Director of Planning, Southern California Association of Governments
Kome Ajise is the Director of Planning at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the nation’s largest Metropolitan Planning Organization. His responsibilities include developing and updating the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) which is the long-range blueprint that identifies projects and strategies to address the region’s transportation challenges as well as improve system performance, and the Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) which is the short-term programming document that identifies specific funding sources and amounts needed to implement the projects in the RTP. He is also responsible for long-range transportation planning specific to goods movement, aviation, transit and passenger rail, transportation demand management/transportation systems management, intelligent transportation systems, and transportation finance among others. At SCAG, Kome also oversees a comprehensive program of environmental issues analysis with emphasis on land use, housing, active transportation, air quality, and environmental justice.
Prior to SCAG, Kome was the Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), where he was responsible for the internal operations of the Department with 18,000 plus employees and a budget that exceeds $1.1 billion.
Kome 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.
Ratna Amin is Transportation Policy Director at SPUR, the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading urban policy organization. She leads large research and convening projects; collaborates with transportation agencies and civic leaders regarding strategy and systems change; and educates the general public about transportation issues. Ratna has Masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Transportation Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Executive Director, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission
Stacey Mortensen is the Executive Director of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission and a visionary leader in the field of transportation. Stacey’s ambitious goal is to modernize the existing ACE train and dramatically expand service to cities in the Central Valley and San Francisco Bay Area. Stacey is a true consensus-builder and works with community leaders and elected officials to create partnerships for success in transforming the Valley’s commuter rail infrastructure.
Stacey has 23 years of experience in transportation planning, having started her career conducting traffic counts for the City of Vacaville. This sparked her initial interest in public works, road design, and transit, Stacey soon propelled herself into a managerial position, working in the Engineering and Passenger Rail Service for the San Joaquin County.
As founding Executive Director for the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, Stacey helped launch the Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) train service in 1998. The train runs from Stockton to San Jose on a limited schedule, but exciting plans are in the works to expand service and bring in sleek modern new trains. Stacey knows how to get things done and she played a fundamental role in the restoration of the once dilapidated, though iconic, Southern Pacific Station in downtown Stockton. This station currently serves as the northern terminus for the ACE train that carries passengers to San Jose. Many ACE train riders are commuting to jobs in Silicon Valley.
Stacey is now working in partnership with the California High-Speed Rail Authority to ensure that San Joaquin County and broader Central Valley’s issues are addressed in the development of the statewide high-speed rail system. Stacey often makes trips to Washington D.C. to brief Congress and transportation agencies like the Federal Railroad Administration about transportation priorities and progress being made in the San Joaquin Valley.
In addition to her dedication and achievements at the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, Stacey is deeply committed to the development of her staff and education of younger generations. Stacey understands the significance of mentorship and its profound effects on one’s professional development, and as such, continually provides guidance to her staff as well as seeks support and advice from senior colleagues practicing in private and public sectors. In order to foster awareness in younger populations about the complexities of transportation planning and management, Stacey is eager to engage, empower and educate young people – particularly females as transportation is still a male-dominant field.
Stacy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Management from U.C. Davis and currently resides with her thirteen animals in a quiet neighborhood, nestled between the City of Ione and Jackson. Stacey enjoys spending her free time outdoors and taking long-distance adventures on her motorcycle.
Caltrans District 4 Director
Bijan Sartipi with over 36 years of civil service with two state agencies prior to his retirement in 2018 from the California Department of Transportation where he served in a number of high profile engineering, management and executive leadership positions.
He was the Caltrans District 4 Director since 2002, serving for over 15 years. As District 4 Director, Sartipi was responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of state highway systems in the nine Bay Area counties covering over 6,500-lane miles of state freeways and highways, seven toll bridges, numerous drawbridges, ferries and tunnels, with close to 3,300 employees, an annual budget of $500 million for salary and operating expenses, and a construction program exceeding $6.3 billion at its highest point. During his 15 years service as the District Director, Sartipi oversaw the delivery of over $17 billion in new construction in Bay Area.
A graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton with a degree in civil engineering, Sartipi has extensive experience in design, program/project management as well as construction and capital program delivery. Sartipi has been involved in the design, development, delivery and management of major transportation infrastructure improvement projects in Bay Area, such as the Central Freeway, the San Francisco International Airport expansion project’s ramps and roadway improvements, the Devil’s Slide tunnels, Presidio Parkway P3 Projects, the Caldecott Tunnel 4th Bore, the Marin-Sonoma Narrows projects, Interstate 580 Freight Corridor Improvement Projects, the I-80 and US-101 (ICM) SMART Corridor projects, Jameson Canyon in Solano and Napa Counties and other major transportation infrastructure improvements in the Bay Area. Sartipi successfully managed to deliver 100% of all Capital Improvement Projects in the Bay Area each fiscal year for over 8 years. Sartipi has broad knowledge of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Transportation Infrastructure Technology and how deployment of autonomous and connected vehicle can help shape the future mobility and address our transportation needs.
Sartipi also led successful responses to major emergencies such as the collapse of the MacArthur Maze, the Russian River Bridge, tanker truck fires in San Mateo and Alameda counties plus numerous other regional emergencies. Sartipi served as a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) the regional planning organization representing the California State Transportation Agency. Sartipi also served as a Commissioner of the Bay Conservation Development Commission (BCDC), as an ex-officio member of the board of directors of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA), a member of the AC Transit BRT Policy Steering Committee, and the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee. Sartipi is a registered Professional Engineer, a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS).
