2019 Future Leaders Development Conference (LDC) Recap

For over 26 years, the Eno Center for Transportation has recruited the best and brightest graduate students in transportation to the nation’s capital as Fellows for the Future Leaders Development Conference (LDC), an “inside the Beltway” look at how U.S. transportation policy is crafted. Prominent individuals from across the transportation sector provide real world insights on the hot topics across transportation, with presentations on everything from automated vehicles to freight.

To read the takeaways and perspectives from the 2019 fellows in this week’s ETW, click here

To see more details on the events and panels for each day, click below:

Thanks to the dedication of our Board of Regents, who select the Fellows from a highly competitive and talented pool, this year’s cohort were among the best of the best.  The following 20 individuals were selected to participate in the 2019 Eno Future Leaders Development Conference:

Pedro Adorno, University of Florida, (Charles William Koch Award Designee)

Lorena Bernal-Vidal, San Jose State University-Mineta Transportation Institute, (Diane Woodend Jones Award Designee)

Alexandra Boggs, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, (Lillian Borrone Alumni Award Designee)

Beau Burdett, University of Wisconsin – Madison (ASCE Award Designee)

Shannon Engstrom, University of Minnesota  

Bonnie Fan, Carnegie Mellon University (Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Award Designee)

April Gadsby, Georgia Institute of Technology

Gabriela Giron, University of Washington, (Dr. Thomas D. Larson Fellowship Designee)

Krishna Murthy Gurumurthy, The University of Texas at Austin (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Award)

Jeremy Halpern, University of California, Berkeley (HDR, Inc. Award)

Dylan Horne, Oregon State University (National Association of Manufacturers Fellow Designee)

De’Von Jennings, University of California, Irvine (Rodney Slater Award Designee)

Jessica Lazarus, University of California, Berkeley (GAR Foundation Award Designee)

Emma Lucken, University of California, Berkeley (Maggie Walsh, WTS International Board Chair Scholarship Designee)

Nicole McGrath, The University of Texas at Austin (WSP USA Fellow Designee)

Christopher Oster, University of Delaware (Thomas J. O’Bryant Fellowship)

Corrie Parrish
, University of Oregon

Erin Robartes, University of Virginia

Peter Smet, Cornell University

Elizabeth Zurek, Embry Riddle World Wide (Air Line Pilots Association Fellow)

Monday, May 21

Robert Puentes, Eno Center for Transportation, kicking off the week, delivered a transportation state of the union address.Rob Puentes addressing the 2019 Fellows

Jumping into the weeds, the fellows discussed transportation workforce development and labor needs with Francine Shaw-Whitson, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; Eugene Freedman, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA); Matt Colvin, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department; and Mary Beth Long, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).

After a lunch break, the fellows then met with Jeff Davis, Senior Fellow & Editor of Eno Transportation Weekly, Eno Center for Transportation; Jennifer Aument, Transurban; Jim Tymon, American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO); and Darnell Grisby, American Public Transportation Association (APTA), to discuss transportation funding.

Wrapping up an eventful first day, the fellows got their first taste of Capitol Hill policymaking by attending a session at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Under the tutelage of Jeff Davis of the Eno Center for Transportation, Emily Goff, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee; Homer Carlisle, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Dabney Hegg and Clare Doherty, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing.

Tuesday, May 22

Tuesday for the enterprising fellows began with policy, federal technology policy to be exact. With the guidance of Jessica Nigro, Daimler North America Corp.; Jonathan Smith, Uber Technologies, Inc; and Nancy Bell, Intel Corporation, the fellows were surely off to a good start.

After a quick break, the fellows got back into the thick of it, this time focusing on metropolitan and statewide policy with Todd Lang, Baltimore Metro Council; Ken Petty, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; and the recipient of our 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award, Trish Hendren, I-95 Corridor Coalition.

