APTA, Sharon has been a member of the Board of Directors and as chair of the Innovative Funding, Finance, and P3 Committee and the Intercity and High Speed Rail Finance Subcommittee. Sharon is a member of the TRB Passenger Rail Committee and was a long-time member of the Revenue and Finance Committee.

Marc Guigon

Marc Guigon is Passenger Director at UIC (International Union of Railways).

He joined UIC in June 2012 and is responsible for Passengers activities, including development of High-Speed Rail in the world, Railway Stations, Ticket Distribution, Regional and Commuter Train Services and Tourism in Trains.

He is also coordinator of UIC Middle-East and Latin-American Regions, involved in the development of railways in these countries, and chair of the UIC Covid-19 Task Force which comprises 70 UIC members and 18 International organizations. He is also chairing the Refugee Task Force to support UIC European members to help the Ukrainian refugees.

Prior to joining UIC, Marc worked 7 years for the office of the French Prime Minister, responsible for French national policies of transport in the field of spatial planning including railroads, roads, urban transport, airports, ports and waterways.

He was also responsible of governmental cooperation between France and China on spatial planning.

Lastly, Marc has a solid background in Railway Activities having managed French rolling stock workshops, research teams, and freight departments at the French Railroads.

Karen Hedlund

Karen Hedlund was recently nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate to serve as a member of the Surface Transportation Board.

Karen Hedlund has spent most of her career as a legal advisor to federal, state and local governments on the development and financing of a broad range infrastructure projects across the United States, including rail, transit, highways, airports, water and energy facilities. She previously served in the Obama Administration as Chief Counsel and Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), helping implement and providing oversight of the $10 billion intercity passenger rail program and the funding of improvements to our national freight rail system. Prior to joining USDOT, Hedlund served as a partner of the Nossaman LLP,  advising state and local government clients on the use of public-private partnerships. Since stepping down from FRA, she has been involved in the development of major passenger rail projects, including the Northeast Corridor Gateway Program and the proposed high-performance rail project that will connect Seattle with Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia.

She has also helped advance public transportation through her leadership with the American Public Transportation Association, serving as Co-Chair of its Commuter and High-Speed and Passenger Rail Legislative Subcommittee. Ms. Hedlund grew up and began her law career in Chicago, Illinois. She has an AB from Harvard University, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.  She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren in Brooklyn, New York. She currently resides in Edwards, Colorado.

Amri Joyner

Amri has been an instructional designer with the Center since 2011. She has designed courses for the Elevator-Escalator, Signals, Rail Car, and Traction Power consortiums. Prior to working with the Center, Amri designed and delivered training in information technology, union organizing, and leadership development. Amri holds a Masters in City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in Geography and Sociology from the University of the West Indies.

Jared Katseff

Jared is an associate partner based out of McKinsey & Company’s Philadelphia office where he leads their work in urban transit in North America; as part of his work in urban mobility, he works with governments, transportation agencies, PE funds, and infrastructure investors to help manage the transition to electrification and more sustainable modes of transportation.

Brian P. Kelly

On January, 16, 2018, the Board of Directors selected Brian P. Kelly as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. He comes to the Authority with a wealth of experience in transportation. Kelly served as the first secretary of the new California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), an agency created in 2013, which focused solely on transportation. At CalSTA, Kelly oversaw eight departments, boards and comissions 38,000 employees and a budget of $18.1 billion – one of the largest portfolios in the State of California.

At CalSTA, he was responsible for a variety of complex transportation issues which directly impacted almost every Californian, the state’s economy, public safety, highway construction and maintenance, and public transit. During his tenure, his many accomplishments included passing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), the single largest investement in California’s transportation infrastructure, moving forward the nation’s first state rulemaking to allow the test and deployment of autonomous vehicles, and breaking ground on the first high-speed rail system in the nation in California’s Central Valley.

Prior to that, Kelly had spent almost two decades at the center of major transportation policy decisions in the state of California by serving four successive Senate President pro Tempores. He was executive staff director for Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg from 2008 to 2012. He was executive principal consultant for Senate President pro Tempore Don Perata from 2004 to 2008, principal consultant for Senate President pro Tempore John Burton from 1998 to 2004, and assistant consultant for Senate President pro Tempore Bill Lockyer from 1995 to 1998.

Hon. James Kenney

A lifelong city resident, Mayor Jim Kenney grew up the oldest of four in a South Philadelphia rowhouse neighborhood. His father, a firefighter, and his mother, a homemaker, both worked second jobs to put Jim and his three siblings through parochial school. In high school, Jim delivered the paper in the morning and washed dishes after school, earning his first union card at 17. After graduating from St. Joe’s Prep, Jim worked his way through La Salle University and became the first in his family to graduate from college.

Jim was elected in 1991 to serve as a Democratic City Councilman At-Large. In City Council, Jim stood up for Philadelphia’s working families—fighting for a real living wage, increased funding for public education, and community policing measures. A proud progressive, Jim also led the way on broader protections for LGBTQ Philadelphians, marijuana decriminalization, and a more sensible immigration policy by ending ICE holds that tear families apart.

On January 4, 2016, Jim was sworn in as the 99th Mayor of Philadelphia. In his inaugural address, the Mayor laid out a vision for an accessible, accountable government that works for everyone in every neighborhood. To make that vision a reality, the Mayor is committed to expanding access to quality pre-k for high-need children, implementing the community school model in Philadelphia, eliminating unconstitutional stop and frisks and investing in our commercial corridors.

Gretchen Kostura

Gretchen M. Kostura, AICP, PMP has spent the last 15 years leading large-scale infrastructure development projects along the Northeast Corridor. She currently is the Senior Director, Major Stations Planning and Development at Amtrak. In this role, she oversees planning, development and delivery of large-scale redevelopment at some of Amtrak’s largest stations including Washington Union Station, Baltimore Penn Station, William H Gray III 30th Street Station, New York Penn Station, and Chicago Union Station. Prior to this role, Gretchen was the Director for the Washington Union Station capital projects portfolio where she oversaw a more than $500 million near term program of projects geared to providing passenger and operational improvements and delivering critical state of good repair projects within the next 5 years while also managing Amtrak’s interest in the Washington Union Station Expansion Project. Prior to joining Amtrak, Ms. Kostura worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University and is AICP and PMP certified. In 2016, Gretchen was named a Rising Star by Progressive Railroading magazine.

