Lucy Knight Andre
|Lucy Knight Andre serves as the General Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Corporate Secretary of Stadler US Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since joining Stadler in 2016, she has helped oversee the set up and expansion of Stadler’s North American operations. Lucy has seen the company grow from 8 full time employees to almost 500, build and fill a 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility, and secure over $2.5 billion dollars in orders.
A native of Salt Lake City, Lucy obtained a bachelor’s degree from Webster University in Vienna, Austria and was employed there as an editor for the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis before returning to Salt Lake City to earn a law degree from the University of Utah. She has since worked as a college professor, a prosecutor, a partner at a law firm, and as in-house counsel for multiple organizations.
A passionate advocate of transit and a believer in enhancing local communities, Lucy also participates on many corporate and community boards and is actively involved in a variety of non-profit organizations. She loves participating in APTA and is a proud graduate of the Leadership APTA class of 2023.
|Mr. Benedetti has practiced law since 1990. He is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and admitted to the state and federal courts in both jurisdictions. He obtained his law degree in 1990 and graduated cum laude from Widener University School of Law. In 1984, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Accounting and Computer Science from Temple University.
Since November 2013, he has worked for SEPTA as Deputy General Counsel in charge of all litigation. He managed a team of SEPTA lawyers, paralegals, claims professionals, investigators and administrative assistants. He oversaw outside law firms hired by SEPTA for litigation matters concerning tort, workers’ compensation, employment and contract matters.
In June 2014, SEPTA appointed Mr. Benedetti to serve as General Counsel. He leads SEPTA’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) which handles corporate transactions, real estate matters, regulatory monitoring and advice, litigation, claims handling, intake and intelligence operations including SEPTA’s video program, workers’ compensation and insurance matters. Approximately 105 SEPTA employees work in the Office of General Counsel. OGC is also responsible for managing all outside lawyers who are retained to assist SEPTA. As General Counsel, Mr. Benedetti is an officer of SEPTA and a member of the General Manager’s Team.
Prior to joining SEPTA, Mr. Benedetti practiced employment, criminal and commercial law as a litigation and trial lawyer as a partner in the law firm of Dilworth Paxson, LLP. He also served as the Chief Human Relations Officer for the firm. Before joining Dilworth, Mr. Benedetti served as an associate and partner in the law firm of Miller, Alfano & Raspanti, P.C. He served as the Miller firm’s Managing Partner. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Benedetti worked as a Computer Programmer for the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company in Wilmington, Delaware.
|Amit Bose was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on January 12, 2022. He was previously appointed as Deputy Administrator on January 20, 2021.
Immediately prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Amit 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 also served at the FRA during the Obama-Biden Administration as Deputy Administrator, Chief Counsel, Senior Advisor and Director of Governmental Affairs and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as Associate General Counsel and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs. In those positions, he worked on safety, policy, regulatory, and governmental affairs matters, and provided legal counsel, guidance and advice to the Office of the Secretary and DOT’s operating administrations. Before joining DOT, Amit also worked for New Jersey Transit, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and as a transportation staffer in the U.S. Congress.
His involvement in many rail and transportation projects prior to joining the Executive Branch includes securing the full funding grant agreement for the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, Newark Light Rail and Congressional authorization for the 50-foot deepening of New York Harbor. In addition, he was in private practice in Georgia, focused on land use, environmental, and municipal law.
Amit has an AB from Columbia College, a MIA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a JD from the University of Georgia.
|Casey oversees several business service departments, working alongside senior leadership with subject matter expertise in Procurement and Contract Administration, Legal Services, and Real Estate Services. Other areas of executive oversight include Human Resources, Board Relations, and Information Technology Services. A talented team supports her in managing each of these areas in her executive vice president role. A critical focus of Casey’s work is developing and executing the delivery and contracting strategy for Austin’s Light Rail Program, which involves integration of a team that spans the organization, and input from industry, peer agencies and consultants with global expertise. A team of procurement and legal professionals report to her to successfully deliver the first ever light rail project for Austin.
Prior executive roles include serving as ATP’s General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer. Before joining ATP, Casey served as General Counsel and Vice President of Government Affairs for the Downtown Austin Alliance. Casey specialized in mobility policy at the Downtown Alliance and has served on the board of Bike Share Austin, as chair of ULI Austin’s Transportation Strategic Council and as a member of ULI Austin’s Advisory Board. Casey’s expertise also includes prior roles in real estate law and project delivery in Austin and Los Angeles.
