Sharon is the founder and executive director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a nonprofit, public interest organization that works to address the environmental impact, accessibility, and cost of transportation by connecting the public and private sectors, building knowledge, and developing solutions that achieve shared mobility for all.
As executive director, Sharon heads SUMC’s work as Co-Administrator of the California Air Resources Board’s Clean Mobility Options program, which directs $17 million to shared and electric pilot projects in low-income communities around the state.
She leads the Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator and On-Ramp Programs in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, programs that assist cities and transit agencies in planning and implementing MOD projects, as well as oversees the Twin Cities Shared Mobility Collaborative.
Sharon was Principal Investigator for a series of groundbreaking reports for the Transit Cooperative Research Program including Report 188, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit and its companion Report 195, Broadening Understanding of the Interplay Among Public Transit, Shared Mobility and Personal Automobiles, and Report 196, Private Transit: Existing Services and Emerging Directions.
She currently serves on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Working Group on Autonomous Vehicles and was previously appointed to both Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Transportation and Infrastructure Transition Committee and Mayor Emanuel’s New Transportation and Mobility Task Force.
Prior to her tenure at SUMC, Sharon was the CEO of IGO Carsharing, the nonprofit organization that started carsharing in the Chicago region. Under Sharon’s leadership, IGO grew from a small pilot project into a successful operating company with 15,000 members in 45 neighborhoods. Sharon worked with the Chicago Transit Authority to create the first combined carshare/transit fare card in North America, which continues to serve as a model for the partnership possibilities between shared-use companies and public transit. She led IGO’s expansion into underserved communities and also developed solar canopies and charging stations that helped introduce renewable charging and mobility hubs to the region.
Before taking the helm at IGO, Sharon was the Director of Research and Development at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) for more than a decade, where she was lead author for TCRP Report 93, Travel Matters: Mitigating Climate Change with Sustainable Surface Transportation. Sharon also coordinated CNT’s Transit-Oriented Development Program and was one of the authors of The New Transit Town.
Sharon was a founder of the national Carsharing Association and has served as Co-Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Shared-Use Vehicle Public Transport Systems Subcommittee and as a member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-ND Committee, which created LEED standards for neighborhood developments. She holds an MBA from DePaul University and a BA in Economics from Antioch College.
Albert Benedict is the Research Manager at SUMC, where he is responsible for managing several national projects to evaluate opportunities and economic and environmental benefits related to shared mobility and integrated transportation systems.
Prior to SUMC, Albert worked at the Center for Neighborhood Technology for 10 years as a Senior Planner & GIS Analyst. His work at CNT combined his expertise in both Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and economic development. He has provided analysis for CNT’s projects in communities across the country and his research has been used to build sustainability strategies for cities in areas such as form-based code, location efficiency, bus rapid transit, streetcars and transit-oriented and economic development.
Albert has presented at numerous professional conferences and contributed to many research projects and publications, including: The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development, by Hank Dittmar and Gloria Ohland (Island Press, 2004), Hidden in Plain Sight: Capturing the Demand for Housing Near Transit (Federal Transit Administration, 2005), Location Efficiency Model for the Greater London Metropolitan Area and the Walthamstow Town Centre Case Study Example (Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, 2008).
Albert holds an MA in Geography with an emphasis in Urban Planning from the University of Akron, Ohio and a BA in Psychology/Environmental Planning from The University of Wisconsin, Whitewater.
Research and Consulting Director
Colin works on SUMC’s research efforts, with an emphasis on newer shared modes’ interaction with existing transportation networks and their potential to transform our cities. He was lead writer and researcher on TCRP Research Report 188, Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit, and heads the research teams for other several other research projects currently underway at SUMC.
Before SUMC, he worked with Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition and the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago. Colin has a BA from UT Austin and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University, and enjoys hauling absurd masses of humans and materials by bicycle.
Program Manager, California
As SUMC’s Program Manager in California, Mary is responsible for assisting with the implementation of the Electric Vehicle Carsharing Pilot Program in Los Angeles. Before SUMC, Mary worked as a Project Coordinator with Hey!Tanks LA, a rainwater harvesting company in Los Angeles. She has also worked with Amigos de los Rios on project management, grant writing and volunteer coordination on the Emerald Necklace Project along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel rivers in Southern California.