Adelee Marie Le Grand

Adelee Marie Le Grand is a leader, with over two decades of experience, who is passionate about utilizing mobility as a tool to create and sustain vibrant equitable communities. Her area of specialty is developing and communicating strategies into the implementation of business solutions and innovations. Adelee has served as a member of the executive team for two transit agencies. She has served as the Chief Mobility Officer for the Atlanta-region Transit Link Authority (ATL), working closely with the Executive Director and Planning Division to develop a strategic plan to document the new state authority’s suite of services and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders and regional partners. Adelee also served as the Chief Strategy Officer in service to the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority where her responsibilities included developing the first Strategic Mobility Plan for the New Orleans Region and rebuilding the Planning Department. She empowers her team to view their portfolio of projects as opportunities to improve the lives of the community they serve. Her motto is, “it is not about the project, it is about how the project improves the community”.

Juan Lema

Mr. Lema is an economist and Licensed civil engineer in California, Florida, and Texas with 25 years of professional experience in the design, planning, construction management, and project management of high-speed rail (HSR) in Europe and the United States. Mr. Lema has served in the Administrator of Railway Infrastructures (ADIF) (Spain’s Rail Agency) and in the Spanish Department of Transportation in the development and implementation of the largest HSR network in Europe and the second largest worldwide, with over 2,000 miles of tracks. As ADIF’s Trans-European Network Development and International Corridors Manager (2012-2015), Mr. Lema was responsible for the implementation of European Regulations and Technical standards of Interoperability and safety regulations. He was Director of the ERTMS Corridor D (Spain-France-Italy-Slovenia-Hungary) and represented Spain in the European Commission’s Trans-European Network Atlantic and Mediterranean Rail Corridors. He has also been Vice-chairman of the Amtrak Northeastern Corridor Partner Forum and Senior Advisor to the US Federal Railroad Administration in the Office of Railroad Policy and Development for the implementation of the HSR program in the United States (US), and to the top officials in Spain -Minister and Deputy Minister- of the Spanish Department of Transportation. Since 2015 he’s working with SENER USA as Senior Project Manager in the development of HSR projects in California and Texas.

Frank Loetterle

Frank Loetterle serves as the supervisor of the Freight and Rail Planning Section of the Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations at the Minnesota Department of Transportation where he oversees the development of the Statewide Freight Plan, the Statewide Rail Plan and a variety of freight and passenger rail initiatives. Frank has specific responsibility for managing the department’s effort to develop intercity passenger rail service both within Minnesota and between Minnesota and regional centers such as Chicago.

Overall, Frank has over 30 years of experience as a transportation planner in both the public and private sectors overseeing the development of city and county transportation plans, highway and transit studies and passenger rail planning. Frank had significant involvement in the planning, design, financing, and construction of the first light rail transit line in the Twin Cities. In addition, he has a PhD in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and has published research in the Transportation Research Board’s Transportation Research Record.

Philippe Lorand

Philippe Lorand is an Engineer graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts & Métiers (ENSAM, 1983, Paris France), and holds a Master degree in Business & Administration (Paris-Sorbonne University, 1988, Paris, France).

Mr. Lorand is currently Senior Advisor within the Passenger Department at UIC (International Union of Railways), responsible for development of High-speed Rail in the world, the World Congress for High-Speed Rail, the Night Trains Working Group and is on the steering committee of UIC Covid-19 taskforce.

Philippe has been working for 35 years in infrastructure projects, first in the USA, as a Division Manager for ALSTOM, then in Europe for the VINCI group, before serving as Senior Vice President, Member of the Executive Committee and Business Development Director at RATP Dev. Philippe sat also as a Board Director at VEOLIA Transport/Transdev-RATP Dev Asia.

Prior to his position at UIC, Philippe was Project Director at SNCF, the French Railways, in charge of business development in Asia.

Jennie Louwerse

Jennie Louwerse, AICP, became the Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation in July 2018. She provides oversight for department initiatives and policy related to public transportation, aviation, rail freight, passenger rail, bike/pedestrian, and ports. She previously served PennDOT as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary, Bureau Director of Aviation, and Director of PennPORTS. Louwerse brings 24 years of progressive public- and private-sector experience in all facets of management and technical knowledge of multimodal transportation development to the department.

Louwerse holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Pennsylvania State University and a bachelor’s degree in rural/urban studies from Shippensburg University.

Bruno Maestri

Bruno Maestri is Vice President, Government Affairs and Corporate Communications, serving in this role since joining Amtrak in March 2019. Bruno has more than 40 years of experience in the transportation, environmental and advocacy industries. At Amtrak, he is responsible for securing annual funding through Congress and for enhancing and protecting the company’s reputation and brand with key stakeholders. Bruno oversees federal, state and community government affairs and outreach.

Prior to Amtrak, Bruno was at Norfolk Southern Corporation, where he was responsible for federal legislative affairs, state relations and community outreach as Vice President, Government Relations. In that role, Bruno led corporate advocacy with a wide range of stakeholders in Washington, D.C., and across 20 states. He also coordinated federal regulatory agency affairs, serving as Norfolk Southern’s liaison with the Federal Railroad Administration, Surface Transportation Board, National Transportation Safety Board and Environmental Protection Agency.

During his 23-year career at Norfolk Southern, Bruno also variously served as Chief Environmental Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer, and Vice President, Government Affairs and Corporate Communications.

Bruno graduated from the University of Virginia, where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Applied Mathematics and Civil Engineering, as well as a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering.

Laura Mason

Laura Mason is Executive Vice President (EVP), Capital Delivery, serving in this role since January 2022. Laura leads an organization focused on developing and executing all non-recurring and non-Information Technology capital projects, which together allow Amtrak to deliver high-quality service to its customers. Focus areas include fleet acquisitions and facility expansions and upgrades, major stations programs, infrastructure projects — including the Gateway Program — and major third-party projects. With over $40 billion of critical infrastructure, facility and fleet investments in planning and development, Laura leads Amtrak’s efforts to turn its ambitious plans into reality.

Laura joined Amtrak in June 2021 as EVP, Major Program Delivery and was responsible for delivering transformational programs and renewing strategic assets supporting the nation’s intercity passenger rail system.

Prior to Amtrak, Laura served in a variety of leadership roles with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), commonly referred to as Metro, a tri-jurisdictional government agency that operates transit service in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. As EVP of Capital Delivery, she was responsible for project management, engineering and construction of major capital projects, infrastructure renewal, capital program planning, and the scheduling and contracting strategy for WMATA’s entire capital program.

