21st Century Transportation for America


Chair Emeritus ROD DIRIDON, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Since 1995, Rod Diridon, Sr., has been executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), a transportation policy research center created in 1991 by Congress. He is known as the “father” of modern transit service in Silicon Valley and has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment. He frequently provides legislative testimony on sustainable transportation issues. 

Mr. Diridon was appointed in 2001 and 2005 by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, respectively, to the California High Speed Rail Authority Board of which he is chair emeritus. He helped found and is chair emeritus of the American Public Transportation Association’s ( APTA) High Speed and Intercity Rail Committee and National High Speed Rail Corridors´ Coalition. He served as president of the national Council of University Transportation Centers. 

In 1992, he served as the chair of APTA in Washington DC and for a decade as North American vice chair of the International Transit Association (UITP) in Brussels. In 1976, he chaired the state’s first successful local half-cent sales tax for transit and subsequently chaired a state-wide and four successful regional transportation financing and bond elections.  

In 1996 he founded and chaired the Transportation Research Board´s study panel, “Combating Global Warming through Sustainable Transportation Policy.” He advised the Federal Transit Administration and in 1995 chaired the National Research Council´s Transportation Research Board´s Transit Oversight and Project Selection Committee. He has provided keynotes, especially for high speed rail and sustainability, in more than 50 US cities and for a dozen international conferences, and he has published numerous related articles. He has driven electric cars since 1996 and his home’s photovoltaic array is a net contributor to the grid. Since 1995 he’s chaired the region’s League of Conservation Voters Board and is a Life Member of the Sierra Club. 

His political career began in 1971 as the youngest person ever elected to the Saratoga City Council. He retired in 1995 because of term limits after completing six terms as chair of both the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and the Transit Board. He is the only person to have chaired the San Francisco Bay Area´s (119 cities, 27 transit agencies, and 9 counties) three regional governments: the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Association of Bay Area Governments. He chaired nine successful rail system development project boards. The region’s main train station was renamed the “San Jose Diridon Station” upon his retirement from public office.

After receiving a BS in accounting and MSBA in statistics in 1963 from San Jose State University, he served two combat tours as a naval officer in Vietnam. In 1968 he founded the Decision Research Institute which was sold in 1977 after his election.  Mr. Diridon has two successful children, Rod Jr. and Mary Margaret, and two grandchildren. He is married to Dr. Gloria Duffy, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and now president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California

JOHN BARNA, President - Anrab Associates


Mr. Barna assists private and public-sector clients to develop and pursue infrastructure initiatives, projects, and funding. Prior to this role, he was vice president and director of AECOM’s high-speed rail practice in the United States.

Previously, Mr. Barna was executive director of the California Transportation Commission, an independent state commission responsible for programming and funding several billion dollars annually for transportation projects in partnership with regional transportation agencies and the California Department of Transportation. The commission is also responsible for advising the California Secretary of Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency and the California Legislature on key transportation policy matters.

Prior to the commission, Mr. Barna was deputy secretary for transportation at the California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency. He was responsible for transportation policy development and implementation for former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration in Sacramento.

He oversaw such areas as state and federal transportation funding and transportation project delivery. He was integrally involved in the GoCalifornia policy effort, the state’s Goods Movement Action Plan and the development of the transportation elements of the Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan

RICK HARNISH, Executive Director - High Speed Rail Alliance


Richard Harnish is the Executive Director of the High Speed Rail Alliance (formerly the Midwest High Speed Rail Association), a membership-based non-profit organization advocating for fast, frequent and dependable trains linking the entire Midwest.

Harnish graduated from Elmhurst College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in transportation management. After leaving Elmhurst, Harnish was a logistics manager at American President Lines and JB Hunt and managed industrial real estate on Chicago’s west side.

Harnish helped found the Midwest High Speed Rail Association in 1991. He became the first paid executive director of the Association in February 2001 after leading a successful fundraising campaign.

