Advisory Board

The  Institute of Transportation Studies depends on the involvement of leaders and experts to advance research and public education and to solve complex transportation challenges. Advisory Board members actively participate in the ongoing development and promotion of the Institute of Transportation Studies, ensuring that our research is timely and relevant to the policymaking, rulemaking, and practitioner communities. Some specific examples include providing guidance on program activities and research, particularly in identifying programmatic needs and useful research materials/products; participation and cosponsorship of conferences, research, and other activities congruent with their organization’s mission and goals; assistance with distribution of research findings to relevant audiences, including agency staff or other constituencies. The Institute of Transportation Studies Advisory Board meets at a minimum of once each year. Membership is a three-year appointment.


Jean Armbruster
Director, PLACE Program, Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention

Jean Armbruster, MA, is the Director of the PLACE Program (Policies from Livable, Active Communities and Environments) at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The program’s mission is to foster policy change that supports the development of safe, healthy, active environments for all Los Angeles County residents. PLACE makes grants and provides technical assistance to cities and communities to promote the development of policies such as bicycle and pedestrian master plans, complete streets, and safe routes to schools plans. Jean received her undergraduate degree from Colorado College and her Master of Arts from California State University, Long Beach.

Bloom, Richard

Richard Bloom
Assembly Member, 50th District of California State Assembly

Before he was elected to the California State Assembly, Richard Bloom served on the Santa Monica City Council for 13 years as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore. Shortly after his election, Richard Bloom was appointed to the Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation. As Chair, Assemblymember Bloom has pushed for increasing renewable energy development to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote smart, sustainable planning that expands affordable housing and reduces traffic congestion and commute times. Richard attended the University of California from which he received a B.A. in Communication and Public Policy. Bloom also received his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School.


Michael Bonin
Councilmember, City of Los Angeles

Michael Bonin represents the 11th District on the Los Angeles City Council, bringing a powerful voice for neighborhood empowerment and common sense solutions to city government. He is working to promote public transit and traffic relief, protect the environment, and use technology to make government more effective, efficient, and transparent. In addition to his transportation portfolio, Mike is also vice-chair of the council’s committee on Innovation, Technology & General Services, and serves as a member of the committees on Budget & Finance, Public Safety, and Trade, Commerce & Tourism, which oversees LAX International Airport.

emily castor

Emily Castor
Director of Transportation Policy, Lyft 

As a member of the original Lyft team, Emily has been on the front lines of ridesharing policy since the birth of the industry. She leads Lyft’s partnerships with transportation agencies across the United States, integrating Lyft as a last-mile connection to public transit and a viable alternative to car ownership. Emily started her career as a transportation policy aide for a U.S. Congresswoman and later served as a financial advisor for municipal infrastructure projects. She holds an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania.

stuart Headshot

Stuart Cohen
Executive Director, Transform

Stuart Cohen is co-founder and Executive Director of TransForm. By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful and effective voice for world class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. Previously, Stuart worked with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability as a researcher on the climate impacts of alternative transportation policies and fuels, and at NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) as a toxics campaign coordinator and Statewide Canvass Director. Stuart received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.


Steve Heminger
Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Steve Heminger is Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). He was appointed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. As chairman of the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee, Steve oversaw construction of the new East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the largest recent public works project in the U.S. He is also Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the Mineta Transportation Institute and President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Steve received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University.

Borja, Leon

Borja Leon
Transportation Director, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Before becoming the City of Los Angeles’ Deputy Mayor for Transportation, Borja began his career in transportation while working on rail, highway, structural bridge and port infrastructure projects for AECOM Inc. As a former Caltrans employee, Borja was involved in project development and engineering for major highway and interchange projects. Leon is a Registered Professional Civil Engineer in the State of California and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California- Davis. Currently, Borja is responsible for developing and implementing Mayor Garcetti’s transportation agenda at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), and the City’s Department of Public Works.


Kurt Luhrsen
Vice President of Planning, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, Texas

Kurt oversees short and long-range service planning, system and environmental planning, ridership analysis and reporting, emergency evacuation planning and coordination, and fixed route scheduling. Kurt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies & Planning from UC San Diego and a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from UCLA.


