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Videos: Careers at the Volpe Center

The strength of U.S. DOT's Volpe Center lies almost entirely in its people: their knowledge, experience, and commitment. Hear directly from our team of dedicated public servants about what working at Volpe is really like, and how they’re advancing a better transportation system.

Andrew Berthaume, 
Community Planner

Volpe’s Innovation Challenge, an annual competition for staff to develop unique solutions to emerging transportation issues, helped Andrew jumpstart his career.

Rachael Barolsky Sack, 
Chief of the Innovative Research Program Office

Rachael oversees innovative transportation programs as chief of Volpe’s newest division, the Innovative Research Program Office. She and her staff are compiling lessons learned and best practices to share across Volpe.

John K. Pollard,
Operations Research Analyst (retired)

From traveling thousands of miles in locomotives to sailing on five merchant ships, John shares his unique experience and knowledge from his career in human factors.

Judith Dixon,
Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Research and Technology

Moving Volpe Forward was a staff-led initiative that sought ideas to improve Volpe’s processes and work environment. Judith calls it the most interesting project she’s worked on at Volpe.


Kevin Clark,
Chief of the Aviation Facilities and Business Services Division

Kevin knows that Volpe’s organizational structure facilitates career growth. He began as a field engineer on the wake turbulence program, moved to the project lead, took over as program manager, and is now a division chief.


Mikio Yanagisawa,
Mechanical Engineer

Passenger vehicle technologies save lives every day. From air bags to electronic safety systems, Mikio is right in the middle of the current research.


Peter Wallace,
Contracting Officer

As a contracting officer, Peter has been a critical player in awarding contracts quickly and efficiently so that technical staff can obtain necessary products and services for important projects.


Gregory Woo,
Chief of the Aviation Systems Engineering Division

Want an advanced degree? The Volpe Fellows program helps selected staff advance their transportation careers by going back to school. As a Volpe Fellow, Gregory pursued a PhD in aviation safety and human factors.


Alexandra Oster,
Community Planner

Training at Volpe is all about professional development. The trainings Alexandra has taken have enhanced her skillsets and increased her value to sponsors.


Scott Gabree,
Engineering Research Psychologist

Hundreds of people lose their lives every year by suicide on the rail system. That’s why Scott pioneered an effort to increase visibility of rail suicide prevention. He talks about his work with a Boston transit agency and Samaritans, Inc., a suicide prevention organization.


Sunit Upadhyaya,
Information Technology Specialist

At Volpe Day, Sunit and other staff get the chance to relax, eat good food, and share what interesting projects they’re working on. Sunit is also a founding member of Volpe’s American Sign Language social group.


Andrew Hansen,
Principal Technical Advisor for Aviation Modeling and System Design

Innovative project work, lasting friendships with colleagues, and flexible commuting options make Volpe a fulfilling work environment for Andrew.


Evita St. Andre,

Whether it’s mentoring, participating in dynamic projects, having her voice heard, or striking a work-life balance, Evita has had many unique opportunities at Volpe that have shaped her career.


Anita Kim,
Operations Research Analyst

Volpe is at the intersection of emerging transportation technology and public policy, and so is Anita. She’s an expert in automated vehicles and how new innovations are coming online.


Jason Lu,
Aerospace Engineer

Jason has done key work for NextGen, a national effort to transform the air traffic control system from a radar-based system with radio communication to a satellite-based one.


Rachel Strauss McBrien,
Community Planner

Public service for Rachel is about improving transportation systems that connect people to their everyday lives. One of the exciting facets of her job is getting to see her work applied in the real world.


Brianna Jean,
Technology Policy Analyst

Policies and decisions have direct effects on the traveling public. Brianna knows it’s important to think through transportation-related decisions to ensure they are most equitable for everyone.


Maria McCarthy,
Financial Specialist (retired)

The Reading Buddies program matches Volpe staff with students from a Cambridge elementary school. For years, Maria has led Volpe’s engagement with this reading program, which provides staff with the opportunity to give back to the community.


Ava Schnock,
Human Resources Specialist

Ava began her career at Volpe as an administrative assistant and is now a human resources specialist. Volpe has provided her with professional development and training opportunities so that she can learn job-specific skills.

Last updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020