In other roles at WMATA, Laura oversaw engineering, maintenance, transportation and control center functions for fixed infrastructure and rolling stock. As Chief of Maintenance of Way Engineering, she drove rail safety and reliability through improved maintenance, track allocation and new technology. From 2016 to 2017, Laura served as director of Safe Track, a year-long emergency track work program to accelerate three years of work into one year.

Before going to WMATA, Laura spent 12 years at Bechtel Corp., an American engineering, procurement, construction and project management company, where she served in a wide range of roles.

Laura graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. She earned her Master of Business Administration from Stanford University. She is also a founding member of Engineers Without Borders — Gabon.

Álvaro Mascaraque

Álvaro Mascaraque is Deputy Director for International Organizations at Adif. He has been working for the Spanish Railway Administrator since 2010, when he joined as R&D engineer in the Innovation Department. Álvaro also worked as Internal Auditor before promoting to his current role, in which he coordinates the international strategy of the company and its liaison with international stakeholders. He is member of UIC Intercity & High Speed Committee and collaborates with the European Commission as evaluator of transport projects.

Before joining Adif he worked in the environmental and emergency sectors.

Álvaro holds an MsC in Environmental Engineering, a graduate in Economics and a Master in Business Administration.

Jim Mathews

Jim Mathews is President & CEO of the Rail Passengers Association in Washington, DC, a nationwide 501c3 nonprofit transportation advocacy group. In 2016 then-Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx appointed Mathews to a two- year term on the National Advisory Committee on Travel & Tourism Infrastructure, created by the 2015 surface transportation bill, and was re-appointed in May 2018. He also participates in Federal Railroad Administration regional plan study groups and is a voting member of the FRA’s Rail Safety Advisory Committee and the RSAC Hazardous Materials Working Group.

A lifelong train traveler with a deep-rooted vision for a robust national passenger train network within the U.S., Mathews believes rail can be an economic engine in the communities it serves, a potentially transformative mode in an ever-changing transportation landscape and the most environmentally responsible way to meet the transportation challenges of the 21st century. As a volunteer, Mathews served on the Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee for six years, including two years leading the ACAC as chairman.

At Rail Passengers, formerly known as the National Association of Railroad Passengers, Mathews has been leading a reinvigorated advocacy and legislative effort which has notched several wins in since 2015. These include fending off six separate House attacks on Amtrak, taking a meaningful role in shaping the Senate’s 2015 rail authorization, leading a grassroots effort in 2016 to repel White House attacks on Amtrak’s long-distance network and introducing 26 million Americans in 2018 to the breadth of rail travel through the innovative Summer by Rail internship program.

He was recruited to the CEO role in 2014 after a 26-year career at Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, where he began as a reporter covering naval aviation and aircraft engines, rising through progressively more responsible editorial management positions to become Executive Editor. At Aviation Week, Mathews oversaw the explosive growth of Aviation Week’s online properties and its data and forecasting business, recruiting and leading a news team which won the 2006 and 2010 Neal Awards for best business news website and taking part in an acquisition team that brought a forecasting business into Aviation Week’s orbit. He was also Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Daily, the airline industry business daily. His career took him to 129 cities in 44 countries, as well as affording opportunities to fly 40 separate aircraft types ranging from high-performance military aircraft to experimental and transport-category prototypes.

Mathews was educated at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the State University of New York, as well as completing the Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine program at The George Washington University under the auspices of Fairfax County (Va.) Fire & Rescue, where he was a firefighter/medic for 13 years. Other volunteer experience includes search-and-rescue and disaster relief serving in a command role in the Civil Air Patrol (the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary), water-quality monitoring for the Citizen Science Institute and a seat on the Prince William County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). He is currently pursuing studies in International Relations and Government at Harvard University.

David T. Montvydas

David T. Montvydas is the Chief Engineer of the Maintenance of Way Department in SEPTA’s Engineering, Maintenance, and Construction Division. He oversees all engineering, maintenance, and construction for the Power, Track, Communications and Signaling (C&S), and Project Management Office Departments for all Right of Way facilities across the authority. He has been with SEPTA for over twenty-two (22) years.

Jeffrey A. Nelson

Jeff Nelson is a seasoned public transportation leader who specializes in urban design, land use planning and economic development. During his over 35 years at MetroLINK (Rock Island County Mass Transit; “Metro”), his strategic focus has been on implementing cutting edge programs with an emphasis on economic growth, environmental sustainability, enhanced technologies, and workforce development – separating MetroLINK from other transit districts of comparable size. Under his guidance MetroLINK was awarded the American Public Transportation Association “Outstanding Public Transportation System Award”. Other notable leadership recognition’s include the Federal Transportation Administration’s “State Leadership Award”, numerous APTA “AdWheel” Awards, the NAACP Business Image Award, Quad City Chamber of Commerce Multi Modal Award (twice), and various community and civic sustainability awards for excellence in environmental planning.

Nelson has a unique ability to artfully maneuver through a multitude of environments and leverage a variety of resources to meet economic development expectations. Recognized as a progressive leader of exceptional skill and foresight, he brings strong vision and leadership in the disciplines of sustainability, community growth, infrastructure and planning, creative public/pri¬vate partnerships, and economic development. Nelson was an early adopter of alternative fuels, implementing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transit buses into the Metro fixed route fleet in 2002. Since that time the Metro CNG fleet has expanded to make up the majority of the fleet, and in 2018 Metro introduced zero emission buses to the fleet, which will encompass 30% of the fleet in 2021. His experience in creating sustainable communities using transportation investment as a catalyst for future development include transit multimodal facilities in the downtowns of Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island. Additional projects include the construction of a state-of-the-art 150,000 square foot “Operations and Maintenance Center” built to LEED Gold standards for the purpose of supporting a sustainable bus fleet and an energized workforce, as well as the planning, development, and construction of a $30 million public -private historic redevelopment in downtown Moline. This multi-use property, otherwise known as the “Q” Multi Modal Station, consists of a 105 room “Element” brand hotel, with retail and restaurant space that will serve as the passenger rail hub for the Moline to Chicago passenger rail corridor.

