Sharon Feigon stays on as Founder in Residence
(Chicago, IL) The Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) welcomed Benjamin de la Peña as its new Chief Executive Officer effective the 1st of January, 2021. Sharon Feigon, who announced her plan to retire at the end of 2020, will stay on as Founder in Residence.
Benjie, as SUMC’s new CEO is more popularly known, has a national and international profile in transportation, particularly in innovation and technology.
“Benjie is the right leader for our organization,” said Clayton Lane, Chairman of SUMC’s Board. “He brings extensive experience in smart cities, public life, urban development, technology, and mobility that, combined with his dynamic approach to organizational leadership, should strengthen SUMC’s impact on climate change and social justice through sustainable mobility.”
“I am very excited to join the amazing SUMC team,” said Benjie. “They are widely respected for their expertise, particularly in providing technical assistance to cities and local governments who are trying to make sense of the new modes of transportation. They are trusted by federal, state, and local governments, by advocates, and by the private sector players. SUMC and SUMC’s team is, to paraphrase Archimedes, a ‘place to stand to move the earth.’”
Benjie previously served as the first ever Chief of Strategy and Innovation for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) where he led the development of nationally recognized technology and mobility strategies such as Seattle’s New Mobility Playbook and the draft Transportation Information Infrastructure Plan. The two documents were noted for using equity and community values to drive technology strategy. Benjie also introduced lean and agile methodologies to the agency.
Benjie was on the advisory committee to the groundbreaking Los Angeles Transportation Technology Strategy (pdf link), and he initiated projects such as Digital Matatus and TransitScore, and was a key player in the inception of TransportationCamp. Benjie spent nearly a decade in the philanthropic sector directing international and domestic urban and transportation programs for the Rockefeller Foundation, and leading community and national strategy for the Knight Foundation. He conceptualized and led the Informal City Dialogues. He also advised Cooper-Hewitt’s The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility, and Design with the Other 90% exhibits.
Currently, Benjie chairs the recently inaugurated Global Partnership for Informal Transportation and serves on the US Advisory Group of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy. He also founded the boutique consulting firm Agile City Partners, which is focused on bringing the agile mindset to cities around the world.
“I have big shoes to fill and am grateful for the success that Sharon created with the team. I am particularly looking forward to the leadership role SUMC will play in addressing the issues of climate change and social justice through equitable transportation,” Benjie continued. “Making sure families and individuals can live and thrive without needing to own a car plays a massive role in addressing the existential and conjoined planetary and societal crises we face.”
Benjie completed his Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (with a focus on the use of technology for planning). He has a bachelor’s degree in Communication, majoring in Journalism, from the University of the Philippines.
About the Shared-Use Mobility Center
The Shared-Use Mobility Center is a public-interest organization dedicated to achieving equitable, affordable, and environmentally sound mobility across the US through the efficient sharing of transportation assets. By connecting the public and private sectors, piloting programs, conducting new research, and providing policy and technical expertise to cities and regions, SUMC seeks to extend the benefits of shared mobility for all.
Media Contact: Leslie Gray