Mary holds a BA of Environmental Analysis from Pitzer College. Her thesis, Sediment Removal from the San Gabriel Mountains, explored the issues of sediment management, beach replenishment and riparian habitat restoration.
She has been a certified Master Gardner since 2008 and enjoys participating in regional habitat restoration efforts, hiking the San Gabriel Mountains and making chocolate for local community events.
Prashanth leads SUMC’s work to support the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand (MOD) Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator program, which is charged with providing technical assistance and fostering collaboration among MOD Sandbox participants. His experience includes managing government-funded technical programs, creating and executing test plans, coordinating with diverse stakeholders, and conducting large-scale data analysis for development of environmental policy.
Prashanth previously worked as an engineer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Michigan’s Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide), where he helps to monitor the agency’s performance and guide its long-term strategic direction. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan.
Program Director, California
Brian is a city planner dedicated to building equitable and climate-friendly urban systems. As a Program Director with SUMC, he manages programs that advance this goal, including SUMC’s Shared+Electric Mobility Initiative and the organization’s pilot projects in underserved communities across California. Prior to joining SUMC, he managed climate change programs for ICLEI USA, part of a global network of nearly 1,000 cities focused on sustainability and resilience. In this capacity, he led a team that created industry-leading standards, software tools, and training programs for climate mitigation and adaptation, while spearheading U.S. city involvement in initiatives such as the 21st UN Conference of Parties in Paris and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
He has also developed sustainability plans, programs, and partnerships for San Diego’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (SANDAG), California consulting firm PlaceWorks, and Atlanta non-profit Southface Energy Institute. Brian holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Georgia and currently lives in Pasadena, California.
Linda S. Sloan, AICP has three decades of experience in city planning and administration and is responsible for SUMC’s operations and human resources.
Linda has managed the planning department of a suburban city and was an executive director of a regional planning organization. Her expertise in program, board and personnel management, staff development, and land use planning keeps the administrative side of the organization running smoothly.
Communications Associate & Social Media Manager
As Communications Associate & Social Media Manager, Israel works on digital strategies and multimedia design to push SUMC’s brand forward while leveraging social, email, and online marketing to promote the vision of Mobility for All. He also manages SUMC’s weekly Mobility Hub newsletter.
Before working at SUMC, Israel gained skills in targeted experiential marketing as a Nightlife Brand Ambassador for GMR Marketing, lightning fast delivery props as a bike courier, and worked as an Event Coordinator for the French-American Chamber of Commerce before that.
Israel holds a B.A. in International Business from Ball State University with majors in International Business and French. In his free time, Israel likes traveling, various types of photography, and supporting local business in Chicago.
Senior Project Associate
Rudy is a Senior Project Associate for initiatives throughout SUMC, from a carsharing improvement study to the Federal Transit Administration’s Innovation and Knowledge Accelerator.
He comes to the Shared Use Mobility Center from a career in book publishing in New York and Chicago, which has left him with a love of good writing in many genres. One day, Rudy hopes to apply his A.B. in Medieval Studies at the University of Chicago to a modern urban theory. In the meantime, he will complete his Masters in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
A New Jersey native, he has mostly traded hiking for riding bicycles that he builds, “even in this weather(?).” Rudy may also be found washing pots at Ravenswood Community Services, or enjoying a post-ride coffee or beer at one of Chicago’s fine purveyors.
Senior Project Associate
As a Senior Project Associate, Kevin spends his time supporting a wide range of research and communications efforts at SUMC.
Kevin received a Bachelor of Science in Geography and a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota. During this time, he worked for the university on transportation and environmental quality initiatives as an engineering technician, AmeriCorps fellow and assistant researcher. His past work for state and local government includes comprehensive and strategic plan updates, public outreach campaigns and legislative policy research.
Outside of work, Kevin can be found enjoying Chicago’s great live music and arts scene or exploring a new neighborhood on his bike.
Policy and Strategy Director
Alvaro Villagran is a Program Manager at the Shared-Use Mobility Center. Alvaro’s work focuses in leading the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand (MOD) On-Ramp Program, providing technical assistance to transit agencies across the country in developing a wide array of mobility-on-demand projects, including: microtransit, mobility-as-a-service, mobility hubs, accessible on-demand programs, and bike share integration to transit.