Nelson has served on a variety of community boards and committees throughout his professional career. Currently he is the Chairman of the Quad Cities Manufacturing Lab, a Board Trustee for Two Rivers YMCA, 2nd Vice President of the Illinois Public Transportation Association, Chair of the National Transit Institute at Rutgers, serves on the Moline Planning Commission, the Moline Police and Fire Commission, and is a Board Member for the Quad City Chamber of Commerce Regional Opportunities Council.

Nelson holds a B.S. in Political Science from Western Illinois University, a M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University, and is a graduate of the Kennedy School of Business “Creating Collaborative Solutions” program.

Paul Nissenbaum

Paul Nissenbaum has served as Associate Administrator for Railroad Policy and Development (RPD) since January 2012.  In that role, he leads an office of 90-plus professionals responsible for FRA’s research and development (R&D), planning, policy analysis and rail investment programs. He also directs technical assistance and oversight to advance rail projects through planning, engineering, environmental analysis, financial planning and implementation. Mr. Nissenbaum’s office oversees Amtrak funding and policy work, and he serves as senior advisor to the Secretary of Transportation’s representative on the Amtrak Board of Directors.

From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Nissenbaum served as Director of RPD’s Office of Passenger and Freight Programs (now known as the Office of Infrastructure Investment). In that role, he oversaw FRA’s implementation of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) and development of the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program—including building new partnerships with state DOTs, railroads, and other stakeholders, and expanding FRA’s capacity to carry out its new responsibilities.

Prior to FRA, Mr. Nissenbaum worked at Amtrak for nine years and was lead author of Amtrak’s 2005 blueprint for change, the Strategic Reform Initiatives. He also served four years in congressional offices on Capitol Hill, and nine years directing a surface transportation and environmental consulting practice. Mr. Nissenbaum holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.

Tamara Noel

With more than 25 years of railroad experience, Tamara Noel leads a BNSF Team as Director Passenger Train Operations and NRPC Officer. She was promoted to her director role in December 2021 and appointed as BNSF NRPC Officer in January 2020. In her current role, she is responsible for directing all facets of Amtrak operations within context of overall freight objectives on BNSF. This includes; facilitating on-time performance; protecting Amtrak’s legislative and contractual rights while on BNSF; and negotiating contractual agreements related to passenger stations, capital improvements, local, state and federal funding associated with capital improvements to improve passenger train operations. Noel previously served as assistant director, Passenger Operations, since June 2016 and various roles of increasing responsibility within the Passenger Operations Team since 2004. Prior to that, she served as a member of BNSF’s Service Design team since 2000. Noel joined BNSF in 1996 as a control operator and promoted to train dispatcher in 1998.

Noel studied math and physics as an undergraduate, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dallas.

Noel serves as Executive Director of BNSF’s business resource group, BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership Development).

When she’s not working at BNSF, Noel is a homebody, enjoying a good book, good food and time with her husband Walter and pre-teen daughter Bella.

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. is a Democratic congressman representing New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, which covers portions of Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. A Newark, New Jersey native, he was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2012, and is now serving in his third full term. Congressman Payne, Jr. is a tireless fighter for New Jersey families, working to create jobs and grow the economy, protect and invest in our children, and ensure the health and safety of our communities.

As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications, Congressman Payne, Jr. has built a record of achievement in a divided Congress. He introduced two bills that were signed into Public Law by President Barack Obama, including the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act of 2015, which ensures that DHS personnel can reliably communicate during emergencies. He also introduced six bills that passed the U.S. House: the First Responder Access to Innovative Technologies Act (2016, 2017), the State and High-Risk Urban Area Working Group Act, the Partners for Aviation Security Act, the State Wide Interoperable Communications Enhancement Act, and the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act of 2014. Additionally, Congressman Payne, Jr. passed the language of his SMART Grid Study Act through the U.S. House as part of a larger appropriations bill.

In 2017, Congressman Payne, Jr. was appointed to the powerful House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for the 115th Congress. The Committee has jurisdiction over national infrastructure and all modes of transportation, including aviation and mass transit.

Congressman Payne, Jr. fights to expand access to capital for small business owners. He led a U.S. House effort for greater transparency in small business lending to better understand and meet the credit needs of women- and minority-owned small businesses.

A strong advocate for children, Congressman Payne, Jr. introduced the TEST for Lead Act to protect children from lead-contaminated drinking water in schools. He also introduced the Promise Neighborhoods Act of 2015, which encourages a holistic community-based approach to educating children in distressed neighborhoods.

A member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Payne, Jr. fights for civil rights, justice, and equality for all Americans. He is a proud co-sponsor of the Voter Empowerment Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.

Additionally, Congressman Payne, Jr. is a strong advocate for common-sense gun safety reforms, including expanding background checks, outlawing high-capacity magazines, and preventing suspected terrorists from buying guns. He introduced the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act of 2015 to keep guns out of the wrong hands by incentivizing gun owners to sell back guns.

Congressman Payne, Jr. is a leader in expanding access to affordable, quality health care. He is the lead Democratic co-sponsor of the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, bipartisan legislation that would remove financial barriers to life-saving colorectal cancer treatment. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus, he promotes efforts to improve the health and well-being of men, boys, and their families. He is also a vocal advocate for cancer prevention.

Kevin Phelps

Kevin Phelps joined Amtrak in 2022 as the Sr. Director of Delivery Strategy in the Office of Capital Delivery. As Sr. Director, Kevin leads the team in developing delivery and contracting strategies for Amtrak’s major capital improvement projects as well as building relationships with Amtrak’s business partners. Kevin has extensive experience in the national and international construction industry and has held senior leadership roles at Bechtel Corporation, Clark Construction, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) where he provided vital project management, commercial term development, and construction delivery services to a host of high-profile clients. Kevin currently serves on the board for the Design Build Institute of America’s Mid-Atlantic Region. He has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California.

Anthony Perl

Anthony Perl is Professor in, and Director of, the Urban Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He is cross-appointed as Professor of Political Science.  Before joining SFU, Anthony worked at the University of Calgary, the City University of New York, and Universite Lumiere in Lyon, France.  He received his undergraduate honours degree in Government from Harvard University, followed by an MA and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

His research crosses disciplinary and national boundaries to explore policy decisions made about transportation, cities and the environment.  He has published in dozens of scholarly journals including Cities, Energy Policy, Transport Policy, Transportation Research, Journal of Transport Geography, World Transport Policy and Practice, Journal of Air Transport Management, Transportation Research Record, Journal of Public Policy, Canadian Public Policy, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Journal of Urban Technology, Canadian Journal of Political Science and Scientific American.   His work has been awarded prizes for outstanding papers presented at the World Conference on Transport Research and the Canadian Transportation Research Forum.

