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Meet the Commission Members


Ray LaHood, Senior Policy Advisor, DLA Piper

Ray LaHood currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor for DLA Piper, one of the largest business law firms in the world, and he is the former US Department of Transportation Secretary. With a 36-year career in public service, Secretary LaHood has extensive experience on major national policy issues, among them transportation and infrastructure. He served as the 16th Department of Transportation Secretary from 2009 to 2013 and quickly became known as a bipartisan leader and skilled conciliator in a highly partisan environment. Secretary LaHood's tenure was marked by landmark efforts to improve safety in every mode of transportation, from aviation and rail to pipelines and automobiles. Secretary LaHood also achieved more stringent fuel efficiency requirements from automakers, took steps to address airline pilot fatigue and turned the problem of distracted driving into a national concern. As Secretary of Transportation, he oversaw an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a US$70 billion budget in charge of air, maritime and surface transportation. Before heading the US Department of Transportation, Secretary LaHood served from 1995 to 2009 in the US House of Representatives on behalf of the 18th District of Illinois and also served on various House committees, among them the powerful House Appropriations Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. He served as chief of staff to US House Minority Leader Robert Michel from 1982 to 1994. He was director of the Rock Island County Youth Services Bureau from 1972 to 1974; chief planner of the Bi-States Metropolitan Planning Commission from 1974 to 1977; and district administrative assistant for US Congressman Tom Railsback from 1977 to 1982. Ray LaHood currently serves as Co-chair of Building America's Future, a national bipartisan coalition dedicated to infrastructure investment.

Jane Garvey, North America Chairman, Meridiam Infrastructure

Ms. Garvey has held a number of senior positions across the public and private infrastructure sector in the United States, most recently serving on the Transition Team for President Barack Obama with a focus on transportation policies and related challenges facing the new Administration. Prior to that, Ms. Garvey head the U.S. Public/Private Partnerships advisory group at JPMorgan, where she advised states on financing strategies to facilitate much-needed project delivery for state governments. From 1997 to 2002, she served as the 14th Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), having been nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in August 1997. She was the first FAA administrator to serve a five year term and was responsible for navigating the industry through the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Prior to becoming FAA Administrator, Ms. Garvey served as Acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Among her accomplishments at FHWA, she conceived and developed the Innovative Financing Initiative, enabling states to use federal highway funds more effectively. Most the funds-management methods tested by more than 30 states under this initiative were later enacted into law. Before joining the FHWA, Ms. Garvey was director of Boston's Logan International Airport. From 1988 to 1991, she was Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public works.

Ms. Garvey has received numerous awards and public recognition, including the National Air Transportation Association's Distinguished Service Award, the National Council of Public-Private Partnerships Leadership Award, the National Award of Excellence for Public Leaders, and the Woman of the Year Award from Women in Transportation and Women in Politics. In 2002, the Association of Road and Transportation Builders Association presented her with their highest honor, as she joined the list of "The Hundred Leaders in Transportation in the 20th Century". Ms. Garvey currently serves as Chairman of Board of the Bipartisan Policy Project in DC. She also serves on several corporate boards and commissions, including United Airlines.


Rohit T. "Rit" Aggarwala, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Dr. Aggarwala's teaching and research covers topics such as cities, transportation, and the environment, from the perspectives of a former public official, policy expert, and historian. In addition to his teaching and research at SIPA, he currently serves as a Principal at Bloomberg Associates, where he leads the sustainability practice, and advises Michael R. Bloomberg in his capacity as a United Nations Special Envoy on Cities and Climate Change. He is also co-chair of the Fourth Regional Plan of the Regional Plan Association of New York. From 2010 to 2013, he was Special Advisor to the Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and created the environmental grant making program at Bloomberg Philanthropies. From 2006 to 2010, Aggarwala was the Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for the City of New York. In that role, he led the development and implementation of New York City's sustainability plan, PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York. He was also one of the architects of Mayor Bloomberg's effort to bring congestion pricing to Manhattan, and served as the mayor's point person on Building America's Future, a coalition promoting investment in infrastructure. Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration, Aggarwala was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he mainly served clients in the transportation and logistics industry in the United States and Europe. In addition to work at the New York State Assembly and the Virginia Railway Express, he began his career at the Federal Railroad Administration. He serves on several boards, including that of the Regional Plan Association; the Urban Green Council; the advisory boards of the Eno Transportation Foundation and New World Capital (a private equity firm); and is a trustee of St. Stephen's School in Rome, Italy.