She earned her JD from Loyola Law School and an MA/BA from UCLA. She is a member of the Texas, California, and New York Bar Associations.
Dorval R. Carter, Jr.
|As President of the CTA, Dorval R. Carter, Jr. oversees more than 10,000 employees and helps ensure that everyone works together in adhering to the agency’s mission of delivering quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities.
Appointed as CTA President in 2015, Mr. Carter has led the way for unprecedented investment in CTA. Under Mayors Rahm Emanuel and Lori Lightfoot, Mr. Carter has overseen more than $8 billion of projects completed, begun or announced—including the largest construction project in CTA history (the Red and Purple Modernization), the largest railcar order in the agency’s history, and the reconstruction/rehabilitation of more than 40 rail stations.
Prior to becoming CTA President, Mr. Carter served as the Acting Chief of Staff to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, managing a department with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation.
Prior to that, Mr. Carter served as Acting Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as well as FTA’s Chief Counsel, where he provided support to the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel on legal matters concerning the federal transit program.
Mr. Carter is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2019 Motorola Foundation Excellence in Public Service Award from the Civic Federation of Chicago; the Transportation Research Board’s 2021 Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lectureship; and most recently the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2021 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award, the same year the CTA was named APTA’s Outstanding Public Transportation System.
A graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Carter also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as well as the Illinois and Federal bar associations.
David C. Casarrubias-González
|David is a member of Hanson Bridgett’s Public Sector Litigation and Appellate Practice groups. He has experience representing public transit agencies throughout California in complex and multi-party litigation at all levels, including at the California Supreme Court. Notably, David has handled numerous evidentiary hearings on behalf of public transit clients like the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. He has also played key roles in defeating transit related class actions that threatened ruinous liability for major transit agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently on the faculty at the University of California, College of the Law San Francisco f/k/a UC Hastings College of the Law, where he teaches appellate advocacy.
|Bonnie Prosser Elder is General Counsel / Senior Vice President for VIA Metropolitan Transit, the transportation system for the San Antonio/Bexar County area. In this capacity, she is responsible for the oversight and coordination of legal services for the organization. She is also responsible for the risk management and claims section of the organization. Bonnie has been involved in the public sector and transportation issues for over 25 years. She is the former chair of the American Public Transit Association Legal Affairs Committee and a frequent lecturer on government/public board ethics.
As General Counsel/Senior Vice President and in other positions held within the agency, Ms. Prosser Elder has developed experience and expertise in the following areas:
Bonnie received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law
|David is General Counsel for King County Metro. Through its 5,500 employees, Metro operates the regional transportation network for the Seattle-Bellevue metropolitan area. Metro operates bus, light rail, streetcar, and passenger ferry services, providing more than 130 million annual passenger boardings.
David manages Metro’s legal services and is a member of the executive leadership team. David has been an attorney for King County for 23 years. Prior to joining Metro, David led King County’s in-house labor and employment practice as well as its litigation group. David received his J.D. from the University of Washington.
Yolanda Williams Favors
|A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Yolanda is a contract and regulatory compliance attorney with over 34 years of experience overseeing local, state, and regulatory compliance, administering complex commercial contracts, project management, and providing strategic legal and business advice to executive management. She focuses her practice on transactional and regulatory matters relating to transportation and infrastructure projects. She works with public transportation bodies, state and municipal governments, and private entities in the planning, implementing, and operating public transportation projects, including acquiring rights-of-way, fixed-guideway transit project development, and agency policies and procedures.
Yolanda is a senior project director at AtkinsRèalis. Her expertise includes advising on multifaceted construction contracts, corporate governance, multi-layered request for proposals, and various other agreements geared to minimize risk and maximize the company’s legal obligations and rights. She is also secretary of the Board of Directors for her family’s well-known charity, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, in Atlanta, GA.
With a childhood submerged in the forefront of the turbulent and violent 1960s Civil Rights Movement, Yolanda was taught to have strong principles, faith, courage, and determination. Failure was never an option even to be discussed. She has turned the lessons of her childhood and revolutionary strategies used by her father, Rev. Hosea Williams, and other civil rights icons into a “lessons learned” lecture to teach leadership principles in a corporate environment. Yolanda gives speeches around the country showing how the Civil Rights Movement’s methodologies can be used to develop individual leadership skills and allow companies to create an emotional connection with their customers.
|Cleveland Ferguson III is an attorney who works as the Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and has JTA’s Procurement Department as one of his area functional responsibilities.