While at the Association, Harnish has lead several successful grass roots campaigns including winning a doubling of Amtrak service linking downstate Illinois to Chicago.

ARMIN KICK, Director - High Speed Rail Development, Siemens Industry, Inc. Mobility Division

Armin Kick was named Director, High Speed Rail Development in July 2009 and is responsible for high speed rail business development across the United States.  Armin's career has spanned planning, consulting, and manufacturing in the transportation field, with specific work experience in the rail car manufacturing industry. His areas of expertise include project management, engineering management, production management, and general plant management.  

He has managed multiple large-scale projects throughout all project phases from project initiation to closure for contracts in Houston, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. His most recent assignment was successfully delivering the Boston Blue Line subway cars to the customer. Armin joined Siemens in August of 2002. In April of 2003 he moved to Sacramento as a project manager for rail contracts in Houston, Texas. He spent 2007 to 2009 on the East Coast working on the Boston Blue Line subway contract for the MBTA. 

Previous to his joining Siemens, Armin worked as a rail transportation consultant in Europe. He was engaged in consulting agencies and operators and has an in-depth understanding of rail systems, including high speed rail, through his professional engagement. Armin holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, an MBA from Union College in Schenectady, New York and his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
JEAN-PIERRE LOUBINOUX, Director General - International Union of Railways (UIC), Paris, France

Jean-Pierre Loubinoux is Director General of The International Union of Railways (UIC), with 200 members on 5 continents.  UIC is responsible for the coordination of a large number of projects dealing with technical standards, research programs, passenger and freight business, safety and security, and sustainability of transport. 
Mr. Loubinoux is an international high speed rail expert with many years experience in all phases of high speed rail system development and operations around the world.  A graduate of Ecole Centrale de Paris, Mr. Loubinoux held an early position in Hong-Kong before joining SNCF in 1978.  He held several positions of responsibility, such as Director of the General Representation of SNCF in North-America and Chief Executive Officer of French Railways Ltd in the UK.  He then joined the SNCF Freight Direction where he successively was Director of the Coal-Steel Business Unit and Director of Human Resources, Logistics, Legal Affairs, Data Processing and Finances Department for Freight Direction.  He was Director of International Development for SNCF and Chairman and CEO of SNCF International up to end of March 2009.  On April 1, 2009 he became Director General of the International Union of Railways (UIC).
Officer of the ’Ordre National du Mérite’, Mr. Loubinoux has been awarded the Legion of Honour and is holder of the Silver Medal of the French Ministry of Equipment, Transport and Tourism.  He has been vice-president of the French Chamber of Commerce in UK from 1990 to 1995.  He is currently a French Advisor for the Foreign Trade and President of the Transport Committee, President of the France/Argentina Committee at MEDEF International, as well as Vice-President of the Ecole Centrale Association in charge of international development.  He is also President of the French Rail Association of Engineers and Managers (AFFI).

Secretary NORMAN MINETA, Vice Chairman - Hill & Knowlton, Washington DC

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta is Vice Chairman of Hill & Knowlton based in its Washington, DC office.  Mineta provides counsel and strategic advice to Hill & Knowlton clients on a wide range of business and political issues.  Mineta is well known for his work in the areas of transportation – including aviation, surface transportation, and infrastructure – and national security.  He is recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, budgetary issues and civil rights.

Mineta’s career in public service has been both distinguished and unique. Born to immigrant Japanese parents in San Jose, California, Mineta and his family were detained along with 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent at an internment camp during World War II.  After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Mineta joined the Army in 1953 and served as an intelligence officer in Japan and Korea.  For almost thirty years, Mineta represented San Jose, California – the heart of Silicon Valley – first on the City Council, then as Mayor, and then from 1975 to 1995 as a Member of Congress.  Throughout that time, Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry.  He worked to encourage new industries and spur job growth, and he supported the development of the infrastructure to accommodate the industry and its tremendous growth.

