Erika Vandenbrande named city of Boulder’s director of transportation and mobility

Aug. 4, 2020
The experienced leader from Washington State brings expertise in transportation and mobility in a local government context.

Erika Vandenbrande will begin her new role as the director of transportation and mobility for the city of Boulder, Colo., on Sept. 7, according to an announcement from City Manager Jane Brautigam.

Most recently, Vandenbrande served as the director of planning and community development for the city of Redmond, Wash., capping off a 19-year tenure that allowed her to develop leadership skills in a variety of positions, including deputy city administrator and transportation demand management manager.

“Erika is the right person at the right time for this critical position in our organization,” Brautigam said. “I am excited to see the results of her leadership to this department and to the city more broadly. Our community has adopted a Transportation Master Plan with many ambitious and important goals. Erika will join two excellent deputy directors, bringing a spirit of collaboration and innovation in support of one of the most important issues for Boulder.”

Vandenbrande has a demonstrated history of working with colleagues and community to understand and identify priorities amid competing needs; of envisioning and implementing innovative and entrepreneurial solutions; and of cultivating work structures and environments that empower her colleagues and produce quality results. She also has expertise in outcomes-based budgeting, informed by significant staff and public engagement.

While she has served in different capacities depending on her organization’s needs, Vandebrande’s roots and passion rest in transportation and mobility. She started her career in public transportation at King County Metro Transit and the Southern California Association of Governments.

In her most recent leadership role, Vandenbrande guided a work program that involved permitting for a $1 billion light rail investment in Redmond, as well as the planning, design and construction of two pedestrian bridges over a major freeway. She’s overseen department heads in areas of transportation planning and engineering, capital projects and roadway operations and maintenance. She was directly responsible for the city’s transportation demand management and transit programs.

“I have had a wide range of opportunities to enhance local communities through government leadership,” Vandenbrande said, “but the focus area that has been the most satisfying and impactful for me is transportation and mobility. Across the country, and certainly in Boulder, communities are at a pivotal point in defining the future of how we get around town, connect with core services locally and regionally, and meet a variety of sometimes competing goals and priorities. I am honored to become a part of an award-winning team of individuals with dedication and passion around this fundamental and innovative area of work.”

The new director has a master’s degree in public policy analysis and a bachelor’s degree in geology, both from the University of Rochester, N.Y.