Eno President and CEO Joshua Schank Accepts Position as Los Angeles County Metro’s First Chief Innovation Officer

Earlier this month, Eno President Joshua Schank announced his plans to leave the Eno Center for Transportation. Dr. Schank has accepted a position as Chief Innovation Officer with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In his new role, he will serve as head of L.A. Metro’s newly created Office of Extraordinary Innovation.

Dr. Schank has been with the Eno Center for nearly five years. During his time at Eno he has dramatically raised Eno’s national profile, secured the long-term finances of the organization, and solidified the Center’s reputation as a fair and objective source for excellent policy research and leader in education for transportation professionals. He also brought Jeff Davis and Transportation Weekly to Eno, creating the new publication Eno Transportation Weekly. This acquisition has expanded Eno’s reach and improved its reputation by making Eno the number one source for analysis of transportation policy in Congress.

The reports that have been produced under Dr. Schank’s leadership have been some of the Center’s best and most popular work. Two of the most popular reports have been Getting to the Route of It and Preparing a Nation for Autonomous Vehicles. Dr. Schank also created three Eno Working Groups, on Public Private Partnerships, NextGen Air Traffic Control and Freight Funding. The NextGen report in particular has had a substantial influence on federal aviation policy and the upcoming FAA reauthorization.

“I am very proud of what we have accomplished at Eno over the last several years, and it is difficult for me to leave. But I am looking forward to taking many of the ideas for innovations in transportation that we have developed at Eno and implementing them in L.A. County,” said Dr. Schank.

Former Eno Board member and current L.A. Metro CEO, Phil Washington created this new office soon after starting as Metro’s new CEO. The primary goals of Dr. Schank’s new office are to: 1) Inform the high-level vision for L.A. Metro through exposure to innovative people, organizations and industries; 2) Support Metro departments in piloting and implementing new and experimental programs and policy and 3) Serve as the primary liaison for new ideas relevant to L.A. Metro coming from entrepreneurs, private sector entities, academia or individuals.

“This office will be responsible for mining and implementing the most out of the box and innovative strategies the transportation industry has ever seen in this country,” said Washington.

When asked in a recent interview about his new position Dr. Schank said, “There are a number of untried, untapped solutions to transportation that the public sector is not looking towards…. The smartphone has transformed how we get around. Innovations from the private sector (Uberpool, Lyft, Split, etc.) are the types of things we want to integrate with the public sector. There’s a lot of potential from technology, we just have to maximize those benefits on the public sector side.”

Dr. Schank’s departure is a sad one for all of us at the Eno Center. He has been a wonderful leader and advocate for many – not only Eno staff but also many outside of the organization. Losing him to the West Coast will be tough, but his new position provides an incredible opportunity for new and exciting things to happen in L.A. We wish him the best of luck!

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