Cleveland leads some of the most innovative approaches to how the JTA integrates technology to enhance services throughout all areas of the Authority. Some of those innovations include the creation of JTA University, the JTA Enterprise Metrics Management System, and the JTA See and Say app. He is also leading the Authority’s economic development efforts along JTA’s proposed autonomous vehicle routes and bus-rapid transit routes through transit-oriented development and other public-private partnerships.
|Linda Ford is General Counsel for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). As such, she provides legal advice and counsel to the association and its members. In addition, she oversees contract preparation and prepares association responses to proposed legislation and regulations.
Ford, who came to APTA in 2017, has more than 10 years of legal experience, beginning in 1995 when she served as an environmental attorney for the Indiana state government. In 2001, she took a senior attorney-advisor position with the U.S. Department of Transportation, followed by five years of serving as the Federal Transit Administration’s Assistant Chief Counsel for Legislation and Regulations. She also led FTA’s Office of Civil Rights for six years.
Ford obtained her law degree from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis and her bachelor’s degree in general science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.
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.
Chief Counsel Fultz 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.
Ms. Fultz has also authored studies and served as a committee member for the Transportation Research Board.
Prior to entering the practice of law, Ms. Fultz was a registered architect and designed and directed construction projects and feasibility studies for projects in the United States and Canada. 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.
Ms. Fultz received her JD from the American University Washington College of Law, and her AB and Master of Architecture degrees from Princeton University.
|Gene Gamez is the General Counsel for DART and provides legal advice to the DART Board of Directors, the President & Chief Executive Officer, Chief Audit Officer, Board Administrator and oversee the DART Office of General Counsel. Prior to his current position, Gene served as DART Senior Assistant General Counsel, where he defended DART in personal injury cases, labor and employment matters, contract disputes, civil rights cases, and civil appeals. Gene graduated from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law and has been a licensed attorney in the State of Texas since 1997. Gamez earned a Bachelor and a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington.
|Catherine’s practice focuses on government and public agency law. She serves as General Counsel to Redwood Coast Transit Authority and Deputy General Counsel to the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, and Purissima Hills Water District. She also serves as a key team member for clients including the San Mateo County Transit District, San Mateo County Transportation Authority, and Sacramento Regional Transit District Retirement Boards. Catherine assists the firm’s public agency clients with various legal issues such as public contracts and procurements, legislation, fees and rates, governance laws, ADA compliance, implementation of public grant programs, and ethics issues, including conflict of interest analyses.
In addition, she assists clients in developing procurement policies, manuals and template solicitation documents and contracts to streamline and standardize agencies contracting processes. She also advises on compliance with local, state and federal funding requirements, including Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regulations.
Catherine has particular enthusiasm for, and expertise in, the evolving legal landscape of data security and privacy laws and counsels clients regarding privacy policies, end-user license agreements, website terms and conditions, data breach response, and privacy issues in technology agreements.
|Ron Hartman is a member of WSP’s Advisory Services team. He provides advisory services in rail and transit operations, public agency organization, management, and governance – particularly in an operations setting, TOD, and strategic planning, Ron has 35 years of unique progressive management responsibility running large public and private organizations, both domestically and internationally. He credits his success to attention to detail and understanding people. Prior to joining WSP, Ron held senior-level posts with the Maryland Transit Administration (as GM), Amtrak, Veolia/Transdev, and Network Rail. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University in the graduate Urban Planning program.
|Ayelet Hirschkorn is a partner in the Rail Transit Group of Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell. She focuses her practice on developing and advancing infrastructure projects, including advising on issues related to construction, operations, maintenance, funding and financing; drafting and negotiating contracts; and navigating the complex regulatory environment. She has extensive experience in successfully leading capital projects and drafting and negotiating capital, real estate, and railroad contracts for public agencies. Ayelet is experienced in providing effective guidance on Federal and State policies, statutes, and regulations in railroad, environmental, utility, and procurement matters.
Ayelet also represents public and private entities before the Surface Transportation Board on matters such as railbanking, abandonment of rail lines and acquisitions of rail and bus companies.
