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Board of Directors - California Transportation Foundation

Board of Directors



Kome Ajise
Chair, CTF

Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Kome Ajise is the Executive Director 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.



Senior Vice President, Director of Business Development – West Region, WSP USA

Luis Porrello, D.Sc.
Vice Chair, CTF

Dr. Luis Porrello brings more than 20 years of experience to his role as the Director of Business Development for WSP’s West Region Transportation and Infrastructure division.

Through his project assignments he has provided technical direction to the traffic analysis and intelligent transportation system components of some of the nation’s largest transportation infrastructure programs.

Through his management experience he has provided leadership to business development and operational effectiveness associated with local, regional, and national geographies for Top 25 Engineering News Record design firms.

Demonstrating a lifetime commitment to learning, he is passionate about engineering education, professional development, and the mentorship of the next generation of civil engineers.

Luis lives in Laguna Niguel, California, with his wife Stephanie and their children James and Sarah.




California Highway and Roads Leader, HDR Inc.

Carrie Bowen
California Highway & Roads Leader
HDR Inc.
Treasurer, CTF

Carrie Bowen has both a public and private sector background leading large complex organizations, addressing the needs of multiple constituencies and delivering transportation solutions. She shares our clients’ passion for delivering projects that improve mobility, livability and are sustainable.

Prior to joining HDR Carrie served as the Caltrans District 7 (LA and Ventura) Director. She was able to establish relationships to build effective delivery teams to move projects forward and to find funding and innovative ways to deliver projects. The projects delivered during her tenure in this role included all modes of transportation to serve the people of the district.

Carrie served in a variety of leadership roles while at Caltrans including the District 10 Director in Central California and the Central Region Deputy Director for Environmental Planning for Central California.  As the Central Region Environmental Deputy she is a respected professional in environmental planning; has prepared complex environmental documents; and has directed environmental work in more than 20 counties in California. Bowen was instrumental in the success of Caltrans’ preparation for and implementation of National Environmental Protection Act delegation.

Bowen was the California High Speed Rail Authority’s Central California Regional Director in 2009. As the focal point for regional high-speed rail project issues, she created coalitions and fostered support with state, regional and local elected officials, planning organizations and the general public to resolve problems, efficiently implement project objectives and build communication strategies. This Central Valley segment is now under construction.

Carrie received the WTS Los Angeles Chapter Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award in 2018 for her commitment to facilitating professional opportunities for women and minorities, for contributing significantly to promoting diversity with multi-cultural awareness within the transportation sector.




Vice President of Operations, Monument Right of Way

Bob Morrison, Bender Rosenthal, Inc.

Bob Morrison, P.E.,P.M.P.,CA RE Monument Right of Way 
Secretary, CTF

Bob Morrison is the Vice President of Operations for Monument Right of Way. Mr. Morrison has over twenty years of business and project management experience on major infrastructure projects.  Having worked in both the public and private sectors, Mr. Morrison brings a unique understanding of the entire project development picture.  His California Department of Transportation experience was crucial to his understanding of funding sources and the unique challenges presented by government funded infrastructure projects.  His experience at URS Corporation was invaluable in shaping his ability to effectively manage people and projects in a for-profit setting.

Prior to founding Monument ROW with Amber Costello, Mr. Morrison was a minority owner and President of Bender Rosenthal, Inc., a full services right of way company. At BRI, Mr. Morrison was responsible for developing creative right of way delivery strategies to ensure project success. He brings that same creative approach to his clients today. As a registered Civil Engineer, Mr. Morrison’s complete understanding of the project development process allows him to better streamline project delivery through implementation of various risk management strategies. A sampling of Mr. Morrison’s key clients throughout the years includes SANDAG, California High Speed Train, and Riverside County Transportation Authority.

Mr. Morrison received his Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineer from Tufts University, and his Masters in Business Administration from CSU Sacramento.   He lives in Carmichael with his wife Gina.  They have been married 23 years and have two active teenage boys.  Both Bob and Gina volunteer their time, serve on boards, advisory committees, and financially support a number of charities including their church, children’s schools, the Sacramento Crisis Nursery, and the local Little League.




Director, San Joaquin County Public Works

Kris Balaji,
San Joaquin County

Mr. Balaji currently serves as the Director at San Joaquin County Public Works. He began his engineering career with the State Department of Transportation and served for nearly 16 years, designing and constructing roadways, bridges, and other public transportation infrastructure. Mr. Balaji left the state service and joined a global Architecture and Engineering firm and served as their Director of Transportation for five years.  After a two-year stint as Vice President for another global Architecture & Engineering firm, Mr. Balaji joined the San Joaquin County as its Director of Public works.  For nearly five years, as the Public Works Director, he was responsible for managing a diverse operation that included transportation, land development, flood control, water and sewer utilities, landfill operations, water resources development, fleet management, etc.