Richard T. Anderson, President, New York Building Congress

Richard T. Anderson is a nationally recognized association executive and urban planner. An advocate of effective infrastructure and economic development, he has dedicated more than 50 years to promoting the long-term growth of America's foremost urban centers, primarily New York City. Mr. Anderson has been the president of the NY Building Congress since 1994, overseeing the re-emergence of the 93 year-old public policy coalition, which represents the design, construction and real estate community. Prior to that, Mr. Anderson was President of the Regional Plan Association.

Kate Ascher, Associate Professor, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Kate Ascher is the Milstein Professor of Urban Development at Columbia, as well as a Partner at Buro Happold in NYC. Her public sector work has involved overseeing major infrastructure and master planning projects for the NYC metropolitan region, including the development of waste, telecommunications and energy plans in cooperation with community, environmental, business and other advocacy groups. In the private sector, she has worked in management consulting and corporate finance in London and at Vornado Realty Trust in New York, where she oversaw the negotiation of subway bonus and community benefits agreements associated with several commercial office projects in midtown Manhattan. She is the author of a number of books on urban infrastructure, transportation, and municipal service delivery and previously served as the executive producer of a PBS documentary on the impact of technology on the working waterfront. She serves on the Board of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center.

Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Transit Commission

Andy Byford was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission in March 2012. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the largest transit agency in Canada, and the third largest in North America, carrying over 500 million riders on an annual basis. Andy joined the TTC as Chief Operating Officer in November, 2011 and was responsible for the delivery of safe, punctual, reliable bus, streetcar, subway and Wheel-Trans services.

From 2009 to 2011, as Chief Operating Officer of Rail Corporation, Sydney, Australia, Mr. Byford was responsible for delivery of service to a million customers a day on Australia's largest transit network. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Byford held the positions of Operations Director and Operations and Safety Director with Southern Railway and South Eastern Trains Limited, UK.
During his tenure with London Underground from 1989 to 2003, he held a variety of managerial positions including Station Manager, Kings Cross and General Manager-Customer Service for three of the busiest subway lines.

Frank Chin, Managing Director, Public Finance Department, Municipal Securities Division, Citi

Frank Chin went to Stuyvesant High School in NYC. He then graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1971, a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973 and received his MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1978.

He worked for the New York City Transportation Administration between 1974 and 1976 as a planner and analyst. During his career with the City he was involved in a number of major projects.

He joined the Smith Barney, Harris Upham's Public Finance Department in 1978. Through a series of mergers, it is now part of Citigroup. He became head of the Public Finance Department in 1993. During the period between 1994 and 2013 the Public Finance Department was ranked #1 in Negotiated Long Term Municipal Issuance for 16 out of 20 years. His experience has been in all areas of Municipal Securities banking, with a particular emphasis on Airports, Transportation, various Infrastructure Projects and Major Municipal Issuers.

He is a past member of the Board of Directors of The Bond Markets Association (TBMA), and Vice Chairman of the Municipal Division of the TBMA during 2001 and Chairman during 2002. He served as a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) in between 2005 and 2008, serving as Chairman in 2008. In 2013, the Municipal Forum of New York presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication to excellence. He is married and has two children.

Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, London, England

Ms. Dedring spent five years at Transport for London as Director, Policy Unit and before that as Chief of Staff to the Transport Commissioner. Isabel has also worked for Mckinsey and Ernst and Young. She has degrees in law from Harvard and is a qualified lawyer in the US. She is from Queens, NY.

Alain Flausch, Secretary-General, International Association of Public Transport

Alain Flausch was selected Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) in September 2011 by UITP Executive Board, having served as chairman of the sub-committee on Finance & Commerce of the International Metro Committee (2001-2009), the UITP Executive and Policy Boards (2004-2009), Executive member of the International Metro Committee (UITP- 2001/2009), member of the Transport Management Committee (UITP) and Chairman of the Design & Culture Platform. Mr Flausch is also the President of the Belgium Union of Regional Public Transports (UBTCUR), which gathers the three national public transport companies. From September 1973 to January 1982 Mr Flausch was an attorney at the cabinet Simont Gutt & Simont in Brussels.