Prior to joining Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell, Ayelet was the Senior Director of Contracts and Claims at New Jersey Transit from 2015 to 2022. While there, she the lead advocate responsible for drafting and negotiating a wide range of capital contracts for NJ TRANSIT including the NJGrid, Elizabeth Station, Long Slip Canal, County Yard, Delco Lead, Raritan River Drawbridge, Trenton Station, Newark Penn Station, North Brunswick Station, Portal North Bridge and the Hudson Tunnel Project.
Ayelet also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey where she was the lead attorney on a wide range of labor, employment and discrimination cases in both federal and state courts. She also represented the State of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Ayelet is a 2002 graduate of Rutgers Law School (Newark) where she contributed to the school’s Women’s Rights Law Journal. She also received a Certificate of Public Sector Labor Relations from Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations in 2014 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Yeshiva University.
Richard A. Juliano, IOM, CAE
|Rich Juliano is one of the nation’s leading advocates for transportation construction contractors and investment. As general counsel of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, he oversees the national group’s legal and regulatory activities, and works as a member of its government relations team. He also manages ARTBA’s Contractors Division and serves as principal liaison to its affiliated state contractor organizations, as well as staffing ARTBA’s Public Private Partnerships Division and its annual conference. He is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management (IOM).
Prior to joining ARTBA in 2002, Rich served as the White House liaison at the United States Department of Transportation under then-Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. For his service during and after the events of September 11, 2001, Rich was awarded the Transportation 9/11 Ribbon.
|Jocelyn Knoll is the leader of Dorsey’s public private partnership (P3) claims practice, and a prominent member of the Construction, Development & Infrastructure, Energy & Natural Resources, and Litigation groups. She is a former Dorsey Policy Committee (Board) member, recently stepping away from numerous formal firm leadership positions to focus on what matters most, client work. Using her deep legal experience and disciplined nature, honed as a former Division I athlete, Jocelyn has led and first-chaired some of the most important recent construction matters in the US, including in February 2023 securing the largest defense decision in a P3 construction-related trial, Denver Transit Partners v. Regional Transportation District [of Denver],venued in Denver County District Court, Colorado and arising out of the $2.2 billion Eagle P3 Commuter Rail Project. Jocelyn offers strategic and pragmatic advice to her clients to reduce legal risk during project procurement, construction, and post-completion. She works with her clients to avoid disputes; during project construction Jocelyn works with clients and other project participants to solve problems. When unresolved disputes arise, Jocelyn negotiates resolutions that make sense for her clients, serving as experienced and tested counsel in mediation, arbitration, before dispute resolutions boards and panels, and litigation of construction claims, including on P3, energy, transportation, mining, manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, education, agricultural, data center, insurance, commercial, and industrial sector projects. Jocelyn’s well-rounded experience as counsel to public and private owners, contractors, design professionals, manufacturers, and others on large construction trials and projects in the last three decades allows her to quickly digest the technical aspects of any construction claim and offer creative and pragmatic solutions to efficiently resolve disputes. Jocelyn has significant experience in disputes involving procurement and contract tenders, RFPs, construction and EPC contracts, liens, bonds, and insurance claims, and negligence claims involving architects, engineers, and other design professionals.
Michele Wong Krause
|Michele Wong Krause was appointed in 2014 by the Dallas City Council to represent Dallas on the DART Board of Directors.
DART Committee Participation
Community Service and Activities
|Jim has BS, JD, and LLM degrees. He is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and authorized to practice before the US Supreme Court, the US 7th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Court of Military Appeals. He served 22 years on active duty in the United States Army including 10 years as an enlisted military policeman and 12 as a Judge Advocate. His legal assignments included work as a criminal defense counsel, administrative law attorney, chief of administrative law, chief of litigation, combat developments officer, deputy staff judge advocate and staff judge advocate.
Following retirement, Jim joined the Federal Transit Administration, serving in the Chief Counsel’s Office. He was the FTA’s primary contracts attorney, the author of FTA’s procurement circular, and guided the third party procurement office.
In 2005, Jim moved to the APTA staff where he was the Chief Counsel and Vice President for Corporate Affairs. There, he led the transit industry’s regulatory advocacy program, providing analysis of proposed rules, training and outreach to find consensus on regulatory positions, and comments to the dockets on about 300 issues.
In 2016, Jim joined Raul V. Bravo + Associates, advising the company and its clients on a broad range of public transportation issues. He serves as RVB+A’s Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Counsel.
