Emerging Leaders 2017

The NYU Rudin Center hosted its fourth annual Emerging Leaders in Transportation program on December 7th and 8th. The 2017 class of Leaders was composed of a diverse set of professionals with planning, policy, budget and teaching roles at both local and far-flung transportation organizations.

Emerging Leaders in Transportation provides participants with a career development platform for networking, sharing ideas and gaining insight from industry leaders. The program aims to infuse the industry with new ideas surrounding operations, technology and management.



Day 1

Jessica Robinson, Director of City Solutions at Ford Smart Mobility, kickstarted the conference with a Q&A session with Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director. Jessica shared her thoughts on the direction of future mobility, Ford’s role in taking the industry into its next phase and staying informed about transportation trends during her travels. She pinpointed the importance of diversifying the transportation industry, especially in encouraging fellow female colleagues to ask questions even in larger group settings.


NYC Department of Transportation Chief of Staff Emily Gallo led the next session, Building Your Influence within Your Organization. Emily offered valuable advice about growing one’s areas of responsibility with an eye to the organization’s larger goals.


The Emerging Leaders then toured the NYC Department of Transportation’s Traffic Management Facility. The group learned about coordinating traffic data with video observations, rerouting around disruptions, and coordination with other city and regional agencies.



Returning to Manhattan, the group took a brief tour of Grand Central, enjoying its lesser-known locations, like the whispering gallery. The day came to a close with a networking reception with program alumni at  Eamonn’s Bar and Grill. They discussed the major topics of the day, including congestion pricing, subway revitalization and workplace culture.




Day 2

Day two began with a panel discussion on innovation in mobility, featuring:

  • Chris Whong, Director, NYC Planning Labs

  • Manasvi Menon, Senior Strategic Consultant, Intersection

  • Sami Naim, Public Policy Manager, Lyft

  • John Raskin, Executive Director, Riders Alliance



Later, NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission Commissioner Meera Joshi delivered an informative keynote about her career and timely issues at the TLC. Commissioner Joshi relayed sound advice as she encouraged Emerging Leaders to surround themselves with smart people and stick to their moral code as they continue to progress in their careers.


It was a pleasure hosting all of the participants and special guest speakers here at the NYU Rudin Center. We hope that the program helped to inspire great ideas for the future of transit and build a stronger network of leaders in transportation.