Dall Forsythe, Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Finance, Wagner

Dall W. Forsythe teaches governmental and nonprofit financial management. His current research interests center on the use of cost benefit analysis in budgeting, on securities regulation, and on the finances of New York City and New York State. In government, he served as budget director for the State of New York and for the New York City Board of Education. In the private sector, he worked as a managing director in Lehman Brother's public finance department. In the nonprofit sector, Forsythe served as chief administrative officer of the Episcopal Diocese of New York for four years and CFO of Atlantic Philanthropies. Before joining the faculty of the Wagner School, Forsythe held faculty positions at Columbia University; the Kennedy School at Harvard; the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College (CUNY); and SUNY's University of Albany. He also spent three years as a senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany. He is author of two books, including Memos to the Governor: An Introduction to State Budgeting (Georgetown University Press, 2004). He also edited Quicker, Better, Cheaper? Performance Management in American Government (Rockefeller Institute Press, 2001). In 1998, he received the S. Kenneth Howard Award, a career achievement award from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM).Forsythe is a member of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, and has served as a member or chair of a number of nonprofit boards.

Craig Gotsman, Professor, Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, New York City

Professor Craig Gotsman was the founding director of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute (JTCII), a key component of the new Cornell Tech graduate campus in New York City. The JTCII is the embodiment of the partnership between Cornell University and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, selected by the Bloomberg administration to generate the next generation of entrepreneurial tech talent required to fuel the growth of the tech sector in New York City. The focus of the JTCII is information technologies as related to connective media, healthier life and the built environment (including transportation systems).

Currently a professor at the JTCII, Prof. Gotsman holds the Technion's Hewlett-Packard Chair in Computer Engineering. Straddling academia and industry, he holds ten U.S. patents, and started three tech companies, one commercializing research done at the Technion and one related to traffic data collection and usage. He has also consulted for numerous small and large companies including Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Nokia, Autodesk, Shell Oil and Disney.

Prof. Gotsman received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1991. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard University, INRIA Sophia Antipolis (France) and ETH Zurich (Switzerland), and a research scientist at MIT.

Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York

Gary LaBarbera has served since 2009 as president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, an organization consisting of local affiliates of 15 national and international unions representing 100,000 working men and women in New York City.

Within weeks of assuming this position, Mr. LaBarbera embarked on ambitious negotiations for project labor agreements to provide labor cost savings to advance major public and private projects at risk of stalling due to the economic recession.

These efforts culminated in project labor agreements for $6 billion of public work with the City of New York and the New York City School Construction Authority that are saving taxpayers $335 million. In addition, $15 billion of private work has been brought under project labor agreements in New York City to create thousands of union construction jobs.

Prior to serving as president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, Mr. LaBarbera served organized labor in several other capacities, including president of the New York City Central Labor Council, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16 and president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 282.

Having been actively involved in the Teamsters since the early 1980s, Mr. LaBarbera served as a steward prior to being appointed as a business agent. He was one of the first members of Local 282 to graduate from the Labor Studies Program at Cornell University's School of Industrial Labor Relations in 1994.

Mr. LaBarbera is currently a vice president of the New York City Central Labor Council and a vice president of the New York State AFL-CIO.

He serves on the NYC Committee on Construction Work Force and Contracting Opportunity as an appointee of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and on the New York City Regional Economic Development Council as an appointee of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In addition to his numerous business commitments, Mr. LaBarbera has contributed significantly to many charities and educational programs, including the Cardinal's Committee of the Laity, Jewish National Fund, Boy Scouts of America - Greater NY Council, Angel Guardians for the Elderly and Friends of St. Dominic's. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Outreach Project and the Samaritan Foundation.

Mr. LaBarbera and his wife are the proud parents of three children; two daughters and one son who serves his country proudly as a U.S. Marine.

Kevin Law, President and CEO, Long Island Association

Mr. Law is president and CEO of the Long Island Association, one of the most respected business organizations in New York State. His efforts are focused on economic development and creating a better business climate on Long Island. Prior to that, Mr. Law was President and CEO of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the 2nd largest public utility in the country where he launched the largest energy efficiency program for any public utility. Previously, Mr. Law served as Chief Deputy County Executive for Suffolk County, New York, which is the ninth largest county in the country. Mr. Law was also the Managing Partner of the Long Island office of Nixon Peabody LLP, an international law firm. Before joining Nixon Peabody, Mr. Law was the Director of Real Estate for the Suffolk County Department of Law and the Assistant Suffolk County Executive for Planning, Housing and Environmental. Prior to his tenure with Suffolk County, Mr. Law worked for the New York State Assembly as a legislative assistant to the Sub-Committee on the Long Island Economy. Mr. Law has served on many boards, including his appointment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as Co-Chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, a board that is leading the economic development initiatives in the region.