Mr. Balaji had served on the Board of multiple non-profit organizations, and has a well-rounded knowledge of various aspects of public administration. He continues to volunteer his time for non-profit organizations and social causes.


Mr. Balaji obtained his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering in 1987 from Annamalai University in India, and a Graduate Degree in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University in 1991. Mr. Balaji is a registered Civil Engineer and a certified Project Management Professional.




Executive Director, San Francisco County Transportation Authority

Tilly Chang

Tilly Chang serves as Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority. The SFCTA plans, funds and delivers capital

improvements for San Francisco’s multi-modal, countrywide transportation system. Ms. Chang has 20 years of experience, including 12 years with the Transportation Authority, and posts with the World Bank, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and in the private sector. She serves on the boards of the California Transportation Foundation, SPUR and the UC Transportation Centers Advisory Committee.



Malcolm Dougherty,
Michael Baker International

Senior Vice President and National Practice Executive for Transportation, Michael Baker International

Senior VP and National Practice Executive for Transportation at Michael Baker International. Former Caltrans (Calif. Department of Transportation) Director.

A transportation professional with 28 years of experience leading large, complex programs and projects. Program/project Management, Strategic Planning, Leadership, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, Asset Management, Sustainability, Multi-Modal Solutions, Construction Management, Alternative Project Delivery and Active Transportation.


District 6 Director, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)

Diana Gomez,
Caltrans District 6

Diana Gomez currently serves as the Caltrans District 6 Director where she oversees the State Highway system in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare and Kern counties. She has full responsibility for all department program functions and activities within the District and is responsible for the administration and operation of the Caltrans programs.

Prior to her appointment as District 6 Director in July 2020, Diana was a member of the Executive Team at the CA High-Speed Rail Authority from 2013-2020. There she served as the Central Valley Regional Director working to bring the first high-speed electric passenger operations to California. As the Regional Director, she was responsible for ensuring the high-speed rail project in the Central Valley continued forward on the planned schedule and budget by developing and maintaining relationships with local residents, policy makers and consultants and by building strategies for communicating with local advocates.

Prior to her appointment at CA High-Speed Rail Authority, Diana developed over 25 years of transportation experience with Caltrans. While at Caltrans, she served as a Senior Transportation Electrical Engineer and Chief for the offices of Traffic Management and Systems Management Operations. In 2011, Diana was appointed as the Caltrans District 7 Deputy District Director of Traffic Operations.

Diana earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at California State University, Fresno. She is also a registered Electrical Engineer and a Certified Project Manager.




Carlton Haack


Carlton Haack

Carl joined Gray-Bowen-Scott in 2019 and serves as a Senior Project Manager working with Bay Area transportation agencies.

Prior to joining Gray-Bowen-Scott, Carl was HDR’s California Highways Practice Leader and the Project Manager for several projects in the Northern California area.  He previously served as HDR’s Northern California Transportation Group Manager, and was responsible for the operations, leadership and development, and financial performance of the group of approximately 80 employees that perform highway, rail, transit, and transportation planning projects throughout Northern California.  Prior to joining HDR, Mr. Haack was with Caltrans, serving in various District and Headquarters positions, from Resident Engineer to Project Manager to the Project Management Division Chief at Caltrans.

Throughout his professional career, Carl was instrumental in the successful delivery of transportation projects and programs.  As Caltrans’ Project Management Division Chief, his leadership resulted in a $2.5 billion annual statewide project delivery program. At HDR, Carl continued to work with both local and state transportation officials in delivering transportation projects, programs, and funding.

In addition to his role at Gray-Bowen-Scott, Carl is spending time on his passions and interests; backpacking and fishing around the western states and serving on several of CTF’s Board Committees including the Scholarship and Education Symposium Committees.  He believes the future of transportation is both complex and uncertain and will be shaped by the future leaders of transportation that CTF supports through scholarships and education.



Partner and Infrastructure Practice Group Chair, Nossaman LLP

Patrick Harder
Nossaman LLP

Patrick D. Harder, chair of Nossaman’s Infrastructure Practice Group, is widely known for leadership in public-private partnerships (P3s) and other innovative project delivery methods such as design-build and construction manager at-risk. Mr. Harder assists public agencies in advancing complex projects through cutting-edge approaches, including helping to create a model for the use of availability payment P3s that laid the groundwork for such transactions across the United States. Among his projects, he recently advised the University of California in achieving commercial and financial close on the $1.3 billion UC Merced 2020 Campus Expansion Project – the first university campus expansion in the country to be undertaken using the P3 availability payment model.