Mineta served as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Public Works Committee from 1992 to 1994, after having chaired the Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the groundbreaking ISTEA legislation – the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.  
In 2000, Mineta was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the United States Secretary of Commerce.  At the Department of Commerce, Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, for achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues, and streamlining the patent and trademark process.

Mineta was appointed Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush in 2001, where he served until 2006.  Following the horrific terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Mineta guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration – an agency with more than 65,000 employees – the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II.  Mineta was also a Vice President of Lockheed Martin where he oversaw the first successful implementation of the EZ-Pass system in New York State.
Recognized for his leadership, Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom – our nation’s highest civilian honor – and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States.  While in Congress, he was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and Chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.  Secretary Mineta is married to Danealia (Deni) Mineta and has two sons, David Mineta and Stuart Mineta, and two step-sons, Robert Brantner and Mark Brantner.

TAKAYOSHI OSHIMA, Chairman & CEO, Allied Telesis

Mr. Takayoshi Oshima is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allied Telesis, the company he founded 1987. Committed to driving profitable growth for the Allied Telesis Group and its key stakeholders, Mr. Oshima centered the Group’s global development around the philosophy of connecting the world seamlessly through the delivery of Internet Protocol (IP)/Ethernet-based triple-play voice, video and data services.

Today, Allied Telesis remains the only company to provide true end-to-end IP-based equipment, services and support – yielding a stable source of long-term global revenue. Mr. Oshima is responsible for growing the Allied Telesis Group into a prominent international network-products manufacturer and IP service provider. The Group, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2007, now includes 43 companies operating in 21 countries, with eight R&D facilities, multiple production centers and a series of sales, marketing and services divisions.

Under his leadership, the Company became recognized for delivering the world's first IP triple-play deployment between Japan and the United States; enabling the cost-effective, real-time delivery of U.S. broadcast programs and IP-based phone calls to Japan.

Prior to assuming his founding role with Allied Telesis, Mr. Oshima held engineering, marketing and managerial positions with companies spearheading the growth of the high-technology industry over the past 30 years. These companies included: ITT Semiconductor, Fairchild Camera Instrument, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Ungermann-Bass. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mr. Oshima holds a BSEE from the University of Florida

KATHERINE AGUILAR PEREZ, Partner - Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors, Los Angeles, CA

Katherine Aguilar Perez served most recently as the Executive Director of the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council (ULI LA) prior to co-founding ELP Advisors LLC.  With her diverse background in private real estate development, transportation policy and urban planning, she has emerged as one of the most articulate and credible advocates promoting the responsible use of land and transportation.
Before heading up ULI LA, Ms. Perez was the Vice President of Development for Forest City Development where she focused on transit oriented development and mixed use projects in emerging markets.  Prior to joining Forest City, Ms. Perez was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Transportation and Land Use Collaborative (TLUC) of Southern California, a nationally recognized non-profit that promotes greater civic involvement in planning and development.   Previously, she worked for Pasadena Mayor William Bogaard as the Deputy to the Mayor where she worked on transportation, planning and Latino constituent issues.

In August 2009, Ms. Perez was appointed to the California Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission by Secretary of Business, Transportation & Housing Dale Bonner.  The Commission assists the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and regional transportation agencies in developing public-private financing agreements for high-priority infrastructure projects throughout the state.

Ms. Perez serves on the Advisory Board of the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate. 
Ms. Perez is an Adjunct Professor at the USC School of Planning and Development. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the UCLA School of Policy and is honored to be recognized as a 2009-2010 Senior Fellow of the UCLA School of Public Affairs.  Ms. Perez received her Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Transportation from UCLA and her Bachelors Degree in Political Science from California State University Northridge.

