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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

Julianne Schwarzer

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

Angela BerthaumeTechnology 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 2017 as a technology policy analyst. Her work focuses on landscape and ecosystem-scale planning, environmental policy, accelerating project delivery, agency collaboration, and facilitation. She leverages her experience with and interest in wildlife and transportation research and policies to support the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Land Management Agencies, and other federal agencies with technical research, policy analysis, and program implementation. She also has experience coordinating and facilitating workshops, webinars, and peer exchanges that bring stakeholders together and encourage interdisciplinary collaboration. 

Berthaume holds a master’s of public policy and administration, a master’s degree of science in civil engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with a focus on natural resource conservation, all 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

Policy 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
Phone: 617-494-2623

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

Policy Analyst
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 the Volpe Center as a GIS specialist in 2000. She has been involved in GIS-based analyses and developing customized GIS solutions for various modes of transportation. As project lead for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) HEPGIS mapping website, Secunda assisted in development of the interactive mapping application, which serves maps and provides an analysis tool for transportation planners. She is currently the website manager, updating and maintaining the website’s functionality, maps, and data.

For the past 15 years, Secunda has provided GIS analysis and support for the National Park Service (NPS) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Park Air Tour Management Plans (ATMP) program.  This support includes mapping air tour and air flight layers, and generating various input to noise models. Secunda also provides GIS analysis and mapping for FHWA’s Alternative Fuel Corridors project.

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

Gina Barberio Solman

Gina SolmanEnvironmental 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 Highway Administration, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and Department of Housing and Urban Development to assess transportation-related noise and other technical areas. This work includes strategic design, qualitative and quantitative analysis, evaluation and risk assessment, facilitation, and technical writing. 

Solman is the vice president of WTS-Boston, which is an organization that is committed to advancing the transportation industry through educational programs, mentoring, and networking for transportation professionals.

View Gina Solman’s LinkedIn profile

Katherine Buckingham

Environmental Protection Specialist
Phone: 617-494-3767

Allison Caloggero

Program Support Specialist
Phone: 617-494-2485

Sharon Chan Edmiston

Community Planner
Phone: 617-494-2405

Sarah Davis

Policy Analyst

Scott Gilman

GIS Specialist (Data Scientist)
Phone: 617-494-2129

Michelle Gilmore

GIS Specialist (Data Scientist)
Phone: 617-494-3225

Kimberly Higgins

Policy Analyst
Phone: 617-494-2547

Zoe McAlear

Policy Analyst
Phone: 617-494-3603

Alex Oster

Policy Analyst
Phone: 617-494-3539

Tara Reel

Community Planner

Jessica Torossian

Operations Research Analyst
Phone: 617-494-3557

Jordan Wainer Katz

Technology Policy Analyst
Phone: 617-494-3783

Peter Wilke

GIS Specialist (Data Scientist)
Phone: 617-494-3204

Alexander Wilkerson

Policy Analyst

Caitlin Willoughby 

GIS Specialist (Data Scientist)

Last updated: Tuesday, December 14, 2021