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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Staff - Program Development and Capacity Building

Aaron Jette

Aaron JetteDivision Chief

Aaron Jette is division chief for the U.S. DOT Volpe Center’s Program Development and Capacity Building Division. He has worked at the Volpe Center for more than a decade, in which time he has served as an author, analyst, and project manager for a number of major DOT strategic planning and policy initiatives, including AV Policy 3.0, the U.S. DOT Research, Development, and Technology Strategic Plan, and the National Freight Strategic Plan. He specializes in strategic management and program evaluation. He served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and is a graduate of McGill University and the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Program Evaluation

Noah Augustine

Noah AugustineCommunity Planner

Noah Augustine is a community planner with experience working in the areas of asset management, performance management, and program evaluation. Currently, Augustine works most closely with the Federal Transit Administration and North Carolina Department of Transportation, providing both program development and program evaluation expertise related to transit asset management and innovation/knowledge management. 

Prior to coming to the Volpe Center, Augustine worked in accounting, and briefly in a local government housing planning department. Augustine holds a BA in gender studies and government from Skidmore College and a master’s in urban planning and community development from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Augustine was awarded the Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship to fund his master’s thesis on transportation equity and decision making, and was a participant in the Federal Pathways Internship program.

Anna Biton

Anna BitonCommunity Planner

Anna Biton is a community planner in the Program Development and Capacity Building Division at the Volpe Center. She has over a decade of experience working in the areas of policy and program analysis, asset management, performance management, multimodal transportation, program evaluation, and professional capacity building. Currently, Biton works most closely with the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and National Park Service developing the high-level strategic approaches, as well as providing the day-to-day technical expertise, to implement and evaluate national programs related to asset management, performance management, and risk.

Prior to coming to the Volpe Center, Biton worked as a planner at both the regional and local levels and in environmental policy consulting. Anna holds a BS in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master of city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Asset Management
  • Facilitation
  • Performance Measurement
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Management
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Strategic Planning
  • Transportation Planning

Laura Black

Civil Engineer

Laura Black is a civil engineer in the Center for Transportation Policy and Planning at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. In this role, Dr. Black designs and executes market research, policy analysis, program evaluation, business process improvement, and professional capacity building initiatives. Her projects span across several topics including safety data and analysis, data governance, traffic and freight operations, performance management, and safety management systems. 

Dr. Black works with federal and state agencies including the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Safety and Office of Operations, U.S. DOT Office of the Secretary, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Federal Land Management Agencies in the U.S. Department of the Interior. She holds a doctor of philosophy in civil engineering, a higher education teaching certificate, a master of arts in urban affairs and public policy, a master of civil engineering in infrastructure systems, and a bachelor of civil engineering from the University of Delaware. 

Areas of Expertise: 

  • Facilitation
  • Freight Planning, Data, and Operations
  • Highway Safety
  • Instructional Design
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Strategic Planning

Jared Fijalkowski

Jared FijalkowskiCommunity Planner

Jared Fijalkowski is a community planner in the Program Development and Capacity Building Division at the Volpe Center. He has over a decade of experience in transportation planning, program development, professional capacity building, and instructional design. He has worked with the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration to apply these skills to a variety of transportation topics, including bicycle and pedestrian planning, statewide and metropolitan planning, tribal transportation planning, and transit asset management. 

Fijalkowski is a graduate of Clark University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was one of the founding leaders of the Boston Chapter of Young Professionals in Transportation.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Facilitation
  • Instructional Design 
  • Program Development
  • Transportation Planning

Alisa Fine

Alisa FineCommunity Planner

Alisa Fine is a community planner in the Program Development and Capacity Building Division at the U.S DOT Volpe Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this role, she supports U.S. DOT agencies, such the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), on a range of efforts that include program development/delivery, policy analysis, strategic planning, and professional capacity building, with a strong focus on freight transportation. Her areas of topic expertise include freight transportation planning and freight operations analysis. 

Highlights of Fine’s recent work include drafting federally required reports to Congress on port performance and national freight system conditions and performance; developing a strategic program framework for FHWA’s Office of Freight Management and Transportation; and researching and documenting the freight state-of-practice through noteworthy practices, primers, white papers, fact sheets, and other materials. Fine also serves as a lead project manager on Volpe’s portfolio supporting FHWA’s Office of Freight Management and Operations. 

She received an MA in geography from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Gerry Flood

Gerry FloodAnalyst

Gerry Flood is an analyst and a Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 15 years of experience helping U.S. DOT offices plan, develop, and implement IT applications, including websites, web-based applications, mobile applications, databases, and SharePoint sites. He has worked with program staff in the Federal Highway Administration, the ITS Joint Program Office, and the National Highway Institute to scope projects, document requirements, and manage the development and implementation of applications. These applications streamline business processes, improve data collection, and enhance the ability of offices to communicate with their constituents and audiences. 

Flood earned a bachelor of science in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego and a master of city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Areas of Expertise:

  • IT project management
  • Business process analysis

Michael Green

Economist

Michael Green is an economist in the Volpe Center’s Program Development and Capacity Building Division. He has 5 years’ experience working at Volpe, in which time he has served as program manager, team lead, author, and analyst for a number of U.S. DOT projects including the Federal Highway Administration’s GIS in Transportation capacity building program, National Park Service transportation financial planning efforts, Federal Transit Administration’s safety management plan efforts, and the Volpe Center’s Survey and Evaluation Community of Practice. 