He has also produced eight books.  The Politics of Improving Urban Air Quality, which he co-edited and co-authored was published in 1999 by Edward Elgar, U.K.  New Departures: Rethinking Rail Passenger Policy in the Twenty-First Century was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2002.  In 2003, the University of British Columbia Press released The Integrity Gap: Canada’s Environmental Policy and Institutions, co-authored and co-edited by Perl. His co-authored book, Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil, was first published by Earthscan. A second edition of Transport Revolutions has been published by New Society Publishers. Anthony is also co-author of the Oxford University Press textbook Studying Public Policy: Principles and Processes, Fourth Edition. In 2020, McGill Queen’s University Press released his latest book entitled: Big Moves: Global Agendas, Local Aspirations and Urban Mobility in Canada.

Perl advised governments in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, and the United States on transportation and environmental research and policy.  He served on the Board of VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger railway. He has also served on the Selection Committee of Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program.  He has chaired the Rail Group of the U.S. Transportation Research Board (TRB), a division of the National Academies of Science, Medicine and Engineering.   He has also chaired TRB’s Committee on Intercity Passenger Rail.  Anthony is also an Adjunct Professor at the Cities Research Institute, Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. He served a five-year term on the Vancouver City Planning Commission.

Karen Philbrick

Karen Philbrick serves as the executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University, a position she has held since 2014. MTI leads two competitively selected multi-university consortiums: the California State University Transportation Consortium (CSUTC) which unifies the surface transportation research and workforce development efforts of the 23-campus California State University system and the Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility (MCTM). MCTM unifies and focuses the efforts of four outstanding institutions that represent and support the geographical, cultural, racial, and socioeconomic diversity that makes our nation strong: Howard University; Navajo Technical University; San José State University; and the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

Prior to joining MTI, Dr. Philbrick shaped the field of transportation in a variety of roles, including as assistant director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation at the University of Denver. She has been appointed three times by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Secretaries LaHood, Foxx, and Chao, respectively) to sit on the USDOT Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) where she chaired the FTA Administrator’s Tasking 14-02 which identified key elements of a safety management system approach to fatigue management.

Since 2013, she has been elected to serve the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) in several roles, including President in 2018-19. Dr. Philbrick also has the privilege of serving as the President of the Research and Education Division (RED) of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), where she also sits on the ARTBA Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Dr. Phillbrick is part of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on AP080 “Transit Safety and Security” and AR010 “Intercity Passenger Rail”, where she also serves as the research subcommittee lead.

With an eye toward seamless and equitable transportation for all, Karen also serves the industry through the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). She is a Director for the APTA High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Committee and recently served as an appointed research advisor to the APTA Mobility Recovery and Restoration Task Force. She also served on the 2019 APTA nominating committee and has partnered with the American Public Transportation Foundation on a joint APTF/MTI scholarship the past four years.

Committed to recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in the transportation industry, Dr. Philbrick also serves on the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Foundation Board as Secretary after having served two terms as a Director. Since 2016 she has been a member of the advisory board for the Los Angeles Metro Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI), and in 2018 she joined the Executive Committee for the City and County Pavement Improvement Center, UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. She contributes to her community as a part of the Board of Directors for the Rotary Club of San José, and as a member of the Rotoplast committee, which offers volunteer-based free medical services.

A frequently invited keynote speaker, Dr. Philbrick has also delivered federal congressional briefings and invited testimony to the California Senate Transportation Committee and the Assembly Transportation Committee. Her other intellectual contributions include a bimonthly column on transportation in the San Jose Spotlight, the recipient of the national Publisher of the Year award for independent online news, invited articles for the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and peer-reviewed journal articles focused on models of accident risk and fatigue in railroad operations, psychological trauma and transportation accidents —including grade crossing and trespasser incidents —and cross cultural differences in helping behavior.

Dr. Philbrick has received many prestigious awards for her leadership excellence and outstanding contributions to her field. In 2015, she received the CUTC Administrative Leadership award and received a commendation on behalf of the City of San José 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. In 2017, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Dr. Philbrick 1 of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley, and most recently, she was recognized by the YWCA Silicon Valley with a 2018 Tribute to Women Award for her contributions to the field of transportation.

On an international level, Dr. Philbrick has led 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 was a member of the US delegation to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group from 2000 to 2009.

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.

Ambassador Jacques-H. Pitteloud

Ambassador Pitteloud was born on November 12, 1962, in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Pitteloud earned a master’s degree and a doctorate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Zurich (Master’s 1986, PhD 1987). Following an assignment in the Middle East, he also graduated from the International Training Course in Security Policy (ITC) at Geneva University. He speaks French, English, German, Swiss German, Italian and Spanish fluently, and has a basic knowledge of a few other languages.

Ambassador Pitteloud joined the Swiss Foreign Service in 1987, first serving as advisor to the foreign minister. From 1988 to 1989, he was a commercial attaché at the Swiss Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From 1990 to 1995, he worked in the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service. Following this, he served as personal advisor to two successive defense ministers until 1999. From 1999 to 2000, he led a study group tasked with redeveloping the structure of the Swiss Armed Forces.

Dr. Pitteloud then served as the Swiss government’s first intelligence coordinator from 2000 to 2005, after which he was appointed Director for Arms Control, Disarmament, Security Policy and Intelligence at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bern.

From 2010 to 2015, Jacques Pitteloud was Ambassador of Switzerland to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia and the Seychelles. Following this assignment, he took up the position of resources director of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) in September 2015.

On September 16, 2019, Jacques Pitteloud was accredited as Ambassador of Switzerland to the United States of America.

Patricia Quinn

Patricia Quinn is a native of Norwich, Connecticut and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She joined the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) in 2000, and became its Executive Director in 2005. Since that time, an additional round-trip has been added to the Downeaster, service has expanded 30 miles to Freeport and Brunswick, and Downeaster ridership and revenue have more than doubled – all while maintaining one of the highest passenger service ratings in the nation.

Patricia is involved in regional and national passenger rail initiatives through her involvement with the States for Passenger Rail Coalition, the AASHTO Standing Committee on Rail Transportation and the State Amtrak Intercity Passenger Rail Committee. Patricia also participates in the Transportation Working Group of the Maine Climate Council.

