Team - TransitCenter
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Stephanie Lotshaw
Executive Director

As one of the inaugural staff members at TransitCenter, Stephanie has been involved in its grantmaking, research, and operations since 2015. Over the past 8 years, she has worked closely with and supported dozens of grassroots and grasstops organizations across the country, built relationships with transportation and transit professionals, and led programs such as Women Changing Transportation, a program to foster community and power amongst women in the transportation field. She has served as Acting Executive Director since March. Prior to TransitCenter, Stephanie worked at the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) on bus rapid transit projects in the U.S., Kenya, and Uganda. Stephanie has 15 years of professional experience in the transportation and international development sectors. She received a Master of Social Science, Honors from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Colorado College.

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Mary Dailey
Senior Director

Mary Dailey is a skilled organizer and non-profit manager.

From 2005 to 2017 she worked with the Center for Community Change where she was part of the organization’s Executive Team.  Mary managed national campaigns and re-granting programs in the areas of job creation, retirement security and healthcare. She was part of the decision making group behind Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the coalition largely credited with passage of the Affordable Care Act.

From 1986 to 2005 Mary organized with, and was Executive Director of, the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.  While with the NWBCCC she helped drive city and state coalitions to expand tenant protections, expand proactive enforcement of the housing code, increase capital spending on housing preservation and production, and curb speculative lending and underwriting by institutional lenders and mortgage brokers.

She lives in south Yonkers with her marriage partner Howard Banker and goes to off-broadway plays whenever possible.

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Hayley Richardson
Director, Strategic Communications

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Josanne Jackson
Director, Operations, Administration & Finance

Josanne oversees accounting, auditing, banking, investment, budget preparation and tracking, and all financial transactions in which the organization is involved. In addition to maintaining day-to-day controls, she is also responsible for strategic financial analysis.

She oversees human resource functions, IT systems, and office operations. She also manages and continually improves the major administrative systems necessary to make the organization function smoothly.

Josanne currently holds a B.S. in Management Studies and is pursuing a Master’s degree in General Psychology.

She enjoys kickboxing, reading, baking, and traveling in her leisure time.

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Chris Van Eyken
Director, Research & Policy

Chris’s work focuses on encouraging transit agencies to adopt best practices and needed reforms. Chris has advocated for better transit as an agency staff member and as an external advocate. He has provided technical support to agencies in the US and abroad.

Chris holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a Master of Urban Planning from Hunter College.

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Mary Buchanan
Manager, Research & Policy

Mary provides research and analytical support to TransitCenter programs. This entails working with industry experts to identify trends in transit as well as helping transit agencies and advocates to understand transit performance and ridership.

Mary holds a B.A. in Economics and French from Rice University and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.

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Kapish Singla
Manager, Strategic Communications

Kapish programs events at TransitCenter. He works to identify pressing transit-related discussions to develop into informative panels and film screenings. He is also the host of TransitCenter's podcast, High Frequency.

Kapish holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.A. from New York University.

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Eric Lundy
Program Manager, Field Program & Grantee Relationships

Eric brings over a decade of experience in organizing, training, and coalition building to TransitCenter. In his current role, he works to provide advocates across the country with the resources and tools they need to fight for better transit in their community, through grant-making, joint strategic planning, and leadership development.

Eric is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ratna Amin
Chair, TransitCenter & Founder and President, Infragarden

Ratna Amin is founder and president of Infragarden, guiding leadership teams within infrastructure and public system organizations. She practices visual planning/strategy and awareness-based systems change. She’s also a speaker and media host. She recently served as an advisor to executives with the City of Oakland, Caltrain, Deutsche Bahn Engineering and Consulting, and was Transportation Policy Director for the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), where she led the development of significant policy initiatives including Transit+Design, Four Scenarios for the Future of the Bay Area and the Caltrain Corridor Vision Plan. She has a history of navigating complex societal challenges like transit governance and investment and education policy with diverse stakeholders across government, business and civic sectors. She was named Board Chair of TransitCenter in 2022 and also serves on the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation Board.