Before joining Nossaman, Mr. Harder served as general counsel and executive manager for two of the world’s largest construction and engineering firms, both based in Japan. He also worked as legal and business advisor on dozens of public and private construction and infrastructure projects around the world including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – two of the world’s tallest buildings. Chambers-rated nationally and globally in the field of P3s, Mr. Harder has a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University and a J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.



Partner, pointC, LLC

Tony Harris

Tony Harris is a partner at pointC, LLC, a consulting firm that help our clients achieve their land use and transportation objectives by providing strategic planning, funding and implementation services. PointC’s skilled and experienced staff creates comprehensive, integrated strategies to help achieve approvals, funding, programming and implementation of land use, transportation, jobs-housing connection programs, workforce development, and policy initiatives that benefit both the public and private sectors and the community at large.

Prior to joining pointC, Tony was Chief Deputy Director of Caltrans and managed the daily multi-modal operations of the largest state transportation department in the country. Tony is a registered Civil Engineer with over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, which has enabled him to utilize his transportation knowledge to develop consensus amongst many diverse constituencies for various transportation infrastructure programs and projects.

Tony holds a civil engineering degree from North Carolina State University and is a member of the board of directors for the California Child Abuse Prevention Center which is a state, national and international training, education, research and resource center dedicated to strengthening children, families, and communities.



Owner, Sunnie House Strategies

Sunnie House,
Sunnie House Strategies

Sunnie House is the Principal and Founder of Sunnie House Strategies, a consulting firm that helps business leaders optimize their practices in order to grow and prosper. As a professional civil engineer, she has been responsible for securing and delivering over $3 billion worth of complex public works and private sector infrastructure projects in the Western United States while serving as an executive for several global infrastructure consulting firms.

As an executive in operations and business development, she led diverse teams of professionals in areas of transportation planning, engineering, program and construction management. Sunnie’s strategic, innovative, and collaborative approach has been the key to her success in the various positions she has held. She has been responsible for growth of her operations, expansion into new markets, and development of new client relationships.

As the Founder of Sunnie House Strategies, Sunnie is advising CEOs and members of boards of directors on a variety of business management practices to develop strong entrepreneurial operations in order to implement their vision and achieve success. She is also providing leadership coaching, and developing accountability and empowerment, branding and marketing, inclusion and diversity, and a variety of other programs for her clients.

Sunnie believes in giving back to her professional community and has served on the board of several professional and non-profit organizations for more than two decades. Most notably, Sunnie served as the International President of Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) and as a member of board of directors for California American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). She is currently serving as Chair on the board of the California Transportation Foundation (CTF).



Darin Johnson, P.E.
Mark Thomas

Division Manager, Mark Thomas

Darin is a Division Manager with Mark Thomas in Southern California.  He oversees operations in the Inland Empire, manages a variety of projects, and is also responsible for mentoring the firm’s growing team of Southern California transportation engineers and technicians.

Darin has more than 34 years of experience in transportation and municipal engineering, project management, and quality assurance and quality control. He has worked on a wide range of transportation improvement projects and Caltrans facilities including new bridges, bridge rehabilitations, replacements, and widenings; retaining walls and sound walls; interchange and roadway widenings; and traffic and operational improvement projects throughout California.

For the majority of his career, Darin has been involved in various industry-oriented organizations including the American Public Works Association (APWA) and WTS. One of the most rewarding aspects of his job is the ability to encourage and give back to young engineers through mentorship and through support of organizations like CTF.

Darin is a registered Civil Engineer in the State of California.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from North Dakota State University, and his Master’s in Business Administration from Georgia State University.  He and his wife Lori live in Lake Forest, and have two grown children, Nathan and Nicole.



Government Relations Manager, Aurora

Sydnee Journel

Sydnee Journel is the Government Relations Manager at Aurora. Previously she was Local Policy and Community Manager at Waymo, and the Assistant Director of Community Relations at Stanford University, and also worked at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Sydnee has a BS and MS in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and an MBA from Yale. She is fluent in French and has served on the Board of the former Abilities United and currently serves on the Board of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce.




