Emerging Leaders in Transportation Concludes Successful 2022 Cohort

The Emerging Leaders in Transportation fellowship program, held by NYU’s C2SMART Center and the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, aims to enhance the toolkit of early-career employees to make transportation more efficient, effective, and people-oriented. In this competitive fellowship program, participants learn from top transportation and management professionals to enhance leadership skills, communication techniques, and policy work, to bring innovative ideas into practice.

This year, the Emerging Leaders in Transportation program welcomed twenty-three participants over the course of three days for an in-person workshop which included leadership curriculum where emerging leaders collaborated on long-term leadership goals and developing innovative projects and ideas within an organization; a behind-the-scenes visit to a major transportation facility for hands-on learning about industry goals and challenges; and a networking reception with Emerging Leaders alumni. 

Discussion topics included leadership, innovation, communications, building support for innovation, and practical applications. Sessions included talks from  esteemed professionals and group discussions and exercises. Participants developed plans to introduce innovative solutions or concepts within their workplaces.


The first day of the program (October 19) began with introductions, followed by a panel of local transportation leaders currently working in a range of public, private, and nonprofit organizations:

  • Ashwini Chhabra, Chief Public Policy Officer, TIER Mobility
  • Tabitha Decker, Deputy Executive Director, TransitCenter
  • Tiffany-Ann Taylor, Vice President for Transportation, Regional Plan Association
  • Midori Valdivia, Chief Operating Officer, Coro New York Leadership Center, and Board Member, Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Ben Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas shared his thoughts on the current state and future outlook of New York City transit, as well as what he has learned in his years of writing about transit issues online.

The third and final day of the program began with a keynote from Ya-Ting Liu, Chief Strategy Officer for the Deputy Mayor for Operations in the NYC Office of the Mayor.

In the afternoon, Emerging Leaders gained insight from a panel on the Future of Transportation in NYC with three industry leaders:

  • Quemuel Arroyo, Chief Accessibility Officer, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Henry Greenidge, Executive Vice President & Co-Head of Transportation + Infrastructure Innovation Practice, Tusk Strategies
  • Melinda Hanson, Co-Founder, Electric Avenue

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