The Leadership Council provides guidance on research priorities and project design to maximize impact and value, assists with translating research findings into actionable strategies and policies, provides input on the development of technical assistance programs, and serves as ambassadors to expand the impact of the NCST’s activities.
Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments Kome Ajise is the Executive Director the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization. He formerly served as the organization’s Director of Planning, where he was responsible for overseeing the development and improvement of the Regional Transportation Plan and the Federal Transportation Improvement Program. Prior to SCAG, Ajise was the Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), where he was responsible for the internal operations of the Department. Kome Ajise has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Benin, Nigeria and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from California State University, Fresno.
Secretary, California State Transportation Agency
In February 2018, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. appointed Brian Annis as Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency where he has served as acting secretary since 2018 and was undersecretary from 2013 to 2018. Prior to this appointment, Brian Annis served as Deputy Secretary for Transportation at the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. Annis served in various positions for the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, including deputy staff director, principal consultant and consultant. He also served in various positions at the California Department of Finance, including principal program budget analyst, staff finance budget analyst and research analyst. Brian Annis has also been an adjunct professor of economics at American River College and an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor. Annis holds a bachelor’s degree in political economy of natural resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Washington.
CEO, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals
Rick Blasgen has served as the president and chief executive officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) since 2005. He began his career with Nabisco, where he held various logistics positions, including inventory management, order processing, and transportation and distribution center operations management. He also served as vice president of supply chain for Kraft and senior vice president of integrated logistics at ConAgra Foods. Rick Blasgen also serves the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness where he provides the US Department of Commerce advice and counsel on issues and concerns that affect the supply chain sector. Rick Blasgen earned his degree in business administration from Governors State University.
Director of Policy, Planning and Intermodal Development, Vermont Agency of Transportation
Michele Boomhower serves as the Director of Policy, Planning & Intermodal Development for the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), where she oversees programming for Policy, Planning, Permitting, Research, Mapping, Aviation, Rail, Public Transit, and Public Outreach. Michele Boomhower was recently appointed as the Agency representative to the Governor’s Climate Change Commission. Prior to joining VTrans, Michele Boomhower served six years as the Metropolitan Planning Organization Director for the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission serving the greater Burlington area in Vermont.
Deputy Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board
Steven Cliff serves as the Deputy Executive Officer at the California Air Resources Board. Prior to this appointment, Steven Cliff served as Assistant Director of Sustainability at the California Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2016 where he led the department’s efforts in developing and implementing initiatives to align with California’s goals on sustainability. He has held several positions at the California Air Resources Board, including Assistant Chief of the Stationary Source Division, Chief of the Climate Change Markets Branch, Manager of the Office of Climate Change’s Program Development Section, and most recently as Senior Advisor to Chair Mary Nichols. Steven Cliff is also a Research Professor in the Air Quality Research Center at the University of California, Davis. Steven Cliff earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.
Executive Director, Sacramento Area Council of Governments
James Corless is the chief executive officer of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG). Before coming to SACOG, he served as the founding director of Transportation for America (T4A). Under James Corless’s leadership, T4A worked to ensure states and the federal government invest in smart, locally-driven transportation solutions. James Corless also served as a senior planner for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and helped author groundbreaking legislation in California that encourages the coordination of transportation, growth and economic development.
Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments
Hasan Ikhrata has over 25 years of public and private sector experience in Transportation Planning in Southern California. Ikhrata worked for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the South Coast Air Quality Management District before joining the Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG) in 1994, where he served as the Executive Director for 10 years. He recently made the switch from the Executive Director of SCAG to the Executive Director of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). He has received several awards and honors from various organizations and agencies including MOVE LA for Outstanding Leadership as Executive Director. Hasan Ikhrata holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil and Industrial Engineering from Zaporozhye University, a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA, and a PhD Candidacy in Urban Planning and Transportation from USC.