Prior to coming to the Volpe Center, Green worked as a portfolio administrator for U.S. Bank followed by an alternative resource research project in Ecuador. Michael received a BA in economics and international relations from Boston University, and an MA in applied economics from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Program Evaluation
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Survey Design
  • Data Visualization
  • Grant Program Evaluation

Emily Lawless

Emily LawlessTechnology Policy Analyst

Emily Lawless works at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center as a technology policy analyst in the Program Development and Capacity Building Division. She joined Volpe in 2015 and since then has supported a range of federal agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, to promote strategies and activities that advance the work of their agencies and support efforts that encourage information sharing and foster dialogue.

Her experience includes development and coordination of professional capacity building initiatives and programs, evaluation of transportation programs, support of educational and training activities, and research and analysis of transportation advancements abroad for various modal agencies within U.S. DOT.

Lawless holds a BA in communications from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to joining the Volpe Center, she worked for many years in the fields of teaching and academic administration in Madrid, Spain, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Capacity Building
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Transit Asset Management

Bryan Lee

General Engineer

Bryan Lee is a general engineer in the Volpe Center’s Program Development and Capacity Building Division with over 8 years of experience working in the areas of asset management, highway safety, intelligent transportation systems, performance management, professional capacity building, and roadway pavements. Currently, Lee works most closely with the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Safety, the Intelligent Transportation System Joint Program Office, and the FHWA Office of Planning providing strategic guidance and technical assistance that enables the offices to build and develop workforce competencies.

Prior to joining the Volpe Center in 2017, Lee was a transportation engineer with the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT). His work at ConnDOT included operating, maintaining, and optimizing the Department’s pavement asset management system; interpreting engineering standards, specifications, policies, and guidelines to scope and design cost-saving infrastructure projects; and developing the State’s transportation asset management plan. Lee is a member of the TRB committees on Pavement Management Systems and Pavement Preservation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is working on becoming a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Asset Management
  • Highway Safety
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Performance Management
  • Professional Capacity Building
  • Roadway Pavements

DJ Mason

DJ MasonTechnology Policy Analyst

DJ Mason is a technology policy analyst in Volpe’s Program Development and Capacity Building Division. He has worked at Volpe since 2016 and has made significant contributions to a variety of national strategic initiatives including the National Freight Strategic Plan, National Park Service National Long-Range Transportation Plan, and the Department of Agriculture’s The Importance of Highways to U.S. Agriculture report. Mason serves as a freight portfolio manager supporting the Federal Highway Administration’s Freight Office to develop and deliver a wide range of technical assistance and strategic freight planning efforts to state and national partners. He also serves as a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Urban Freight Committee. Mason is a two-time graduate of the University of Michigan, holding degrees in political science and regional planning. 

Areas of Expertise:

  • Freight Planning, Data, and Operations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Transportation Planning

Emily Navarrete

Emily NavarreteCommunity Planner

Emily Navarrete is a community planner for the Volpe Center’s Program Development and Capacity Building Division. She has led and supported major U.S. DOT freight initiatives such as the National Freight Strategic Plan and National Coalition on Truck Parking and has served as a project manager and analyst for freight planning, data,’ and operations as well as stakeholder engagement and coordination. She received a master’s in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois Chicago and a bachelor’s in architecture from Florida International University. 

Areas of expertise:

  • Freight planning, data and operations
  • Stakeholder engagement and coordination

Kaitlin Schluter

Kaitlin SchluterGeneral Engineer

Kaitlin Schluter is a general engineer for Volpe Center’s Program Development and Capacity Building Division with experience working in the areas of transportation safety, capacity building, performance management, and program evaluation. Currently, Schluter works most closely with the Federal Transit Administration and the National Park Service, providing program development and program evaluation expertise related to transportation safety and transit asset management. 

Prior to joining the Volpe Center, Schluter worked as a monitoring and evaluation specialist in international development, focused on program design, program evaluation, and evaluative learning. She served in the Peace Corps in Namibia. Schluter holds a BA in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she supported research with the university’s Transportation Operations and Safety Laboratory, and a MA in education from George Washington University. 

Rachel Strauss McBrien

Rachel Strauss McBrienCommunity Planner

Rachel Strauss McBrien is a community planner in the Program Development and Capacity Building Division at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this role, McBrien works with a range of federal agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Under Secretary for Policy, to promote strategies and activities that advance the work of their offices and support efforts that encourage information-sharing and foster dialogue. She has extensive experience in facilitating interagency coordination to achieve a common goal. In addition, McBrien develops and delivers products, including written materials, workshops, and webinars, that showcase best practices in transportation planning and project delivery across the United States. Her current work includes projects related to transportation planning capacity building, air tour management planning, scenario planning, and environmental streamlining and stewardship. 

McBrien holds a master in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in sustainable transportation and infrastructure planning, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Boston College with a bachelor of arts in English. She is also a member of the American Planning Association (APA), serving on the APA Massachusetts Chapter’s Transportation Committee. She is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Transportation Planning
  • Facilitation
  • Strategic Planning
Last updated: Monday, August 15, 2022