Jim is also the founder of RLL LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business verified by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. RLL LLC provides specialized training, procurement, and US content support to the public transportation industry.
|Jason Luebbers works as attorney in FTA’s Office of Chief Counsel, where he has served as FTA’s Buy America subject matter expert for the past 5 years. Prior to FTA, Mr. Luebbers worked as associate counsel at the Central Ohio Transit Authority. Born and raised in the Buckeye state, Mr. Luebbers received his undergraduate and law degrees from the Ohio State University.
|Bill is a Principal in the Jacksonville and Atlanta offices of Jackson Lewis, P.C. He serves as General Counsel, Counsel and/or Labor & Employment Counsel to numerous transportation agencies across the U.S. His practice focuses on representing employers in workplace law matters, including preventive practices, advice and counsel, collective bargaining and traditional labor law.
Bill has extensive experience in negotiating labor contracts with special emphasis on public sector labor relations and employment issues. He regularly represents management in labor arbitrations and other grievance resolution proceedings, in National Labor Relations Board charges (both as charging party and respondent) and assists in identifying and resolving union-management conflicts before they escalate.
Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Bill worked as Chief of Staff and Director of Legal Services for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. In addition, Bill has served for three years as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of MARTA.
|Paula Nash has been with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) since 2007. She serves as the Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion which is charged with the development, implementation, coordination, and monitoring of all equal opportunity, affirmative action, and civil rights programs required by Board policy and Federal regulations. These programs include the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program, Title VI, Title VII, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and Cultural Diversity Outreach. Paula implemented the first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at MARTA.
Previously, Paula served as Chief of Litigation and Administration in MARTA’s Legal Department, where she supervised and managed the effective defense of the Authority in all litigation matters. She provided guidance on labor and employment issues and also provided advice and assistance to department clients regarding legal and administrative matters germane to the Authority.
Paula Nash is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Political Science and Sociology. She received a Juris Doctor degree from University of Georgia and is a member of the Georgia Bar.
|Dana Nifosi currently serves as Deputy Chief Counsel, where she assists the Chief Counsel in advising the FTA leadership on all legal matters that come before the agency, including authorization and appropriations, grants, procurement, planning, environment, emergency relief, safety, innovative finance, Buy America requirements and litigation. Ms. Nifosi also is FTA’s ethics officer.
Prior to joining FTA, Ms. Nifosi was a partner and associate with Venable LLP in Washington, DC from 2000-2012, where she was a member of the firm’s Environmental and State and Local Government Practice Groups. She was involved in counseling and litigation on behalf of state and local governments and private entities in a wide variety of matters involving infrastructure development, environmental, land use, environmental and telecommunications matters, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and related environmental statutes, development of airport, highway, transit, energy and telecommunications facilities, project finance and public-private partnerships. From 1992 to 2000, Ms. Nifosi was an associate with Cutler & Stanfield, LLP in Washington, D.C., where her practice focused on litigation relating to infrastructure development and environmental law.
Ms. Nifosi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international relations and history from Tufts University and her law degree from the George Washington University School of Law. After law school she received a fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation to live and work in Bangkok, Thailand for a year on environmental issues.
Christopher S. Perry
|Christopher S. Perry (Chris) is Associate General Counsel in the Amtrak Law Department. Chris focuses on commercial litigation and Amtrak’s work before the Surface Transportation Board. Before joining Amtrak in 2022, Chris worked for 11 years on the litigation team in the General Counsel’s Office at the U.S. Department of Transportation. At DOT, Chris worked on litigation matters involving rail and all other modes of transportation, and coordinated DOT’s work before the STB and other independent federal agencies. Chris also worked in law firm practice for several years in Washington and Chicago. He clerked for Judge Gerald Tjoflat of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Chris graduated from Duke University School of Law.
|Scott joined the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Office of Civil Rights as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) in 2019. Scott is an Equal Opportunity Specialist who conducts regulatory oversight to ensure that public transportation is equitable and accessible to all Americans. Scott is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Subject Matter Expert and works extensively on DBE issues related to Transit Vehicle Manufacturers (TVM).
|David Rishel is a transit executive with more than 35 years of experience in transit and paratransit operations.
Currently, David is CEO of the Centre Area Transit Authority in State College, PA and is also Principle of Delta Services Group, Inc. a transit consulting firm. He was the founding Director of the Americans with Disabilities Act Unit of NJ Transit, where he was responsible for agency-wide accessibility of the third largest transit system in the US. While at NJT, David designed, implemented and managed the nation’s largest statewide paratransit system, serving 18 of New Jersey’s 21 counties and providing service into New York City and Philadelphia.