ANTHONY PERL, Ph.D., Director - Urban Studies Program, Simon Fraser University - Vancouver, Canada

Dr. Anthony Perl is Professor of Urban Studies and Political Science at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  From 2005 – 2012, he was Director of SFU’s Urban Studies Program, leading the development of a graduate curriculum that develops the know-how of how to make cities more sustainable.   Before joining SFU, Anthony worked at the City University of New York, the University of Calgary and Universite Lumiere in Lyon, France.  He received an undergraduate honours degree in Government from Harvard University, an MA and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

His research crosses disciplinary and national boundaries to explore the policy decisions that affect transportation, cities and the environment.  He has published in numerous scholarly journals including Energy Policy, Transportation Research, Transportation Quarterly, World Transport Policy and Practice, Journal of Air Transport Management, Transportation Research Record, Journal of Public Policy, Canadian Public Policy, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Urban Technology, Canadian Journal of Political Science and Scientific American.   His work has been awarded prizes for outstanding papers presented at the World Conference on Transport Research and the Canadian Transportation Research Forum. 

He has also produced five books.  The Politics of Improving Urban Air Quality, which he co-edited and co-authored was published in 1999 by Edward Elgar, U.K.  New Departures: Rethinking Rail Passenger Policy in the Twenty-First Century was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2002.  In 2003, the University of British Columbia Press released The Integrity Gap: Canada’s Environmental Policy and Institutions, co-authored and co-edited by Perl. His co-authored book, Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil, was first published by Earthscan. A second edition of Transport Revolutions has been published by New Society Publishers. Anthony is also co-author of the Oxford University Press textbook Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, Third Edition.

Perl has advised governments in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, and the United States on transportation and environmental research and policy development.  He served on the Board of VIA Rail, Canada’s national passenger railway for more than four years. He has served on the Selection Committee of Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Showcase Program.  He currently chairs the Rail Group of the U.S. Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council.  Perl is a Fellow of the Post-Carbon Institute.

JOE REED, Vice President, Transit, Balfour Beatty

Joseph E. Reed is vice president of Transit for Balfour Beatty Rail, Inc., a leading U.S. rail infrastructure contractor specializing in construction and maintenance services for the public and private railroad markets.  A 30-year industry veteran, Reed has been heavily involved in the growth and evolution of the North American traction electrification business.  As vice president of Transit for Balfour Beatty Rail he is currently charged with establishing and growing the company’s mass transit services, including heavy rail, light rail and streetcar applications. Based in El Monte, California, he spearheads the safe operation and delivery of large, complex Transit projects for clients that include Caltrain, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Denver Regional Transportation District.

Prior to joining Balfour Beatty Rail as vice president in 2003, Reed served as co-founder, president and general manager of IMPulse NC, Inc.  Founded in 1990, IMPulse NC grew to become a major provider and constructor of traction power systems in the United States, eventually expanding into the catenary business and becoming the largest catenary provider in North America.  During his tenure with IMPulse NC, Reed oversaw the completion of projects such as the electrification of the St. Louis Metro light rail system and the traction power substation retrofits for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. 

In addition, he led the acquisition of the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) unit of Ansaldo in 2000, overseeing the production and installation of traction power systems for light rail and metro systems across Europe.  
Reed began his career as a CADD engineer for Ohio Brass and worked his way up the ranks, honing leadership skills through senior business development and project management roles before leaving to co-found IMPulse NC.

Originally from Hico, West Virginia, Reed serves on the committee for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).  He is a recipient of the North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Award and the North Carolina Industrialist of the Year.

DWAYNE SAMPSON, President - Transportation Diversity Council, New York City

Mr. Sampson is the founder and President/CEO of the Transportation Diversity Council (TDC), a not-for-profit organization, led by seasoned executives from the worlds of transportation, education and construction who are dedicated to ensuring that every individual and company has the opportunity to fully contribute to America’s future. Prior to founding TDC, he served four years as President of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) – New York State Chapter, where he championed the effort to create a more “level playing field” for members’ access to jobs, promotions, and contract opportunities.  He believes these are the pathways to lasting prosperity for his community and the nation as a whole.