Associate Executive Director / Chief Technical Officer, Institute of Transportation Engineers
Jeff Lindley is the Associate Executive Director and Chief Technical Officer at the Institute of Transportation Engineers where he works to improve mobility and safety for all transportation system users and helps build smart and livable communities. Lindley has served as FHWA’s national practice leader in both safety and operations. Lindley has served as chair of the TRB Committee on Freeway Operations and as Secretary of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Systems Management and Operations. Lindley is a recipient of both the FHWA Richard D. Morgan Leadership Development Award and the FHWA Administrator’s Award for Superior Achievement. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in transportation engineering from the University of Maryland.
Director, Center for Environmental Excellence, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Melissa Savage is the Director of the Center for Environmental Excellence at the American Association of State Transportation and Highway Officials (AASHTO). In this role, she oversees Center programs and products and promotes the Center as a resource for member state transportation agencies seeking technical assistance, training, information exchange, partnership building opportunities, and quick and easy access to environmental tools. Prior to joining AASHTO, Melissa spent 13 years with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) as a Director in the Environment, Energy, and Transportation program. During her time at NCSL, Melissa authored several publications on environment, energy, and transportation-related policy, testified before state legislative committees and working groups, and managed several cooperative agreements between NCSL and the federal government. Following her time at NCSL, Melissa held positions with Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Institute, a data analytics company based in Cary, North Carolina, and the National Association of State Energy Officials. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado.
Vice Chair, California Energy Commission
Janea Scott is the designated vice chair of the California Energy Commission and serves as the Commission’s Public Member. Scott also serves as the Chair of the California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative, and is a member of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee. Previously, Scott worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior in the Office of the Secretary as the Deputy Counselor for Renewable Energy, and at Environmental Defense Fund as a senior attorney in the Climate and Air Program. Scott earned her J.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder Law School and her M.S. and B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University.
Transportation Program Director, National Conference of State Legislatures
Douglas Shinkle is the Transportation Program Director in the Environment, Energy and Transportation Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). He has worked for NCSL since 2005, focusing on traffic safety, shared and innovative mobility, transportation funding, and many other key areas of transportation. Shinkle has written a number of well-regarded publications for NCSL, and enjoys ensuring members of the Colorado General Assembly benefit from and participate in NCSL activities. A Colorado native, Shinkle worked at the Colorado Capitol on three occasions, as well as for a California Congressman and a California Assemblymember.
Director of Sustainability Services, Southface Energy
Stephanie Stuckey is Director of Sustainability Services at Southface Energy. She received both her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia, where she graduated cum laude in 1992. After law school, she served as a public defender and then went into private practice before being elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1999. Stuckey spent 14 years in the Georgia House of Representatives and went on to serve as the Executive Director at GreenLaw. In 2016, Stuckey was chosen as the Director of Sustainability and Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Atlanta as part of the 100 Resilient Cities program, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. Stuckey currently also serves on the Boards for the Green Chamber of the South, EarthShare of Georgia, and the Olmsted Linear Parks Association. She is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (2013) and Leadership Atlanta (2017).
Senior Policy Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of California, Riverside
Barry Wallerstein is a Senior Policy Fellow at the UC Riverside School of Public Policy. Wallerstein served as Executive Officer of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) from 1997 to 2016. Before joining SCAQMD, Barry Wallerstein was previously an Environmental Control Administrator for Northrop, and was on the rule development staff in the Mobile Source Division of the California Air Resources Board. He has also served as Co-President of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. Barry Wallerstein holds a doctorate in environmental science and engineering from UCLA, and M.S. and B.S. degrees in biological science.
Director of Transportation Programs, National Association of Regional Councils
Erich Zimmermann is the Director of Transportation Programs at the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). Erich Zimmermann is responsible for NARC’s transportation portfolio, which includes managing priorities for NARC’s members, lobbying for regional priorities on Capitol Hill, and carrying out a variety of programmatic, research, and communication initiatives. He helps refine policy priorities and recommendations for the federal surface transportation authorization and also manages NARC’s transportation technical assistance and education program. Erich Zimmerman is also a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Metropolitan Policy, Planning, and Processes Committee (ADA20) Before joining NARC, Erich Zimmermann worked at the Taxpayers for Common Sense. Erich Zimmermann has a B.A. in Political Communication from The George Washington University and a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana.