The Lists: The Top 10 Women to Watch in Transportation

March is Women’s History Month, and as we reflect on the important contributions of women to events throughout history and in contemporary society, we would be remiss if we did not celebrate those who today are making major strides in the field of transportation.  Eno has joined forces with WTS to bring you a list of 10 women who are implementing innovative ideas and having a positive impact on transportation outcomes.  We emphasized those who are making major professional contributions through mentorship, engaging volunteer networks, and seeking outside the box solutions to address today’s biggest transportation challenges.  These transformative leaders are truly “Women to Watch!”

Jennifer Bergener
Director of Rail and Facilities for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), and Managing Director for the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency. Responsible for OCTA’s $3 billion program of public transit capital and operating projects; also oversees a 351-mile Southern California rail corridor. Formerly an Associate Planner with SamTrans, and a Senior Planning Analyst with Amtrak. Bachelor’s degree in accounting/economics from the University of San Diego. (Photo credit)

Robyn Boerstling
Vice President of Infrastructure for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Leads the policy and advocacy work on issues covering transportation, infrastructure, innovation and technology, health care, immigration and workforce. Prior to NAM, she served as counselor to the assistant secretary for transportation policy in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Ms. Boerstling is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, and she earned an M.A. in English from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. (Photo credit)

JoNette Kuhnau
Traffic Operations Engineer with Kimley-Horn in St. Paul, Minn. Works with traffic operations analysis and design, traffic safety and pedestrian studies, and interstate access studies, and has gained a reputation as one of the leading go-to traffic signal and light rail experts in Minnesota. Master’s degree in civil engineering from Iowa State University. Named one of Engineering News-Record (ENR) Midwest’s “Top 20 Under 40” in 2015. (Photo credit)

Nadine Lee
Recently appointed Deputy Chief Innovation Officer at L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Formerly served as Project Manager at Denver’s Regional Transportation District, where she oversaw the Eagle transit project connecting the airport to downtown. Also worked as Senior Project Engineer at URS Corporation, Project Engineer at Korve Engineering, and Design Engineer at HNTB. Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. (Photo credit)

Kathleen Linehan
Chief Highway Technologist at CH2M, directing technology innovation for the largest sector in the company’s transportation portfolio. Formerly served as CH2M’s Northeast Geographic Manager; prior to that, worked for DC’s Department of Transportation, where she served as the Chief Engineer with responsibility for all intelligent transport systems and traffic engineering. Master’s degree in public administration from the George Washington University. (Photo credit)


Yvonne Lopez-Diaz
VP and Human Resources Growth Champion at HNTB Corporation, where she works in workforce planning, leadership development, executive coaching, change management, and strategic human resources and business planning. Formerly served as Senior Human Resource Representative for Bayer Corporation, and Human Resources Supervisor at Sterling Drug. Bachelor’s degree in human resources management from the University of Phoenix. (Photo credit)


Valarie J. McCall
Chief of Government and International Affairs for Cleveland, Ohio, where she acts as the mayor’s liaison to local and state governments, federal agencies, and national and international organizations. Master’s degree in public administration from Cleveland State University, as well as an honorary Doctor of Public Service honoris causa from Cleveland State University. Chair of APTA’s Board of Directors. (Photo credit)


Jennifer Mitchell
Director of the Virginia Department of Rails and Public Transportation; oversees public transportation and rail services throughout Virginia. Formerly served as Assistant VP at Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Deputy Project Director for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Master’s degree in regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. APTA board member and member of Eno’s Board of Regents; former Eno Leadership Development Fellow. (Photo credit)

Irene Rico
Head Administrator for FHWA’s Virginia Division Office, where she oversees more than $1 billion in federal funding for highways and bridges, and provides leadership to state and local officials in the identification of surface transportation needs. Has held many positions with FHWA, including Special Assistant to FHWA’s Executive Director, and Assistant Division Administrator. Master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico. (Photo credit)


Heather Wishart-Smith
VP of Jacobs’ Buildings and Infrastructure practice in the Mid-Atlantic region, where she oversees design, consulting, and construction management projects. Formerly VP of Jacobs’ Federal Market Sector, VP/Area Manager with Carter & Burgess, and a member of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps. Master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia. Named one of Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mid-Atlantic’s “Top 20 Under 40” in 2013, and served as an Eno Transportation Fellow. (Photo credit)

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