Ratna has Master's Degrees in City and Regional Planning and Transportation Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Ratna was named the Bay Area Women’s Transportation Seminar Woman of the Year in 2018 and Mass Transit Magazine “40 under 40” in 2018. She’s a proud Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and Teach for America alum.

Christof Spieler
Vice Chair, TransitCenter & Vice President, Huitt-Zollars

Christof Spieler, PE, AICP, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars, a former member of the board of directors of Houston Metro, and a Senior Lecturer at the Rice University Schools of Architecture and Engineering. At Huitt-Zollars, he has led land use and transportation planning projects in a variety of settings. At Metro, he initiated the Transit System Reimagining process, a blank sheet re-design of the entire bus system.

He has spoken and written extensively on transit and urban design and has assisted with the development of APTA and NACTO transit guidelines. His book "Trains, Buses, People: an Opinionated Atlas of US Transit" was published in 2018 by Island Press. He holds a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from Rice University and is a licensed professional engineer. He lives in downtown Houston and relies on transit for most of his daily trips.

Lisa Bender
Treasurer, TransitCenter & Former President, Minneapolis City Council

Lisa Bender was first elected to the Minneapolis City Council in 2013 and re-elected in 2017, when she was unanimously supported by her colleagues to serve as President of the City Council. She completed her tenure at the beginning of 2022.

Prior to taking office, Lisa earned a Master's Degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley  and had over a decade of experience in shaping transportation and land use choices to make cities more equitable and sustainable. In her first term, Lisa’s leadership helped pass the midwest’s first $15 local minimum wage, invest in community-led approaches to violence prevention and community safety, and pass a $400 million investment in Complete Streets that are safe for all users. In her second term term, Lisa prioritized a Comprehensive Plan focused on race equity and environmental justice, the city’s Complete Streets and Vision Zero commitments, and more protections for renters facing housing instability. Lisa is mom to two young children and is a champion for getting more change-makers, women, and people of color into elected office.

Jennifer Dill
Secretary, TransitCenter & Professor and Director, Transportation Research and Education Center, Portland State University (PSU)

Dr. Dill is an internationally-recognized scholar focusing on interactions between transportation, the built environment, and health, particularly, bicycling, walking, and transit. She directs the Transportation Research and Education Center at PSU, and serves on journal editorial boards and committees of the Transportation Research Board. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Dill worked for a decade as a planner in California.

Fred Neal Jr.
Senior Planner with Villavaso and Associates

Fred Neal Jr., AICP is a Senior Planner with Villavaso and Associates and a member of the Board of the Commissioners of the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA), where he serves as chair of the board Operations and Administration Committee.  Additionally, he is the board liaison to the RTA Riders Advisory Committee. 

Fred is a founding member of RIDE New Orleans, a non-profit organization and civic coalition that advocates for world class and equitable public transportation for the New Orleans region.  As a RIDE board member Fred plays a critical role in RIDE’s key activities — building the rider voice, driving the conversation around transit and winning tangible changes and transit improvements. 

Fred lives in the historic Central City neighborhood of New Orleans and is engaged in many community activities.  He happily uses the bus, streetcar and bike share for many of his daily trips.

Tamika Butler
Founder + Principal, Tamika L. Butler Consulting, LLC

Tamika L. Butler is a national expert and speaker on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, organizational behavior, and change management. As the Principal + Founder of Tamika L. Butler Consulting she focuses on shining a light on inequality, inequity, and social justice. Most recently, she was the Director of Planning, California and the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Toole Design. Previously, Tamika served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across Greater Los Angeles. Tamika has a diverse background in law, community organizing and nonprofit leadership. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. Tamika received her J.D. from Stanford Law School, and received her B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Sociology at Creighton University in her hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. She lives in Los Angeles with her wife, son, and daughter. 