Since 2000, David has been a consultant working with more than 30 large and small transit systems across the US. He has specialized in accessibility, service analysis and design, organizational analysis, technology procurement and compliance reviews.
He is a past chair of the American Public Transportation Association’s Access Committee and currently serves as chair of that committee’s Transit Operations Sub Committee. David is a 1986 graduate of Penn State and is also a retired officer in the US Naval Reserve, where he specialized in surface warfare, amphibious warfare, shipping management, exercise planning and logistics.
Kenneth M. Roberts
|Chair of the Construction Law Group and Managing Partner, Venable LLP
Ken Roberts concentrates his practice on representing owners and assisting owners’ teams on large capital improvement projects to bring the projects in as close to budget and schedule as possible. Ken has worked on $45 billion worth of projects with no litigation. He works on a daily basis with owners’ teams to resolve project issues at the business table and not in the courtroom. On a regular basis, Ken provides oversight (i.e., where a project is on budget and schedule) to both corporate boards and government entities. Ken is one of the few attorneys in the country who has provided construction prudency testimony to multiple government agencies.
By combining his skills as a litigator/advocate with his transactional experience, Ken provides clients with a set of unique services designed to suit their business needs. He has authored the standard forms for service and commercial contracts utilized by numerous companies and has also advised owners during contract negotiations and major procurements. He and his team have negotiated more than $40 billion in major procurement contracts over the past several years.
Ken has provided project controls advice and project monitoring on more than 20 mega projects, ranging from newly built projects to plant expansions during limited outages. His project control engagements typically involve providing clients with realistic opinions of scheduling and cost issues, an objective appraisal of critical project issues, and resolution of disputes before they can impact ongoing work.
Ken has an extensive background in representing owners, contractors, and architect/engineers in multifaceted, complex disputes involving delays, disruption, and losses of efficiency; breaches of contracts for performance, scope of work, and payment; and complex multi-party insurance coverage issues. He has acted as the sole facilitator and sat on and chaired several dispute resolution boards involving projects ranging in size up to billions of dollars.
Ken is widely recognized for his successful use of alternate dispute resolution, having successfully resolved virtually every type of construction dispute. He and his team typically mediate 30-40 times per year, generally in relation to issues that have not reached litigation.
|Jenifer Ross-Amato is a strategic, collaborative leader in infrastructure where she provides advice on planning, implementing and managing complex, innovative projects. Jenifer is part of WSP’s Advisory Services and she leads the Third Party and Governance practice area within the Project Development team. Her expertise includes policy development, regulatory compliance, program management, procurement, contract development, commercial negotiations, stakeholder coordination, relationship management and dispute resolution. She uses a creative, solutions-focused approach to establish and maintain beneficial partnerships, negotiate resolutions and move projects forward. Prior to joining WSP, Jenifer led the legal team at the Regional Transportation District (RTD) in Denver as interim general counsel and deputy general counsel.
|Ben Schweigert is a Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, serving as general counsel to the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and Hennepin County Public Works. In that role, he supervises a team of attorneys providing a full range of transactional, litigation, and advisory legal services for the County’s transportation, housing, and environmental departments. He specializes in advising county leaders on legal, governance, and strategic issues related to the county’s transit and infrastructure projects, with extensive experience negotiating complex agreements, supervising high-stakes litigation, and advancing legislative initiatives. Prior to his current role, he served as a financial crimes prosecutor and legislative liaison for the County Attorney’s Office. He previously practiced at Davis Polk and Wardwell LLP in New York City and clerked for the Honorable Pierre N. Level of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a graduate, magna cum laude, of the University of Michigan Law School, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Swarthmore College.
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. Additionally, he serves on the Board of MPact (formerly Rail-Volution) and the Transportation Technology Center, Inc.
He is also a long-time member of WTS International and is its 2020 recipient of the Honorable Ray LaHood Award. Under Skoutelas’s tenure, APTA also received the Employer of the Year Award from the WTS-DC chapter. Skoutelas has been a long-standing member and sponsor of 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.
|Bruce M. Smith, Member, Apperson Crump PLC, Memphis TN, is General Counsel to Memphis Area Transit Authority. His transit practice includes legal aspects of projects from initial planning to opening; regulatory matters including Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Buy America, and third-party contracting compliance; representation of transit boards; and Section 13c issues. He’s been recognized as a Power Player in Labor and Employment Law by the Memphis Business Journal, serves as the Ethics Officer for his firm and is a former Hearing Panel Member of the Board of Professional Responsibility of the Supreme Court of Tennessee.
