FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2023
Ratna Amin ([email protected]) (510) 390-4167
Christof Spieler ([email protected]) (832) 687-1613
Stephanie Lotshaw ([email protected]) (646) 535-5779
NEW YORK, New York – The TransitCenter Board of Trustees is thrilled to announce the appointment of Stephanie Lotshaw as our next Executive Director. Stephanie was approved unanimously by the board and will begin her tenure on October 2, 2023.
“After months of careful searching, interviews, and dialogue we are proud to announce that we have chosen Stephanie Lotshaw to lead TransitCenter into its next era,” said Ratna Amin, TransitCenter Board Chair. “Stephanie has a clear vision to grow the national movement for abundant transit and the know-how to bring people together to catalyze change in the philanthropy sector.”
Stephanie’s appointment comes after an extensive, national search process led by TransitCenter staff and a board-led transition task force with guidance from Koya Partners, a leading executive search firm.
The search set out to find a strategic and visionary leader with strong operational and financial management ability, a solid understanding of how effective philanthropy can improve the sector and propel the organization forward, the ability to collaborate with other funders to support the transit movement locally, regionally, and nationally, and a focus on building and nurturing a robust network of relationships to foster collaboration and advance TransitCenter’s mission.
TransitCenter received 94 expressions of interest in the role and extensively interviewed a diverse group of six finalists. The Search Committee unanimously agreed that Stephanie was the right candidate to lead TransitCenter.
“We did a thorough search, and Stephanie understands how the climate emergency has to be addressed through philanthropy, abundant public transportation, and transit justice. Stephanie has been a leader of TransitCenter’s work to integrate and align the transit and climate communities. Please join me in welcoming her into the Executive Director role when she starts October 2,” said Amin.
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 grass-roots 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.
“The staff has always been TransitCenter’s greatest strength, and Stephanie has been a central part of the organization’s works since the beginning. She’s an expert in the field and a natural collaborator,” said Christof Spieler, Vice Chair of the TransitCenter board.
Stephanie has 15 years of experience working globally at nonprofits and in philanthropy, with a focus on transportation as a crucial means to addressing climate change as well as economic and social justice. Prior to TransitCenter, Stephanie worked at the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) on transportation and governance projects in the U.S., Kenya, and Uganda. She received a Master of Social Science from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Colorado College.
“In this era of historic infrastructure investments and pressing climate justice considerations, I’m honored and humbled to become Executive Director, building on TransitCenter’s 10 years of achievement while paving a bold new path forward as a trust-based funder. I am excited to work with the board, staff, and grantee partners as we embark on this forward journey,” Lotshaw said.
“We need big changes in the philanthropic and transit worlds and in cities to make a more equitable, sustainable world. That’s TransitCenter’s mission, and Stephanie is the right person to lead us in this work,” said Tamika Butler, a TransitCenter board member.
About TransitCenter – TransitCenter is a foundation that works to secure a more just and sustainable future with abundant public transportation options. We recognize that our current transportation system is contributing to climate change, that transit systems poorly serve many of their riders, and that access to opportunity in the U.S. is deeply inequitable because of unjust, historical barriers based on race, gender, culture, and identity.
We believe that targeted research and effective grassroots advocacy can persuade leaders to make better choices that center on both climate and justice outcomes in transportation. Therefore, we make grants, conduct research, and coordinate a national network of local advocates to build a successful movement pushing for bold shifts in transportation funding and strategy.