“The most enjoyable part of my job is the travel – albeit the most exhausting – through which I am able to see first-hand the transformative nature of the work that the Federal Transit Administration does in partnership with communities across the country. I’ve had the good fortune to visit 27 states and approximately 60 cities during my tenure at FTA.
“Meeting people in cities coast-to-coast who are enthusiastic about the change our partnership brings is energizing. The impacts that transit investments have are clear whether it’s a new maintenance facility providing a more comfortable and safe place for workers to do their jobs, new battery-electric buses testing the boundaries of innovation to reduce a city’s dependence on foreign oil, or a new transit rail line or bus rapid transit that will bring new economic development to a community.
“Wherever the FTA reinvests taxpayer dollars there is a story about residents working together toward a common vision for a better, stronger, more economically viable community and I find the shared goal and willingness to work together inspiring.
"This has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my professional career, but none of it would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the FTA career staff. They are extremely committed to the single mission of improving people’s lives and communities. They deserve the real recognition and credit for making the FTA standout among federal agencies.
“I would like to see greater bipartisan support in Congress for transit expansion and reinvestment in aging infrastructure nationwide so that communities may have reliable and efficient transportation choice and reap the proven benefits public transit brings. Public transit isn’t just a way to get from Point A to Point B; it’s an economic engine for communities, a way to ease congestion on roads, and an important asset in the fight to curb harmful greenhouse gases.
“I would like to see more transit investment in communities that traditionally may not have seemed ripe for public transit; where naysayers have said it could not take root. We’ve seen great success in places like Dallas — a city that now hosts more miles of light rail than any other — and Phoenix — where high school students take rail to the prom. Opponents thought that transit could not draw people from their cars, but indeed ridership in both of these cities is surpassing all initial planning estimates. Public transit has proven that if you build it, riders will absolutely come.
“My most enjoyable new pastime is spending time with my nine-month-old son, Will. He has brought an unexpected joy to my world. When my wife Kate and I have a moment to slip away leaving Will with a babysitter, we both enjoy time fishing and kayaking. There’s nothing like quiet time paddling and fishing along the Potomac here in Washington, D.C., or on one of the many lakes in Maine. Sometimes finding a proper work/life balance can be a challenge, so I look forward to our little escapes.
“Being named one of Mass Transit Magazine’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ is a pleasant reminder that I am indeed still under 40 years old, no matter how exhausted I look or feel right now.”