Mr. Smith has decades of experience representing transit authorities both locally and nationally, having served on and holding leadership positions on the Transportation Research Board’s Transit & Intermodal Transportation Law Committee and American Public Transit Association Legal Affairs Committee. He is a sought-after speaker and author on 13(c), labor and employment issues, transit procurement, federal regulatory issues, funding and financing, ADA compliance, and safety, to name but a few.
|Byron Smith is the General Counsel for GoTriangle, a regional transportation authority located in Research Triangle Park, NC. For more than 15 years, he has advised clients on a broad range of contract, procurement, transit development and rail matters in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a lead negotiator, as well as a key team member, in developing negotiation strategies for multimillion-dollar contracts for commuter rail, transit oriented development and design build, bridge infrastructure projects. He has been the lead counsel for transit development projects, assuming responsibility for and leading teams of legal, engineering, finance and other professionals in the development of procurement and contract documents. Prior to his appointment as General Counsel at GoTriangle, he was a partner at Kaplan Kirsch and Rockwell LLP in the Firm’s Washington, DC office and a former Assistant Attorney General and Principal Counsel with the Maryland Transit Administration.
|Chuck Spitulnik is a partner at Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP in the Washington, D.C. office. He has spent his entire legal career representing both public and private sector clients on issues relating, in one way or another, to the rail industry. For the past 30 years, his practice has focused on representation of state and local governments in addressing issues related to the rail companies that serve their communities or to the issues that arise when those communities develop and implement plans for operation of rail transit systems, whether commuter rail, light rail, or heavy rail systems.
Chuck regularly advises clients on issues related to negotiation of agreements with both freight railroads and Amtrak for acquisition or use of their lines; developing arrangements (including the procurement documents when required) with those railroads and with third-party operators for the operation of the rail transit systems in that right-of-way; compliance with the complex web of federal legislation and regulation of the rail industry as well as with state laws and other requirements; and understanding and addressing the unique features of the rail and transit-related labor laws and the protections available to workers in the industry.
Chuck also advises private industries regarding their relationships with rail carriers and has assisted companies in the formation of their own proprietary industry or switching carriers to enable them to have better control over their own transportation needs. Before shifting his focus to representation of the public sector, Chuck gained extensive experience representing freight carriers in the planning and submission of transactions that require governmental approval.
Chuck has expertise in the acquisition, leasing, and financing of rail equipment and other issues related to rail equipment ownership, including the regulation of rail equipment pools. He practices regularly before the Surface Transportation Board and interacts frequently with regulators from the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration, assisting clients in ensuring compliance with—and, when appropriate, seeking waivers from—those agencies’ rules.
Chuck received his JD from the University of Virginia in 1979, an MSW from Syracuse University in 1975, and an A.B. with High Honors from Oberlin College in 1973.
|Jane serves as counsel to transit agencies across the country on a range of issues including funding, project development, and procurement. She is co-chair of the Firm’s national Public Transit practice.
An advisor to several transit authorities around the country, Jane counsels clients on procurement issues, such as contracting for transit operating and maintenance services, and the purchase of vehicles (including innovative technologies) and equipment, compliance with requirements of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), including Buy America, and the development of and funding associated with capital investment projects, including bus rapid transit (BRT) projects. Jane’s work also includes labor protection issues under section 13(c) of the Federal Transit Act; including claims, certification disputes before the Department of Labor and in arbitration, and labor issues associated with the contracting of transit services.
Finding available funding opportunities is key to the success of the Nation’s mass transit systems. Having served as Counsel to the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives, Jane understands the congressional authorization and appropriations process and works with clients to develop effective approaches for funding and statutory changes. Jane’s Hill experience enables her to effectively formulate and advocate positions on legislation, develop advocacy documents and legislative language, analyze legislation and advise clients on the legislative process as well as the implementation of enacted legislation by the Executive Branch. Jane closely monitored Congress’ recent passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and is tracking the implementation of this new infrastructure legislation by FTA and DOT, and associated legislative appropriations measures.
