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Staff - Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning

Meet the U.S. DOT Volpe Center's Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning team.

Julianne Schwarzer

Gary Baker

Chief of Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning
MCP Environmental Policy and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BFA Film, Television, and Radio, New York University
Phone: 617-494-3259

Julianne Schwarzer is the chief of Policy Analysis and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center. Schwarzer has worked at the Volpe Center since 2007. Her technical work focuses on environmental permitting and regulatory reform, infrastructure project delivery acceleration, and mediation and facilitation. 

Schwarzer holds a master’s degree in city planning with a certificate in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in film, television, and radio from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Schwarzer is a member of the Transportation Research Board Ecology and Transportation Committee (ADC30) and a member of the National Association of Environmental Professionals.

Gary Baker

Gary BakerGeospatial Team Leader
MA Software Engineering, Harvard Extension School
BS Geography, University of Massachusetts
Phone: 617-494-3631

Gary Baker joined Volpe as a GIS specialist in 1996. Baker is the GIS team leader and has over 20 years of experience working with GIS. He also has extensive software development and data science skills. In his 22 years with the U.S. Department of Transportation, he has provided expertise in mapping, spatial analysis, and custom GIS solution development for all modes of transportation, from the local to the global scale. He now leads a team of GIS specialists, working directly with sponsors and providing critical expertise throughout Volpe on all aspects of geospatial visualization and analyses.

Selected projects that Baker has been involved with include the following:

  • Alternative Fuel Transportation Optimization Tool (AFTOT)
  • National Park Air Tour Management Plans (ATMP)
  • Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT)
  • Management of FAA’s unstaffed infrastructure (UISGIS)
  • Assessing aviation's global emissions
  • Noise modeling and measurement in Grand Canyon and Southern Florida
  • Rail traffic simulations
  • GIS web-based FRA grant tracking
  • Positive train control and hazmat risk analyses
  • Highway rail crossing and historical rail incident geolocation

Angela Berthaume

Technology Policy Analyst
MSCE Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst
MPPA Public Policy and Administration, University of Massachusetts Amherst

BS Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Phone: 617-494-2883

Angela Berthaume joined the Volpe Center in May 2017 as a technology policy analyst, starting in the Volpe Pathways Internship Program while she finished her graduate studies. Berthaume uses her experience in wildlife and transportation environmental policies to support a variety of program areas, including the Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty; the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office Professional Capacity Building; the National Park Service; and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation.

Berthaume holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree of science in civil engineering and a master’s of public policy and administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. While completing her graduate studies, Berthaume focused her thesis studies on bats’ use of bridges throughout New England.

Gina Filosa

Operations Research Analyst
MA Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University
BA Environmental Studies, Providence College
Phone: 617-494-3245

Gina Filosa joined Volpe in 2006. She provides technical research and policy support focused on resilient transportation, environmental stewardship, and energy. Filosa has also led several policy and program evaluations, including an assessment of the Federal Transit Administration’s Environmental Management System Technical Assistance and Training Program and an evaluation of Federal Highway Administration’s eNEPA, an online workspace and collaboration tool used to facilitate the environment review process. She recently led a programmatic assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from transit projects and developed a greenhouse gas estimator tool that enables users to estimate the partial lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions generated from the construction, operations, and maintenance phases of projects across select transit modes.

Filosa holds a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning from Tufts University, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Providence College.

Alexander Oberg

Geospatial Specialist
Certificate in GIS, Pennsylvania State University
BA Geography and Environmental Studies, Middlebury College

Alexander Oberg joined Volpe as a geospatial specialist in 2016. He has an extensive background in GIS, and prior to joining Volpe, Oberg was a GIS support associate for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries. Oberg provided front line reference and one-on-one research consultation support to a broad GIS user community, including current and future professionals in transportation, urban planning, and environmental fields. Oberg also prepared and led GIS presentations and workshops to illustrate and explain GIS analyses, tools, models, and applications.

In addition, Oberg has two years of environmental consulting experience in the private sector, primarily involving contracts with federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement. His work included GIS analysis, mapping and relational database creation, and maintenance.