Will Kempton

Transportation innovator and manager, Will Kempton, recently retired after more than 43 years of experience in transportation, public service and government affairs. Mr. Kempton most recently served on the Folsom Chamber of Commerce and as Executive Director of Transportation California, an industry‐based transportation advocacy group dedicated to the advancement of California’s transportation program. Transportation California has
worked for years to increase funding for the state’s ailing transportation infrastructure and was a leader in the effort to pass Senate Bill 1 which was approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in
early 2017.

Prior to his latest stint with Transportation California, Mr. Kempton served as Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission (CTC), responsible for advising and assisting the Legislature and
the Administration in the development of transportation policies and plans for California, initiating and developing state and federal legislation to secure funding for the state’s transportation needs and
facilitating the programming and allocation of funds for highway, passenger rail, transit and active transportation improvements throughout California.


Darren Kettle,
Ventura County Transportation Commission

Darren is the Executive Director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), a position he started in October 2007.  The Commission consists of one elected official from each city in the County, the five County Supervisors, and two public members – yes, that means 17 bosses.  In his service to VCTC, Darren leads a small but very capable team of transportation professionals focused on improving transportation planning, making data driven decisions to ensure the smart investment of transportation funds on transportation projects, ranging from freeway and highway projects to bicycle and pedestrian projects and bus and rail projects.  The Commission also operates Ventura County’s intercity public transit system, known as VCTC Intercity, serving public transit riders commuting within Ventura County and into Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties.

Darren has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, San Bernardino.  His professional career spans 29 years working for local government and regional transportation agencies. Prior to coming to VCTC he served in several senior positions with the county transportation agencies of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Darren and his wife Keri have been married for 8 years and when the “circus” is in town they have four kids with them in their home in Camarillo, California.


Professor of Engineering and Policy, Vice Dean for Academic Programs, Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California

James Moore, II, Ph.D.

Dr. Moore is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering; of Public Policy and Management; and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California. He received undergraduate degrees in industrial engineering and in urban planning and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in industrial engineering and a doctorate in civil engineering from Stanford University.  He is broadly interested in transportation systems, specializing in the economic impacts of urban infrastructure decisions.

He joined Northwestern’s faculty in 1986; and transitioned to USC in 1988, serving there as co-director of the construction management program from 1994 to 2010, and as director of the transportation engineering program since 1990.  He served as chair of the USC Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering from 2004 until 2010, and became Vice Dean for Academic Programs in USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 2011.

He is active with professional societies at the local and national level, serving as president of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences’ (INFORMS) Transportation Science and Logistics Society, and as Senior Vice President for Continuing Education and then as President of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE).  He has served the WTS Los Angeles chapter as a board member-at-large since 2005.



Josh Peterman, P.E.
Fehr & Peers

Principal, Fehr & Peers

Mr. Peterman has nearly 20 years of experience providing design and management of transportation projects, the last 15 with Fehr & Peers. As the National Engineering Lead at the firm, he provides technical direction and guidance to staff companywide on transportation design issues.

He has a passion for education; for over 10 years he has taught transportation design courses through UC Berkeley and ASCE.  He also has a passion for technology and management systems, having served as Director for the Intelligent Transportation Society of California for several years.

Mr. Peterman graduated from the University of California at Davis with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, and from the University of Texas at Austin with a M.S. also in Civil Engineering.  He lives in Danville, California with his wife Jessica and daughters Kathryn and Clara.



Marnie Primmer
Connected Consulting

CEO and Founder, Connected Consulting

Connected Consulting Founder and CEO Marnie O’Brien Primmer is an award-winning strategic thinker.  She has built a career from connecting the dots between people, policy, and projects.   Having been an integral part of the southern California transportation landscape for over two decades, she has built an extensive network encompassing seven counties, two capitols, dozens of decision makers and hundreds of transportation professionals and project stakeholders. In 2015, she founded Connected Consulting to bring together her comprehensive knowledge base across marketing and communications with her extensive network and experience in all phases of infrastructure project delivery to provide high-touch strategic consulting services customized to the needs of her clients.


Marnie has held leadership positions in private sector, public sector and non-profit organizations. She has an uncanny ability to synthesize complex information into easily-understood terms, and translate “asks” into action. Known for her ability to build consensus around charged issues, and for being an effective spokesperson, Marnie has testified before Congress, educates state and federal lawmakers about critical issues facing Southern California, and has a collegial rapport with committee and administration staff from Sacramento to Washington, DC.


OLWIT Solutions LLC.

Dianne Steinhauser, P.E.
OLWIT Solutions LLC.