Therese McMillan
Chief Planning Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 

Therese McMillan joined LA Metro in 2016 as the Chief Planning Officer. Before that she was the Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
Previously, she held the position of Deputy Administrator since her appointment to the position in July 2009. Ms. McMillian lead a staff of more than 500 in Washington D.C. and ten regional offices throughout the United States. Prior to the FTA, Ms. McMillian
was the Deputy Executive Director-Policy at the San Francisco Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission for nine years. Preceding her position as deputy executive director, Ms. McMillian served as MTC’s Manager of Funding and External Affairs for seven years. Ms. McMillian holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Policy and Planning Analysis from the University of California, Davis and a joint M.C.P./M.S. in city & regional planning and civil engineering from U.C. Berkeley.

David Raney
Corporate Manager, Toyota Motor Sales

David Raney has extensive experience in corporate sustainability and environmental management, product planning, transportation emissions modeling and products liability management. A native of Oklahoma, Raney earned a BSME at the University of Oklahoma. His professional career includes diesel engine development work at John Deere’s Product Engineering Center, managing environmental and safety technical affairs at Saab-Scania AB and General Motors, directing Honda’s North American environmental and energy policy and regulatory product compliance strategy from for 18 years. In semi-retirement, David provided consulting services to BP, RAND, and IHS-CER on transportation related environmental and energy policy, which led to his latest position at Toyota as Corporate Manager in the division of Regulatory Affairs and Powertrain Planning. David was a Federal appointee to the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee  and a member of EPA’s Mobile Source Technical Research Subcommittee. He completed UCLA’s Anderson School Executive MBA program in 2007. 

Seleta Reynolds Official Photo

Seleta Reynolds
General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Seleta Reynolds is General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) appointed by the Administration of Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Ms. Reynolds is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelenos and the region. Seleta Reynolds has over 17 years of transportation experience throughout the United States. She  advised transportation technology companies like WalkScore, contributed to the state-of-the-practice as a NACTO and APBP Board member, mentored young professionals through WTS, and she nurtured research on TRB committees. 


Joshua Schank
Chief Innovation Officer, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority 

Joshua L. Schank is the first Chief Innovation Officer of the newly created office of Extraordinary Innovation. Prior to joining Metro L.A., he was the President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation. Before joining Eno, he directed the National Transportation Policy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Joshua was Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton during the development of the last surface transportation authorization bill (SAFETEA-LU). He has worked as a Senior Associate at ICF International, as well as positions at the Office of the Inspector General’s in the U.S. Department of Transportation, and with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City. He holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in urban studies from Columbia University.


 Robert Skinner
 Former Executive Director, Transportation Research Board 

In February 2015, After 20 years of service, Robert Skinner retired as the Executive Director of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies. Robert now works as a part-time transportation consultant.  Prior to becoming the TRB executive director, Skinner directed TRB’s policy study activities. Before joining TRB, Robert was a Vice President of Alan M. Voorhees and Associates—a transportation consulting firm. Robert also served on the Metrolink (Los Angeles) Commuter Rail Safety Review Panel and chaired the Special Advisory Panel for the Stem-to-Stern Safety Review of the Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project.  In addition, he served on a number of university and research advisory groups, including the Advisory Board for the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida and the Advisory Council for the Carnegie Mellon/University of Pennsylvania University Transportation Center. Skinner is a registered professional engineer He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and received a master’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

 Allison Yoh
 Director of Transportation Planning, Port of Long Beach

Dr. Allison Yoh serves as Director of Transportation Planning at the Port of Long Beach and manages the development of transportation policies that balance Port interests and needs with those of the region, state, and nation.  She is also responsible for working with a range of internal and external, and public and private stakeholders to facilitate the integration of transportation, environment, and energy policy related to goods movement. As part of her work in policy development and interagency coordination, she manages the Port’s active transportation program.  Prior to joining the Port in June 2013, Dr. Yoh served as Associate Director of two research centers at UCLA – the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Institute of Transportation Studies and served two years as a mayoral appointee to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) Board of Directors. Dr. Yoh was also an adjunct researcher at the RAND Corporation. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Urban Planning from UCLA.