Jane has helped transit agencies ensure compliance with Federal statutes and regulations, and navigate the FTA process and the programmatic requirements with which capital investment projects and contracting solicitations must comply.
In addition, Jane and members of the Firm’s litigation group have successfully represented transit clients in environmental litigation, arbitration, and challenges to contracting actions and state legislation.
|Stacie Tiongson joined the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) as the Senior Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy in 2018. She assists in the management of APTA’s lobbying efforts on federal legislative issues that affect the public transportation industry on Capitol Hill. Stacie also serves as the staff advisor for three subcommittees of the APTA Legislative Committee: Commuter and Intercity Passenger Rail, Federal Procedures and Regulations, and Funding, Finance and Tax Policy. For more than a decade, Stacie worked on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where she served as the Deputy Chief Counsel of the Committee and, prior to that, as the Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Aviation. Immediately prior to joining APTA, Stacie served as the Executive Director of Academic Affairs at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Stacie earned her law degree from the Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, and her undergraduate degree at Marymount University.
Erik Van Hagen
|Director, Legal Services, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet).
Erik has served in a variety of legal roles since joining TriMet in 2008. He is currently responsible for managing TriMet’s in-house litigation team. Erik also advises the agency on a variety of topics including security and enforcement, public records, technology, compliance, policy, and legislation.
|Fred Wagner focuses on environmental and natural-resources issues associated with major infrastructure, mining, and energy project development. Fred manages and defends environmental reviews performed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or equivalent state statutes. He works with public agencies and private developers to secure permits and approvals from federal and state regulators under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Fred understands the full range of issues surrounding U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) surface transportation programs, including grant management, procurement, suspension and debarment, and safety regulations.
During his career, Fred has handled a wide variety of environmental litigation in federal trial and appellate courts across the country, from citizen suits to government enforcement actions and Administration Procedure Act (APA) challenges.
Fred was appointed chief counsel of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) during the Obama administration. He managed all legal matters involving the $40 billion Federal-Aid Highway program, including environmental and natural resources issues for highway and multimodal transportation projects. Among other high-profile projects, he oversaw the agency’s defense of the following: New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge, San Francisco’s Presidio Parkway, Chicago’s Elgin-O’Hare Expressway, Kentucky and Indiana’s Ohio River Bridges, North Carolina’s Bonner Bridge, Alabama’s Birmingham Northern Beltline, Wisconsin’s Zoo Interchange, and Washington’s State Road 520 Bridge. He represented the FHWA on the government-wide Transportation Rapid Response Team, a multi-agency task force focused on improving project delivery and environmental review reforms.
Fred began his career as a trial attorney in the Environment Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Misdemeanor Trial Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining Venable, he spent more than 20 years in private practice at a national law firm focusing on environmental and natural resources issues.
|A native of Kentucky, David Wilkins received his B.A. from Western Kentucky University in 2002, a M.A. from the University of Louisville in 2004, and his J.D. from Saint Louis University in 2007. Originally practicing as a civil litigation defense attorney in Missouri and Illinois, David relocated to Utah in 2013 and joined the Utah Attorney General’s Office in 2015. David has represented the Utah Transit Authority since 2018, becoming a Section Director and chief counsel for the agency in 2019. As the Director of Transit Law, David’s practice touches just about every aspect of the agency in areas as diverse as regulatory compliance, legislative issues, open meetings law, public records law, labor law, and employment law. In addition to his duties with the Utah Transit Authority, David volunteers his time to serve as General Counsel to the HeritageRail Alliance, Inc., the trade association for the tourist railroad and railway museum industry, where he also chairs the organization’s regulatory committee and serves as an alternate member to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Rail Safety Advisory Committee.
|Nicole practices government and public agency law, with a focus on transit. She serves as Deputy General Counsel to Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District and San Joaquin Regional Transit District. She assists Hanson Bridgett’s public agency clients with various legal issues such as public contracts and procurements, legislation, revenue measures, governance laws, and ethics issues, including conflict of interest analyses.
Nicole has particular expertise in public contracting, including assisting transit clients in developing contract templates for federally funded procurements and providing guidance and advice in responding to FTA reviews. She also assists clients with complex procurements and infrastructure projects, including complex design-build agreements. Nicole helps clients, both public and private, navigate unique project delivery challenges in the public contracting arena. She drafts and advises clients on contracts in areas including public works, the purchase of goods and services, and funding agreements.