Ms. Steinhauser has over 30 years managing transportation in the Bay Area and is currently serving as the President for OLWIT Solutions LLC. For the past 12 years, Dianne has managed Marin’s ½ cent transportation sales tax which generates over $25 million per year for Marin.  Through Marin’s sales tax, TAM has enabled tremendous growth in local transit services, local street and road rehabilitation, and has grown its very successful Safe Routes to Schools program including managing crossing guards, travel plans, School Pool, and student education around walking and biking to school.

Dianne managed the development of Marin County’s $10 Vehicle Registration Fee increase for transportation, which was successfully passed by voters in November 2010, bringing an annual $2 million to Marin for transportation needs. The VRF program includes Senior Mobility Management, an Alternative Fuels program, employer/employee support as well as funds for complete streets and bike/ped path maintenance.

She brings a robust background in funding and finance, consensus getting, and engineering management which has provided tremendous benefit to Marin, and her dedication to all modes has provided excellent results.  Dianne started her career at Caltrans, where for 20 years she rose from a construction inspector to Deputy Director managing the activity of 6 Bay Area counties. She is well versed in Project Management and Environmental Management.   Dianne attributes her success to her MTC experience as well, where she spent nearly 5 years as the Manager for Programming and Allocations. MTC helped her fine-tune her engineering technical experience with a vast array of knowledge about fund sources, legislative process, and planning. Dianne uses all these tools in her successful programs in Marin.


Vice President, Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLP

Tim Stroud
Guy F. Atkinson Construction LLP

A vice president with Atkinson, Tim Stroud provides executive leadership for the company’s Southern California division. In this role, Tim is responsible for overseeing Atkinson’s Southern California construction projects, as well as the business and operational functions in the region. Tim joined the Atkinson team in 2013 to lead the State Route 91 Corridor Improvement Project, a $672 million design-build project for Riverside County. 


Tim has more than 15 years of construction experience, having started his career with Clark Construction. While at Clark, Tim honed his skills in design-build delivery on the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center project in Bethesda, Md., where he managed 725,000 square feet of new construction and approximately 500,000 square feet of renovations on an active military hospital campus. Tim also led Clark’s Research and Development Group, where he worked with clients and subcontractors to refine and enhance the company’s preconstruction services process.  


Tim received his master’s degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Safety Trained Supervisor, an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Certified Healthcare Constructor, and he holds a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Quality Management certification.  

Tim is the executive in charge of Atkinson’s Southern California operations. In this capacity, he is responsible for the region’s financial results and manpower allocation.


Northern California Operations Manager, HNTB Corporation

Jeff Watson

Jeff Watson is a Vice President with HNTB Corporation and is located in Oakland California. He serves as the operations manager for the 100-person group which is located throughout Northern California. Jeff oversees the day to day operation of the Northern California office with a focus on strategic planning, operating budget development, office performance and project performance.

Jeff has over 25 years of civil engineering experience which includes office management, project management and program management. He has managed multi-discipline transportation projects for a wide range of clients from across the country. He is currently licensed in three states (CA, PA, TX) and has experience in planning, design, and construction.

Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil & Construction Engineering Technology from Temple University, Philadelphia.




Executive Director, CTF

Sarah West, Executive Director, CTF, West Directions

Sarah West,
Executive Director, CTF,
West Directions

In January 2011 Sarah became Executive Director of CTF.  She is also President of West Directions, an association management firm.  Sarah has worked for CTF since 1995, organizing the Foundation’s events, writing its publications and providing management support. She brings twenty-six years of professional experience in California politics and association management to her new role as Executive Director. She is the primary strategist for clients interested in organizing, maintaining and growing an association. Her unique combination of legislative expertise and public relations experience has produced decisive results for a host of West Directions clients. An expert at grassroots organizing, she has been able to pull together coalitions of affected parties and helped them communicate in a unified voice.

Before joining CTF Sarah served as Executive Director of the California Sod Producers Association, the Council for a Green Environment, and the Self-Help Counties Coalition, where she developed the annual conference, Focus on the Future.

Prior to forming West Directions, Sarah was Senior Associate at D.J. Smith Associates, where she lobbied for private and public interests before the state legislature and local governments.

Prior to joining D.J. Smith Associates, Sarah served as Senior Consultant for Townsend, Raimundo, Bessler & Usher (Townsend & Company) where she directed numerous successful political campaigns throughout California.

Sarah was educated at the University of California at Davis, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science.


Emeritus Director, CTF and Caltrans Retired

Heinz Heckeroth

Heinz Heckeroth,
Emeritus Director,









CTF Whistleblower Policy