2021 40 Under 40: Simon Mosbah, Ph.D.

Nov. 23, 2021
Simon M. Mosbah, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President & Director, Project Development & Finance; WSP US Advisory Services
  • Alma Mater: University of Pennsylvania
  • Fun fact about yourself: I once sang the national anthem along with the Amherst College Glee Club at Fenway Park in Boston for a Red Sox-Yankees game.
  • Favorite station or stop that you have ever visited or frequent: The monumental stations of Moscow’s subway.
  • Favorite route you have ever ridden or frequent: The 21 or 27 RATP buses in Paris that go through the Louvre and cross the Seine – I advise this experience to all transit tourists and tourists in Paris in general.

Simon Mosbah is the project development and finance director for WSP Advisory with more than 10 years of experience in the transportation industry, supporting financial planning and policy needs with a focus on transit and rail. He leads a team of 25 consultants who advance transit, rail, high-speed rail, aviation and ports projects and grant pursuits for all types of infrastructure. In addition, Mosbah oversees management consulting staff dedicated to California’s high-speed rail initiative.

Currently, he serves the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the State Amtrak Intercity Passenger Rail Committee, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and Amtrak, among others. He previously managed complex stakeholder negotiations on cost allocation for Hampton Roads Transit, and he worked as a strategy consultant in France, specializing in high-speed rail and commuter/regional rail service and operations.

Mosbah has been a leader of several marquee engagements over the past few years. For instance, he was the deputy project manager for a review of WMATA's costs and governance for DRPT. He produced a review of long-term funding alternatives for WMATA, which led directly to a new regional accord to establish dedicated funding from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He also managed a financial, operational and market analysis of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority to help provide context for regional stakeholders to reinvest in the area’s transit system.

In addition to his projects, Mosbah is committed to professional development, managing and serving as a mentor for the Washington, D.C., -based staff. He was also recognized as WSP’s Emerging Professional “Rising Star” as part of the company’s 2019 U.S. awards program. His selection was due in large part to his demonstration of WSP’s guiding principles, including valuing WSP’s people and reputation; being locally dedicated; challenging the status quo through creative project work; supporting collaboration among his team; empowering WSP’s culture and holding himself accountable.

Outside of work, he is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Intergovernmental Relations in Aviation committee, and the Public Transportation Planning and Development committee, for which he has served as a paper reviewer for the last three years. He is a member of the Washington Road Gang and is active in the American Public Transportation Association, serving on the Policy and Planning Committee and the Connected and Automated Vehicles Committee.   

Is there a specific experience that led you to where you are today?

Working in France for SNCF, on all their businesses: Paris’ regional rail system, regional systems outside of Paris, and the High-Speed Rail system. This was a foundational experience for me before coming to the US for my PhD.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The wonderful and diverse people of the transit industry throughout the country, within WSP, our partner firms and our clients.

Accomplishment you’re most proud of and why?

Having built up and grown the Transit Rail and Finance team at WSP over the last five years!

Best advice/tip/best practice to share from your area of expertise?

Always use another set of eyes to review any calculation, even the simplest ones. We all make mistakes… and want to avoid being embarrassed and distract from the message we want to share, especially regarding transit finance, which tends to be an arcane topic!