Mr. Sampson has been employed at MTA New York City Transit for the past 18 years and currently holds the position of Superintendent, Maintenance Operations, NYC Transit Bus Depot. His tenure at New York City
government includes
Superintendent, Logistics Office of the Executive Vice President - Division of Material
and Logistics, and Contract Manager, Office of the Executive Vice President – Division of Material and Operations,  He has also served as a Fraud Investigator at the New York City Department of Finance, where he conducted criminal investigations and formulated strategies to enforce New York City and New York State tax laws as a comprehensive effort to reduce tax fraud.

He is active in several civic establishments, including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), as past President - New York State Chapter; Member, One-Hundred Black Men of America, Inc.,  member, 77th Police Precinct Community Council, Member, McGraw Hill Companies Construction M/WBE Council, Member, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Parent Representative, The Hill School, Pottstown, PA. 
Mr. Sampson has the passion, drive and determination to promote diversity and to bring about increased opportunity in the transportation community. He demonstrates unique leadership and vision, and inspires peers in the transportation and construction industry to aspire towards   corporate and professional growth.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University at Albany, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College.  He and his wife Debra and two sons, Dwayne Jr. and Desmond currently reside in Brooklyn, New York.

SCOTT SHERIN, Vice President - Marketing and Strategy, North America - Alstom Transportion


Scott Sherin has almost 15 years of experience in the Rail Transportation industry working with both Freight and Transit customers in North America, China and Europe. He has been with Alstom Transportation for the past 4 years serving as Vice President, North America with responsibility for Business Development, Marketing, Strategy and Government/Industry Relations.

Previously, he worked for GE Transportation in both the United States and China where he focused on growing their business through new product introductions and corporate mergers and acquisitions. He also established their signaling business in Beijing, China where he was responsible for sales and marketing, product management and project engineering teams.

Before entering the Transportation industry he led the successful acquisition and integration of multiple companies in both the Energy and IT infrastructure industries, and started his career by launching two start-up companies.

He has a Masters in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1999), and a Bachelors Science in Labor and Industrial Relations from Pennsylvania State University (1991).

Alstom is the world leader in the production of High Speed Trains. Alstom’s rolling stock product range includes high-speed trains, rapid transit metros, EMUs, commuter rail cars, locomotives and intercity trainsets. The company also provides a complete line of advanced AC rail system propulsion products, as well as Advanced Information Systems.  Alstom’s Hornell, NY manufacturing facility complex is the largest passenger rolling stock facility in the US and has manufactured or remanufactured over 5000 passenger rail cars since 1983.

KEITH WILSON, President - TITAN Freight Systems


Mr. Wilson has been president of TITAN Freight Systems, a regional transportation company with operations throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia since 2004.

As president of TITAN, and a member of the International Road Federation where he speaks on advanced safety systems, his company is a leader in the implementation of artificial intelligence to meet Vision Zero goals. This cutting-edge AI technology has resulted in zero accidents over millions of miles traveled during the past several years.

TITAN is the first private carrier in the Pacific Northwest to use Renewable Diesel, a second-generation renewable that reduces GHG emissions up to 67%. Used as the energy source for the majority of its operations, Renewable Diesel has enabled TITAN to become one of the lowest carbon footprint carriers in the nation.

Mr. Wilson’s work experience includes merging two transportation businesses, growing the combined enterprise seven-fold and successfully managing all corporate aspects of a multi-million dollar privately held regional transportation company.

Mr. Wilson began his career at NBC in New York City. He has lived in New York, London and New Zealand, traveling extensively gaining firsthand experience with many of the most modern transportation systems in the world. Wilson obtained his Master of Business Administration at University of Portland with an emphasis in transportation and technology and his Bachelor of Science in Business at Oregon State University

An experienced advocate for the environment and sustainable business practices, Wilson is excited to be a USHSR advisor with the goal of adding the “Rapid” to our transit systems in the United States. He and his wife Katherine and children, Lilianna and Noah, live in beautiful Portland, Oregon.


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