Robert Lieber, Chairman, ULI New York

Robert Lieber is the Executive Managing Director of the Island Capital Group and the former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development in the administration of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. As a longtime ULI leader, Mr. Lieber has been actively involved with the organization since 1992 and is a Trustee, a member of the Board of Directors for ULI and a Governor of the ULI Foundation, the philanthropic extension of ULI that supports the Institute's program of work. Prior to joining Island Capital Group in 2010 and the Bloomberg administration in January 2007, Mr. Lieber held executive positions at Lehman Brothers for 23 years, including the Global Head of Real Estate Investment Banking.

Enrique Peñalosa, Former Mayor of Bogota, Colombia

Enrique Penalosa is a thinker in the urban field, whose vision and proposals have significantly influenced policies throughout the world. His advisory work concentrates on mobility, equity and public space. Mr. Peñalosa is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy of New York; he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Southern California Institute of Architecture SCI-Arc; member of CITISCOPE Board of Directors; member of the London School of Economics´ Cities Program Advisory Board; Scholar of the Institute of Urban Research of the University of Pennsylvania. During his tenure as mayor of Bogotá (1998-2001), Peñalosa led massive efforts related to transportation, land use and housing for the poor, pollution abatement, and the critical need for public spaces. In a city of 6.5 million inhabitants with no subway system, Peñalosa restricted traffic during peak hours to reduce rush hour traffic by 40 percent and convinced the City Council to increase the tax on gasoline. Half of the revenues generated by the increase were then poured into a BRT (bus rapid transit) system that currently serves 2.3 million Bogotá residents daily. In 1998-2000 he created a 300 kilometer network of protected bicycle paths including some 60 kilometers of bicycle highways, which led Bogotá ridership to increase from practically nothing to nearly 7% of trips today. Previous positions include Managing Director, Arthur D. Little Consulting, Colombian Office; President, Colombian Institute of Mortgage Banks (ICAV); Economic Secretary to the Colombian President; Dean of the Business Administration Faculty at Externado de Colombia University; Commercial and Administrative Vice-president of the Bogotá Water and Sewage Company, among others. He was elected to the House of the Representatives of the Colombian Congress and to the Bogotá City Council. He has received numerous awards and honors. Peñalosa has published many articles and a book: Democracy and Capitalism: Challenges of the Coming Century. Recently he was candidate to the Presidency of Colombia for the Green Party.

Robert Puentes, Director, Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Robert Puentes is a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program where he also directs the Program's Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. The Initiative was established to address the pressing transportation and infrastructure challenges facing cities and suburbs in the United States and abroad.

Denise Richardson, Managing Director, General Contractors Association of New York

Denise Richardson is the Managing Director of the General Contractors Association of New York, a trade association that represents New York City's unionized, heavy civil, public works general contractors. Prior to joining the GCA, Ms. Richardson had a long career with both the MTA and New York City government in construction contract procurement, administration and financial management. Ms. Richardson is also on the boards of the Regional Plan Association, the Citizens Budget Commission, the New York City Transit Museum and the ACE Mentor Program.

Gene Russianoff, Staff Attorney, Straphangers Campaign

Mr. Russianoff is staff attorney and chief spokesman for NYPIRG's Straphangers Campaign, a New York City-based public transport advocacy group that focuses primarily on subway and bus services run by New York City Transit.

Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Veronica joined TSTC in the summer of 2007 as a policy advocate to build support for New York City's congestion pricing plan. A year later, she was promoted to associate director. In June of 2012, she was appointed by the board of directors as executive director. TSTC's mission is to reduce car dependency, and greenhouse gas emissions, by providing people with alternatives to driving. Prior to joining the TSTC, Veronica worked at the Rainforest Alliance, an international conservation organization, and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection on its Waste Water Treatment Upgrade Program to protect New York City's watershed. Veronica has served on a variety of panels and groups, including the Mass Transit Task Force for the Tappan Zee Bridge. She chairs the board of the Bronx River Alliance, which works to protect, improve, and restore the Bronx River corridor and greenway, and is on the board of Vision Long Island, which advances environmentally sustainable growth and development.