Patricia received the Amtrak President’s Service and Safety Award for State Partners in 2007, was recognized as one of “Maine’s Most Intriguing People” by Portland Magazine in 2009, a “Woman to Watch” by Maine Biz in August 2011, “Non-Profit Business Leader of the Year” by Maine Biz in March 2014 and received the New England Railroad Club “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2021 for her exemplary commitment to passenger rail service in New England.

Chitra Radin

Chitra Radin, ENV SP, has more than 30 years of experience in planning, design, and construction of transportation infrastructure. Chitra founded Radin Consulting, Inc. (Radin) in 1998 and her firm is committed to assisting clients and lending expertise in the areas of planning, environmental compliance, engineering, construction management, and public outreach.  Radin often consults clients on streamlining opportunities, regulatory approvals and action thresholds.  Radin has worked on several large multi-discipline projects including design-build initiatives. Radin’s clients include the Port Authority of NY & NJ, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), NJ TRANSIT, Washington Metro (WMATA) and other transit agencies. In fact, Radin prepared the environmental feasibility report for Amtrak’s pilot program for High-Speed Rail in New Jersey.

Arun Rao

Arun has 18 years of experience in transportation at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), and has worked in public transportation and passenger rail since 2006.  Since 2012, Arun has been responsible for the planning, policy, program and implementation of passenger rail at WisDOT. Arun currently serves as Chair of the 23-state States for Passenger Rail Coalition, and Vice Chair of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission.

Arun has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin –Madison and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.  He has a Bachelor in Business Administration in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics.

P. Michael Reininger

Michael Reininger is the Chief Executive Officer of Brightline Holdings, the only provider of modern, eco-friendly high-speed passenger rail service in the United States and recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Travel.

From 2012-2018, Reininger served as Brightline’s president, leading all efforts to launch its phase-one system from Miami to West Palm Beach. Under his leadership, Brightline modernized an existing rail corridor, built three new stations and introduced a fleet of first-of their-kind trainsets. Reininger also led the development of Brightline’s flagship station, Miami Central, an 11-acre multi-modal transportation center with a food hub, over 800 residences, commercial office towers and street front retail.

Brightline launched its service in 2018 as the first private sector passenger rail system built in the United States in over a century.

Reininger rejoined Brightline as CEO in 2021 to oversee the company’s next phase of growth including new connections to Orlando and Tampa in addition to new stops within South Florida, as well as the development of Brightline West, a new high-speed rail service connecting Las Vegas to the Los Angeles metro area.

Reininger has more than three decades of experience in the development of major projects and the start-up of unique companies. Prior to 2012, Reininger delivered some of the world’s most iconic projects while working with the Walt Disney Company, including several resort hotels, the initiation of the Disney Vacation Club, Euro Disney Resort in Paris and the launch of the Disney Cruise Line. Reininger was also the Managing Director of the Union Station Neighborhood Company where he led the effort to transform Denver’s Union Station and its downtown railyard into a modern multi-modal transportation hub. He has also served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Development Officer for AECOM, and Senior Vice-President for the St Joe Company.

Leslie S. Richards

Leslie S. Richards is the CEO and 11th General Manager of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the sixth largest public transportation agency in the U.S. with a budget of more than $2 billion and a vast network of 9,500 employees that enable the five million residents of the Greater Philadelphia region to connect to each other. 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, Richards was the first woman secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), one of the largest and most innovative transportation agencies in the U.S. Richards left a lasting mark on the department by 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, 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. Richards is a graduate of Brown University, where she concentrated in economics and urban studies. She received a master’s of regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Philadelphia.

Wayne L. Rogers

Wayne Rogers is the Chairman and CEO of The Northeast Maglev, LLC.  The mission of the firm is to transform the Northeast Corridor by deploying the world’s fastest train utilizing Super-Conducting Magnetic Levitation.  The SCMAGLEV is based upon safety approved and deployed rail technology in Japan and will connect city centers and airports at 311 mph, bringing passengers from Washington, DC to Baltimore in 15 minutes and DC to New York in 1 hour, all while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating jobs and economic opportunity in a framework of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Prior to his involvement in the rail industry Mr. Rogers was the CEO of Synergics, a renewable energy company where he had over 30 years experience developing, building and operating hydroelectric and windpower projects in 10 states and 13 foreign countries.   He received his Bachelor of Science from the US Naval Academy and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University.

Roberto Rodriguez

Mr. Rodriguez is a civil engineer with 20 years of experience managing and coordinating railway infrastructure projects, both in the private sector working for SENER, as well as in the public sector, managing rail contracts working for the Spanish Railways Infrastructure Manager (ADIF)

Mr. Rodriguez is a senior PM of complex railway projects (transit, conventional & high-speed rail). He has a wide international experience, having worked in Europe, USA, Middle East, and Latin America. He is seasoned in all the different development phases: feasibility studies, preliminary design, detailed design, construction and finally, operation & maintenance.

Based in California since 2015, Mr. Rodriguez is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in this state and has a broad experience in the North American market.

He currently holds the Deputy Project Manager and Engineering Manager positions for the Engineering & Environmental contract for the Palmdale to Burbank project section, working directly with the CaHSRA and the RDP.

He is also the Project Manager for the Verification & Validation contract for the CP2-3 construction section of the California High Speed Rail program.

Two of his areas of expertise are rail track design and Fire Life & Safety facilities for tunnels. He has experience also managing interfaces between the different rail systems and subsystems, performing risk analysis for rail lines, and directing risk-based design projects.

Mr. Rodriguez has advanced doctorate studies is in the railways field, and he was member of the CEN/TC 256/WG 32 Railways Standards Group, in charge of developing the European Standard EN 15273 (Railway Applications – Gauges).

Francis Sacr

Frank Sacr is the Acting Chief Financial Officer of the Gateway Development Commission (GDC).

Before joining Gateway in 2017, Frank was with Société Générale for 23 years. As the head of Société Générale’s infrastructure financing team for the Americas for the last several years, Frank has been at the forefront of the public private partnership (PPP) market in North America. He has structured financings on several landmark infrastructure projects including airports, water, roads, and transit and has been involved in numerous PPP transactions in the US market, both as an advisor to bidders and as a lender. Frank has also advised on financings involving banks, private activity bonds, and taxable bonds.

Frank holds commerce and law degrees from the University of Melbourne.