Aminah Zaghab
Vice President, Policy, Energy Foundation

Aminah Zaghab works at the intersection of climate and transportation philanthropy to accelerate the transition to a clean and equitable transportation future. Her background is in transportation and climate policy, coalition building, and strategic guidance. Aminah served as the Campaign Director at the Clean Vehicles Campaign, a coalition to streamline strategic development and activity around vehicle decarbonization. Aminah previously worked at an environmental nonprofit towards transportation decarbonization, as well as federal environmental defense. She got her start in environmental litigation while pursuing her J.D. from University of Maryland, and received her B.A. in Political Science at Yale University. 

Monica G. Tibbits-Nutt
Undersecretary of Transportation, Massachusetts

Monica G. Tibbits-Nutt, AICP, LEED AP BD+C, works in transportation planning, urban design, and transit equity. She is the Executive Director of 128 Business Council; is the former Vice-Chair of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board; served on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors; and is the Vice-President of the non-profit Youth Engagement Planning (YEP!), which brings planning and community advocacy into K-12 environments. Monica’s recent publications include “Technology for All: How Equity, Access, and Affordability Must Feature in Next-Generation Vehicle Policy” (2019), “A Road To Somewhere” (2017), and “What Intersectional Equality Really Looks Like” (2017).

Tom Kotarac
Senior Vice President, Transportation and Infrastructure for the Civic Committee, Commercial Club of Chicago

Midori Valdivia
Consultant & Former Chief Operating Officer, Coro New York Leadership Center

Sharmila Mukherjee
Executive Vice President, Chief Strategic Planning and Development Officer at Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Sharmila Mukherjee, AICP, serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Strategic Planning and Development Officer at Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) in Austin, Texas. She is a transit executive and industry leader with over two decades of progressive urban transportation planning and project management experience in the private and public sectors. At CapMetro, she manages service planning, sort-and-long-range planning, ridership analysis, regional transportation coordination, and transit-oriented development. She offers one of the guiding voices in Project Connect, Austin's high-capacity transit system expansion program. Before joining CapMetro, Sharmila held leadership positions at an international engineering and infrastructure consulting firm.

Sharmila brings her industry understanding and current transit agency management perspective to the TransitCenter Board of Trustees. Sharmila holds a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a specialization in Transportation Planning from the University of Illinois Chicago and a Graduate Certificate in Traffic Engineering Methods from Northwestern University. Sharmila is the 2017 graduate of Leadership APTA and the 2016 Eno Transit Leadership (Mid-Manager) Program.

Rosemary Scanlon
Emeritus Chair

Ms. Scanlon is TransitCenter’s first Emeritus Chair of the Board. She is a well-known economist specializing in regional economic analysis, public finance, economic development, and real estate economics. Her distinguished career in public service has included past positions as the Chief Economist for the Port Authority of NY and NJ and the Deputy State Comptroller for the City of New York.

Eric S. Lee

Mr. Lee founded Bennett Midland LLC, a management consulting company based in New York City. He has developed innovative solutions to address problems in urban planning, community and economic development, and criminal justice. Mr. Lee served as senior policy advisor for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and was a founding director of the Center for Justice Innovation.

Darryl Young

Darryl Young is the Director of the Summit Foundation’s Sustainable Cities Program. Previously, he led the public relations practice at Riester, a national advertising, public relations and social marketing firm. Darryl has served as the Director of the California Department of Conservation and has been a Member of the California Board of Forestry, the Acting Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and served for ten years in the California State Legislature. He currently serves on the boards of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, the Story of Stuff Project, and the National Main Street Center.

Clare Newman

Clare Newman is the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island, charged with the planning, redevelopment, and ongoing operations of 150 acres of Governors Island. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and as a senior leader on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation team.

Ms. Newman received a Masters of Urban Planning from GSAPP at Columbia University and a B.A. with honors in Political Economy from Williams College.

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