David Waboso, Director, Capital Programmes, London Underground

David Waboso is Director of Capital Programmes at London Underground where he oversees a £1.3bn annual upgrade programme – the biggest in the company's history. The investment programme includes trains, track, signals, stations, power supplies, control systems and all related works. David has a team of over 3,200 people working directly for him, with another 15,000-20,000 people in the supply chain.

David is an internationally renowned engineer and project manager and has worked for some of the world's most prestigious engineering and consulting firms on infrastructure programmes in the UK and internationally. His first experience in railways was with the Docklands Light Railway, where in 1996 he was awarded UK Project Manager of the Year. Following this he was recruited to the Jubilee Line Extension to take charge of completing the trains and signalling systems in time for millennium opening.

He worked in Europe for a period as the UK representative on the European Rail Agency, and he has also worked on world-bank funded infrastructure developments in Africa. He held the position of Director Technical, at the Strategic Rail Authority where he led £multi-Billion cross-industry programmes as well as being a non-executive director of the Rail Safety and Standards Board.

David has advised governments and agencies around the world on Railway strategy. He is a recent President of CoMet (the international organization of Metros), working to share and benchmark best practice. A Chartered Engineer, he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers, and a Fellow of the Association for Project Management, and also holds a Fellowship to the City and Guilds Institute. He was recently awarded a CBE for services to transport in London.

Mark Willis, Executive Director, NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy

Mark Willis is the Executive Director and a Resident Research Fellow at the Furman Center. Before joining the Center, Mark was a Visiting Scholar at the Ford Foundation, working on research related to community development and the financial services sector. Prior to his time at Ford, Mark spent 19 years at JPMorgan Chase, overseeing its community development programs and products to help strengthen low- and moderate-income communities. Among his many accomplishments there, Mark founded the Chase Community Development Corporation. Before joining Chase, Mark held various positions in economic development and tax policy with the City of New York, including Deputy Commissioner for Development at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and was an urban economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mark teaches Housing and Community Development Policy at New York University's Wagner School and speaks often on urban, housing, and community development affairs. He chairs the Program Planning Committee of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and a number of other boards involved with housing and community development.

Larry Wolinsky, Chair, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

Mr. Wolinsky is chair of the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, a not-for-profit policy, planning, advocacy and research organization whose mission is to promote regional, balanced and sustainable solutions that enhance the growth and vitality of the Hudson Valley. Pattern brings together business, nonprofit, academic and government leaders from across as many as nine counties to collaborate on regional approaches to affordable/workforce housing, municipal sharing and local government efficiency, land use policy, transportation and other infrastructure issues that most impact the growth and vitality of the regional economy. Besides serving in this position, Mr. Wolinsky is the Managing Partner of the law firm of Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP, where he heads the firm's environmental/land use team. He has played an integral part in the creation and implementation of many of the Valley's most regionally significant development projects, applying his planning background to ensure responsible land use in the region. He is a charter member of the American Planning Association and serves on the board and executive committee of the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development and the board of the College Foundation at SUNY New Paltz.

Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO, Partnership for New York City

Kathryn Wylde is president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, the city's leading business organization. The Partnership works with leaders of business, government, labor and the not-for-profit sectors to build a stronger New York, with a focus on education, infrastructure and the economy.

Ms. Wylde has been with the Partnership since 1982. She served for fourteen years as founding president and chief executive officer of the Housing Partnership Development Corporation where she was instrumental in the creation of pioneering initiatives in affordable housing at the local, state and national levels. Under her leadership, more than $2 billion in private funds were invested in public-private partnerships that produced affordable housing and commercial developments throughout New York's most economically distressed communities.

Ms. Wylde was also founding president and chief executive officer of the Partnership Fund, a $110 million civic fund that has helped to diversify the city's economy, create thousands of jobs and promote entrepreneurial business initiatives across the five boroughs.

She serves on the boards of many institutions, including the Lutheran Medical Center, NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Leadership Academy, Research Alliance for NYC Schools, Manhattan Institute and the Governor's Regional Economic Development Council.

Robert D. Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association

Mr. Yaro is President of Regional Plan Association, the nation's oldest independent metropolitan policy, research, and advocacy group. RPA promotes the livability, vitality, and sustainability of the New York metropolitan region. Mr. Yaro led development of and co-authored RPA's Third Regional Plan, A Region at Risk, and is now leading efforts to create a fourth strategic plan for the region. He is also Co-Chair of the Empire State Transportation Alliance, which promotes public support for investments in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's capital program. In addition to leading RPA, Mr. Yaro is Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

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