Louis S. Thompson
Thompson, Galenson and Associates, LLC
Thompson, Galenson and Associates, LLC
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering: M.I.T., 1963
Master of Business Administration: Harvard University, 1965
1965-1968 The Badger Co. Inc, Cambridge, MA
Project Engineer in design/construction in the U.S. and in Western Europe.
1968-1973 Policy and Budget Analyst in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT). Member of team that created Amtrak. Reviewed and refocused the Northeast Corridor Transportation Project.
1973-1978 Richard J. Barber Associates, Washington, DC. Economic and financial issues associated with transportation regulation, particularly rail, and anti-trust issues.
1978-1986 Federal Railroad Administration, US DOT: Director, Northeast Corridor Improvement Project (NECIP), managed the NECIP, $2.5 billion upgrading of rail service between Boston, New York City and Washington.
Associate Administrator for Intercity Services, managed the review of the Amtrak budget, supervised high-speed rail studies and continued to manage the NECIP.
Associate Administrator, Passenger and Freight Services, supervised NECIP, Amtrak budget, and all FRA assistance programs to freight railways.
Acting Associate Administrator for Policy, supervised Agency policy development. Acting Deputy Administrator, (4 months).
Administrator’s Awards for Outstanding Performance (2) and for Excellence in Promoting Opportunities for Minority Businesses (1). Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Performance. Presidential Award for Outstanding Performance.
1986 – 2003, The World Bank. As Railways Adviser, reviewed the Bank’s entire railway activities. Worked in all Bank regions, with particular attention to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, China, India and the CEE and CIS countries. Led concessioning of railways in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia, and Brazil. Advised in concessioning in Guatemala, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Egypt and Pakistan, among others.
Advised in rail private sector involvement in Estonia, Poland, Romania, Panama and Mexico. Advised in public sector railway restructuring in China, Russia and India.
World Bank President’s Award for Excellence for leading the concessioning of railways.
Only two or three of these awards are made per year. Spoke and published extensively on U.S. and international rail freight and passenger issues. Served as member and then Chairman, TRB Committee reviewing R&D programs of the Federal Railroad Administration.
2003 to present Principal, Thompson, Galenson and Associates (TGA). TGA is a consulting firm working with public and commercial clients on railway and transport issues in the U.S. and worldwide. Consulting assignments have included:
Private client. Forecast of rail traffic, freight and passenger, for all countries of the world in support of an IEA worldwide energy use forecast through the year 2050.
World Bank. Restructuring of the rail system in Russia, including freight, intercity passenger and commuter rail services.
World Bank. Study of rail restructuring issues in China, including regulation, system structure and role of the private sector.
World Bank. Review of rail restructuring plans in India and Bangladesh.
World Bank. Analysis of the British Railway privatization and lessons for the World Bank and its clients.
European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT). Study of rail structure and regulatory issues in Russia. A later report updates the status of reform in Russia.
ECMT: study of rail infrastructure access charges in the ECMT Member States.
ECMT: study of experience and prospects for franchising rail systems in Europe.
ECMT: study of the data needs for improved rail regulation.
OECD: study of the need for rail freight infrastructure investment 2005 – 2030. Community of European Railways (CER). Chapter in book on rail restructuring issues worldwide as part of a book on rail restructuring in the EU countries. Private client. Analysis of options of Amtrak reform.
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA): study of ownership options for the NEC infrastructure.
Estonia: Court expert in infrastructure access charge litigation.
European Union: invited member of IMPRINT-NET railway experts advising the Commission on railway infrastructure access issues.
World Bank: member of expert team analyzing structure issues of the South African network industries.
World Bank: revised and updated the Bank’s worldwide railway database.
World Bank: member of expert team advising Chilean Government on restructuring railway system in Chile.
World Bank: member of expert team advising Uruguayan Government on restructuring railway system in Uruguay.
World Bank: member of expert team advising Mexican Government on implementing suburban passenger rail systems in Mexico City.
Japan Institute for Transportation Studies (ITPS): analysis of demand and costs for high speed rail in the U.S. in 11 major corridors.
ECMT: Study of policy and technical innovation in rail 2010 to 2050. With CPCS Transcom, adviser to Government of Canada on comparing performance of VIA with other rail passenger services worldwide.
Vice-President and Director, Board of Directors of the Railroad Research Foundation (RRF), the research planning and administration arm of the Association of American Railroads (AAR).
Member, Peer Review Group, California High Speed Rail Authority. The group will review plans for the High Speed Rail project and provide comments and advice to the Governor and the Legislature.
Extensive publications on rail and transport issues posted on website.
Professor Emeritus of Civil & Environmental Engineering and of City & Regional
Planning at the University of California, Berkeley
Martin Wachs served as Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he directed the Institute of Transportation Studies. He earlier spent 25 years at UCLA, where he was Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning for eleven years. After retiring from the University, Wachs became the Director of Transportation, Space, and Technology at the RAND Corporation. He is now teaching courses and conducting research at UCLA in transportation policy and working on transportation policy projects at RAND.