Amy Scarton

Amy Scarton is the current Washington State Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary. Prior to this appointment, Scarton was appointed to the helm of Washington State Ferries in 2017 and is credited with the completion of the first ferries long range plan in more than a decade. Working to reduce transportation emissions, she initiated a program to electrify the state ferry fleet and convert some of the largest ferries to hybrid power. Scarton also shepherded the first new ferry terminal to open in 40 years at Mukilteo.

Peter Schwartz

Peter Schwartz serves as Chief of the Federal Railroad Administration’s Project Engineering and Transportation Planning Division. In this role, Peter oversees the division’s technical oversight of the development and implementation of FRA-funded projects, and leads the development and refinement of guidance and standards used in those efforts. Peter has over 24 years of experience in railroad project development, planning, and operations; in addition to more than 19 years at FRA, he has spent time at Amtrak and as a rail transportation consultant in the United States, Europe, and South Asia.

Paul P. Skoutelas

Paul P. Skoutelas is president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). His entire career has been in public transportation, serving in both the public and private sectors.

Skoutelas is a champion for the power of public transportation to create personal and economic opportunities for all and to connect and build thriving communities.  He testifies often before Congress and is a frequent speaker on public transportation issues as APTA leads the industry’s transformation in the new mobility era.

Prior to joining APTA in 2018, Skoutelas served as senior vice president for WSP USA, one of the world’s largest architectural and engineering firms and national director of WSP USA’s Transit & Rail Technical Excellence Center. He also was chief executive officer at the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX), Orlando, Florida.

Skoutelas serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Transportation Research Board, Mineta Transportation Institute, ENO Center for Transportation, Transportation Learning Center and the Alliance to Save Energy’s 50×50 Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency.  He is a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Executive Advisory Board on Smart Mobility and Carnegie Mellon University’s Mobility 21 Advisory Council.

He is also a long-time member of WTS International and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).

Skoutelas received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a licensed professional engineer.

Skoutelas and his wife, Denise, are residents of Washington DC, and he commutes to work on Washington’s Metro system and the DC Circulator.

Kimberly Slaughter

Kimberly Slaughter is SYSTRA USA’s chief executive officer. She is focused on promoting the company’s vision of being the signature team for transportation solutions. SYSTRA’s focuses on delivering planning, design, architecture, engineering, and program and construction management solutions to rail and transit agencies throughout the United States. The company’s mission is to contribute to the cities and regions in which we work and live by creating, improving, and modernizing their transportation and infrastructure systems, while furthering sustainable development. Prior to joining SYSTRA, Kimberly was the national rail and transit market sector leader at HNTB and before that was vice president/central region transit market director at HDR. Earlier, she worked for the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston, where she held several positions, including senior vice president of service design and development and associate vice president of planning.

John M. Spain

John Spain is the Executive Vice President of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit community foundation with assets of over $650 million dollars.  The Foundation provides charitable gifts to organizations and is involved in civic projects in the areas of health care, urban renewal projects, education, and the arts. In his role as Executive Vice President he oversees the foundation’s community projects. John also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Southern Rail Commission where he has worked to restore passenger rail service along the gulf coast, including between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Prior to moving to the Foundation, John was the Managing Director of The Powell Group, a private holding company with thirteen diverse subsidiary companies including radio stations, commercial timber, rice milling and international power plants and real-estate development.

John started his professional career in the field of broadcasting and worked at WBRZ-TV, the ABC affiliate in Baton Rouge for 23 years where he served as its News Director and Station Manager.

Timothy Tarrant

Timothy Tarrant is currently the Vice President Commuter/Passenger for the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen. Since his appointment as a Grand Lodge Representative in 2011, Mr. Tarrant has also held the appointed position of Director of Research and the elected positions of Vice President East and Vice President Headquarters.

Mr. Tarrant began his railroad career in 1994 as a Signal Helper for Amtrak in Chicago, Illinois. In August 1996, Mr. Tarrant took employment at Metra in Chicago, Illinois, as an Assistant Signalman. He was promoted to the position of Signalman in 1997 and held the positions of Signal Foreman, Signal Testman, Signal Maintainer, and Signalman. His duties included all phases of signal maintenance, troubleshooting, and construction. During his tenure at Metra, Mr. Tarrant was elected to the position of Local Chairman in 2003, serving two terms. He was elected to Local President in 2008 and subsequently elected to his third term as Local Chairman. Mr. Tarrant was also elected to and served as Local Vice President, Local Trustee, Grievance Committee Member, and Convention Delegate, as well as being elected to serve as Chairman for Metra’s Rock Island District Labor-Management Committee.

In his current position, Mr. Tarrant is responsible for the negotiation and facilitation of the collective bargaining agreements for BRS-represented members who work on the nation’s commuter and passenger railroads. Mr. Tarrant also facilitates internal and external organizing and serves as a liaison with several rail and labor organizations. In addition to the above, Mr. Tarrant uses his expertise in signaling and has served the Organization in the following capacities:

  • Advisory Board Member on DOT’s Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program (2012–2016)
  • National Advisory Council (NAC) Member, Operation Lifesaver (2012–2016)
  • National Cooperative Rail Research Program “Building and Retaining Workforce Capacity for the Railroad Industry” Panel Member (2012–2015)
  • Party Railroad Accident Investigator for NTSB (2013–Present)
  • Assistant Labor-Co-Chair, International Transportation Learning Center’s (TLC) National Signal Training Consortium; Labor Chairman, Highway Grade Crossing Training, Power Distribution Training, Review Committee (2013–2017)
  • Acting General Chairman; Denver Transit Operators—Engineering and Dispatch Departments (2017–2019)
  • Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) Alternate Delegate serving on Working Groups as assigned (2016–2019)
  • Member of the Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-Way Employees and Signal (FAMES) Committee (2017-present)
  • Chairman, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen Training Committee (2018–Present)
  • Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) Delegate serving on multiple Working Groups (2019–present)

Giles Thomas

Giles Thomas is HS2’s Engineering Director for Phase One of the HS2 route running between London & Birmingham. He is the Principal Designer under UK law for this section of the route. Since joining HS2 in July 2014, he has had accountability for the technical specification of the system, leading to the procurement of the civil and stations structures and for developing and managing the technical integration of Phase One. He and his team are also accountable for carrying out environmental and engineering risk based technical assurance of the railway as it moves through the project phases. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

After completing a degree in Electronic Systems and Control Engineering in 1987, Giles started his engineering career in a graduate program with the steel industry but soon moved into transportation projects. He worked in various design and project engineering capacities on light rail and underground projects in Manchester and London. After completing a Masters degree in Engineering Project Management in 1995 he worked as an engineering manager in the rolling stock and railway systems supply sector in America, Poland and France. In 2002, he returned to the UK to work for the Government as their European Technical Director. In this capacity he had responsibility for the UK’s European railway technical specifications for interoperability and implementation policies. He represented the UK in Europe on rail technical and safety matters and was the UK Board Member on the European Rail Agency. In 2007, Giles joined Network Rail where he developed the Train to Infrastructure Interface Specifications for Thameslink and Crossrail rolling stock procurement programmes. Before joining HS2 in July 2014, Giles headed up Network Rail’s System Integration team working for the Department of Transport – technically integrating between the Thameslink rolling stock, infrastructure and franchise replacement programmes.