In the afternoon, the fellows met with Kimberly Lucas, District Department of Transportation; Malcom Glenn, Uber Technologies, Inc.; and Cooper Martin, National League of Cities to discuss the challenges and opportunities of new disrupting mobility in local areas. After which our fellows ended their day with a tour of Union station with Beverly Swaim Staley and Kevin Forma of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation.

The fellows then got to relax and test their mettle in Eno & Young Professionals in Transportation-hosted trivia night.

Wednesday, May 23

The fellows began their day at the U.S. Department of Transportation to learn about the intricacies of transportation policy with Robert Ritter, U.S. Department of Transportation, National Traffic Highway Safety Administration; Matthew Welbes, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration; Peter Stephanos, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; and Finch Fulton, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy.

Then it was off to the District Department of Transportation for the fellows to learn the specifics of transportation lobbying with Leslie Pollner, Holland & Knight; Martin Whitmer, Whitmer & Worrall; Katie Kachel, Chambers, Conlon and Hartwell; and Greg Billing, Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Our fellows also met with Chris Zeilinger, Community Transportation Association of America; Stefanie Brodie, District Department of Transportation; Anthony Barnes, Airport Minority Advisory Council; and Martha Kenley, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

Meeting with a panel of Eno’s Board of Directors to learn about career development, the fellows ended their day on a productive note. The panel consisted of Carolyn Flowers, InfraStrategies; Keith Parker, Goodwill of North Georgia; Mary Peters, Principal, Mary E. Peters Consulting Group & Former Secretary of Transportation; Jerry Premo, Premo Partnerships, Thomas Prendergast, STV Group, Inc.; and Martin Whitmer, Whitmer & Worrall.

Thursday, May 24

On their last day, the fellows made their way to Reagan National Airport, the final location of their studies, and the venue of their graduation ceremony and awards reception later that day.

Not wasting any time, the fellows met with Amy Hawkins, BNSF Railway; Elaine Nessle, Coalition for Americas Gateways and Trade Corridors; Robyn Boerstling, National Association of Manufacturers; and Allison Cullin of Amazon; to learn about the role of freight in America’s transportation system. Shortly after, the fellows met with aviation experts to learn about the aviation industry and federal policy with Molly Wilkinson, American Airlines; Bob Fox, Air Line Pilots Association International; Justin Barkowski, American Association of Airport Executives; and Lisa Ellman, Hogan Lovells US LLP.

Almost finished, the fellows met with James Bradbury, Georgetown Climate Center, Emil Frankel, Eno Center for Transportation and Diana Galperin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to learn about how transportation affects sustainability and climate change.

Rounding up with their studies, the fellows took a full tour of Washington Reagan National Airport with Michael McElwee, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, before getting ready for their graduation ceremony and the LDC Awards Reception afterwards.

Graduation and Leadership Development Conference Awards Reception

2019 LDC Graduates listening to RobWith an encouraging welcome from Eno’s CEO and President, Robert Puentes, Mary Peters, Former Secretary of Transportation and Principal of Mary E. Peters Consulting Group, took to the podium to inspire the fellows and give words of wisdom that they could take with them in their professional endeavors.

As each fellow walked across the podium inside the historic Terminal A Lobby of Washington Reagan National Airport and received their certificates, the week-long program filled with all manners of transportation policy came to an end.

The fellows were all smiles as they met with their sponsors, as well as Eno staff and slowly, but surely, the venue began to fill up with transportation professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Opening the reception was James Burnley, Partner at Venable (our event’s sponsor) and Former Secretary of Transportation, after which Robert Puentes returned to the stage to introduce the awardees of Eno’s Distinguished Alumni Award and Eno Thought Leader Award: Patricia Hendren and Nathaniel Ford Sr.

The awardees spoke on their inspirations, their journey in pursuit of knowledge, the professionals they were fortunate to meet along the way, the opportunities they observed and took advantage of and most importantly, the family and friends who kept the focus true.

Energized and ready to mingle, the fellows went on to network and interface with the many professionals in attendance, consequently rounding up a very eventful and informative week.

To read the takeaways and perspectives from the 2019 fellows from this week’s ETW, click here

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