Amy Plovnick

Community Planner
Master of City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BA Political Science and Environmental Studies, Washington University in St. Louis
Phone: 617-494-3504

Amy Plovnick has worked as a community planner at the Volpe Center since 2016. She supports the Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service, and other federal agencies on research, program implementation, and policy analysis work. Plovnick is interested in the connections between transportation and the environment, and much of her work focuses on infrastructure resilience, sustainability, active transportation, and public health.

Previously, she worked on renewable energy and energy efficiency policy at two nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. Plovnick holds a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in political science and environmental studies from Washington University in St. Louis.

Carson Poe

Transportation Industry Analyst
MA Energy and Environmental Analysis, Boston University
BA Interdisciplinary Studies/Environmental Policy and Planning, Appalachian State University
Phone: 617-494-2765

Carson Poe is a transportation industry analyst in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Center for Planning, Policy, and Environment. His areas of expertise include climate change mitigation, innovative and sustainable use of transportation right-of-way, and pipeline emergency response. Poe has led research efforts to explore the implications of sustainable land management practices along highways, including carbon sequestration and accommodating photovoltaic noise barriers, among other sustainability-minded technologies.

Poe holds a master’s degree in energy and environmental analysis from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies/environmental policy and planning from Appalachian State University.

Sara Secunda

GIS Specialist
MA Geography, Portland State University
BS Geography, University of Vermont
Phone: 617-494-3601

Sara Secunda joined Volpe as a GIS specialist in 2000. She has been involved in GIS-based analyses and developing customized GIS solutions for various modes of transportation. Initially, she provided GIS analysis and programming for National Park Service (NPS), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). For NPS and FAA, she provided support for the development of air tour management plans including mapping air tour and air flight layers, and generating various input to noise models. In support of FMCSA, she has developed and maintains web-based interactive mapping applications for FMCSA's Analysis and Information Online website, which displays historic crash, inspection, and state safety measures data and maps.

As project lead for FHWA’s HEPGIS mapping website, Secunda has assisted in development of the interactive mapping application, which serves maps and provides an analysis tool for transportation planners. She is currently updating and maintaining the website’s functionality, maps, and data.

Before joining Volpe, Secunda worked for 11 years as a GIS specialist in federal and local government as well as private industry.

Gina Barberio Solman

Environmental Protection Specialist
MA Energy and Environmental Analysis, Boston University
BA Environmental Analysis and Policy, Boston University
Phone: 617-494-3571

Gina Solman is a senior project manager and environmental protection specialist who has worked at the Volpe Center since 2005. She solves complex problems across all modes of transportation, analyzing policy and building consensus on technical topics of national concern.

Solman specializes in noise policy and facilitates interagency coordination on a range of topics. She leads multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists, and planners to serve clients and the public good. Solman conducts research to inform the development of policies, regulation, and guidance in support of the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and Federal Highway Administration to assess transportation-related noise and emissions. This work includes strategic design, qualitative and quantitative analysis, facilitation, and technical writing. In addition, she facilitates a steering committee comprised of U.S. DOT, U.S. Department of Energy, and Transport Canada to coordinate high-visibility research to characterize crude oil properties related to the safety of crude oil transport.

Solman is a director-at-large on the WTS-Boston Board of Directors, committed to providing networking events and educational programs to transportation professionals. She serves as a liaison to the mentoring and membership committees and provides input to chapter operations.

View Gina Solman’s LinkedIn profile

Katherine Buckingham

Environmental Protection Specialist
Phone: 617-494-3767

Sharon Chan Edmiston

Community Planner
Phone: 617-494-2405

Michelle Gilmore

Data Scientist
Phone: 617-494-3225

Alex Oster

Community Planner
Phone: 617-494-3539

Jessica Torossian

Operations Research Analyst
Phone: 617-494-3557

Jordan Wainer Katz

Technology Policy Analyst
Phone: 617-494-3783

Peter Wilke

GIS Specialist
Phone: 617-494-3204

Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2020