Asako Togari

Asako Togari spent 9 years as a researcher in a railway research institute before joining JRE.

In 2002, she joined East Japan Railway Company (JRE) as a Research project manager and Infra-inspection manager.  Then in 2015, joined the Railway International Standards Center, Railway Technical Research Institute (RTRI), as a Senior expert.  In 2018, she became the Manager for international standardization, Headquarters, JRE.

Ms. Togari became Deputy Director, Paris Office, JRE in 2019

Her specialties include Standardisation, Disaster prevention technology, Research planning, Civil engineering (geo-tech), Infra-inspection

UIC activities:

  • Vice-chair of UIC Standardisation Platform
  • Member of the UIC InterCity-HS committee (ICHSC), the UIC Rail System Forum, the UIC Sustainability Platform, and the UIC Terminology-group

Polly Trottenberg

Polly Trottenberg is Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). As the number two official and Chief Operating Officer, she supports Secretary Buttigieg on providing leadership and strategic vision for USDOT. She has an extensive 25+ year public sector career in all levels of government. Trottenberg served from 2014 to 2020 as New York City’s Transportation Commissioner, where she ran a complex 5,800-person agency responsible for the safe, efficient, and equitable operations of New York City’s transportation network, including 6,000 miles of roadways, 789 bridges, the nation’s largest traffic operation and parking system, the Staten Island Ferry, and extensive bicycle, pedestrian, and public plaza infrastructure, as well as key initiatives in urban mobility, smart transportation technologies, and safety.

Paul Vilter

Paul Vilter leads Amtrak’s corporate planning department, helping navigate the company through multi-billion dollar issues ranging from sizing purchases of new trainsets and related maintenance facilities, to developing programs to expand intercity passenger rail service in cooperation with federal and state partners, to planning and coordinating Northeast Corridor investments, to helping the company define and meet climate sustainability targets.

Previously, Paul formed and led a new Amtrak team that participated in commercial opportunities driving financial results to Amtrak’s bottom line, including winning bids to provide train and engine crews to operate commuter train services, and managing Amtrak’s Thruway bus service, which feeds passengers and revenue to Amtrak trains from over 400 additional stations nationwide.

From 2002 to 2017 Paul led Amtrak’s strategy, negotiations, and business relationships with the approximately thirty host railroads whose tracks Amtrak uses. Approximately seventy percent of Amtrak’s train-miles operate on host railroad lines not owned by Amtrak.  Paul also led negotiations with the freight railroads that use Amtrak-owned lines.

He joined Amtrak in 1999 in its Finance and Planning department.   Prior to Amtrak, Paul held marketing and sales positions at Conrail from 1989 to 1999, including Intermodal Marketing, short line relations, and Forest Products Sales and Marketing.

Paul started his railroad career in 1984 as a Management Trainee at the Chessie System Railroads where he subsequently worked in Market Research, Metals Marketing, and, after the merger that formed CSX, in Intermodal Planning.

Paul holds a BA in Materials and Logistics Management from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Glen Weisbrod

Glen Weisbrod is Chair of the Board of Directors of EBP US, and formerly its CEO. He is an internationally recognized leader in economic evaluation of transportation investments, having coauthored guides and led workshops on wider economic benefits for the US Dept. of Transportation, UK Dept. for Transport, Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Transport Canada, Australia’s Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, OECD’s International Transport Forum, and Brazil’s National Association of Urban Transport, well as the American Public Transportation Association and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Weisbrod has led economic benefit analyses of high speed and intercity passenger rail investments for the US Conference of Mayors, California High Speed Rail Authority, Maine DOT, New Hampshire DOT, Kansas DOT, Coalition of Northeastern Governors, and Midwest High Speed Rail Association.  He was formerly Chair of the TRB Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council for Urban Economic Development (now the International Economic Development Council). He holds an MCP degree in Planning and MS in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in Economics from Brandeis University.

Jeffrey Wharton

Mr. Wharton is a proven leader in the mass transit industry with over 42 years of experience.  He is responsible for leading SYSTRA design-build pursuits throughout the U.S., along with contract negotiations and contract oversight.  SYSTRA USA is a leading consulting and engineering firm dedicated exclusively to the rail and mass transportation industry delivering innovative solutions that move the world forward.

Mr. Wharton serves on the APTA Executive Committee, Board Member for the American Public Transportation Foundation, Chair of the APTA 2022 High-Speed Rail Conference, and past Chair APTA Business Member Board of Governors.  He received the 2013 Champions of Change for 21st Century Transportation Technology Solutions from the White House and was awarded the 2019 Outstanding Public Transportation Business Member.

Prior to SYSTRA, Mr. Wharton was president for multiple Berkshire Hathaway companies and held executive roles for a nationwide energy and transit construction firm.

Having held key leadership roles in a variety of businesses and industries, Mr. Wharton has demonstrated his ability to leverage partnerships, build trust and provide results.

Julie White

​As the N.C. Department of Transportation’s deputy secretary for multimodal transportation, Julie White oversees the high-level operations of the Rail Division, Division of Public Transportation, Division of Aviation, Ferry Division and Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.

White has a long history of public service in both state and local government. Over the past two decades, she has served in the Office of North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, the N.C. House of Representatives Majority Leader’s Office, the N.C. Department of State Treasurer and most recently as executive director of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition.

White is the longest serving member of the Strategic Transportation Investment Workgroup and serves on the board of directors for NC Go!

White earned a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University and is a graduate of the Leadership North Carolina program.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email