Alvaro holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master’s Degree in History from Northwestern University. Prior to SUMC, Alvaro worked for the Transportation Improvement Program at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
Alvaro is a member of the American Planning Association, serves as a Transport Chicago Steering Committee Member, and is a member of Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT), where he served as YPT International Director for Chapter Development and as YPT Chicago Chapter Chair.
Communications and Public Affairs Director
Leslie Gray offers 15 years of combined experience as a copywriter for global brands and as a journalist for print and digital media. She holds a B.S. in Mass Communications and an M.S. in Copywriting from the VCU Brandcenter. Leslie also studied Graduate Communications Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
A vehicle accident led her to feel deeply about the importance of shared mobility for all and the role of transportation in climate and anti-racist action, and she is proud to use her broad skill set to support positive change.
Leslie is also an accomplished freelance writer and editor who has published on global media sites, collaborated with artists, is editor of a Chicago newsletter, and writes and performs monologues in the Chicago area. She enjoys sushi, poetry, dance, and talking to strangers.
Peter is a Project Associate at SUMC supporting a range of research projects including the Mobility-On-Demand Learning Center, a national analysis of mobility partnerships, and a job access study in Texas. Peter brings a data-driven approach to problem solving from his previous career as an engineer.
After completing his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Peter worked as a manufacturing engineer in the automotive and healthcare industries. He came to SUMC as a research fellow while completing his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In his spare time, Peter enjoys following Philadelphia sports teams and exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods on Divvy bikes.
Fabian L. Campos
Program Coordinator, California
Fabian L. Campos is a Program Coordinator at SUMC and helps organize the organization’s clean mobility pilot projects in underserved populations across California. Prior to joining SUMC, Fabian worked in the private sector conducting land-use entitlement processes, convened stakeholders for a transportation agency to help develop their long-range plan, and developed and packaged workforce development programs to help at-risk youth transition into the workforce, the transportation, trade and logistics sectors in particular. When not busy advocating for improved transportation modes, Fabian enjoys average-length bike rides and walking tours, discovering more food and music scenes, and a good read in a public space.
Fabian received his Bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Lauren N. McCarthy
Program Manager, California
Lauren is a Program Manager at SUMC. Her work includes managing and contributing to various dimensions of the Clean Mobility Options Program and supporting multiple SUMC research initiatives. Lauren is also a Ph.D. Candidate at the Schar School for Policy and Government. Her dissertation work investigates the applicability of established policy process models in the introduction of novel technologies, with a focus on micromobility.
Before joining SUMC, Lauren was Program Manager and Senior Researcher for the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy at George Mason University. In 2019 Lauren was selected as a Google Public Policy Fellow. Lauren has presented her research at numerous conferences, such as the Transportation Research Board Conference and the World Conference on Transport Research, and published work in multiple outlets, including the peer-reviewed journal Transport Policy
Lauren is a proud Buffalonian (Go Bills! Go Sabres!) and enjoys walking around cities and striking up conversations with the people she meets along the way. She received a B.S. in Business Administration and an M.A. in Geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Board of Directors
Clayton Lane, Board Chair
Mobility Specialist, WhereIsMyTransport
Clayton has 20 years of experience as a social entrepreneur, mobility expert, and international program director. Clayton co-founded PhillyCarShare and grew it to become the largest regional car-sharing system in the world, displacing about 20,000 cars, reduced driving by about 50 million miles, and avoiding about 46,000 tons of CO2. More recently as CEO of ITDP, COO of EMBARQ, and Deputy Director of WRI Cities, Clayton has led 100-200 passionate professionals to influence mobility policy & plans in over 50 cities worldwide. Clayton has played key roles in raising over $100 million; leading strategy; and forging partnerships with governments, banks, UN agencies, NGOs & companies. He also has overseen top-notch research teams authoring the “Bike Share Planning Guide” and BRT and TOD Standards.
Scott Bernstein, Board Treasurer
Founder and Chief Strategy + Innovation Officer, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Scott leads CNT’s work to understand and better disclose the economic value of resource use in urban communities, and helps craft strategies to capture the value of this efficiency productively and locally. He studied at Northwestern University, served on the research staff of Northwestern’s Center for Urban Affairs, taught at UCLA and was a founding Board member at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Center. In addition, President Clinton appointed Scott to the President’s Council for Sustainable Development, where he co-chaired its task forces on Metropolitan Sustainable Communities and on Cross-Cutting Climate Strategies and contributed to other federal advisory panels on global warming, development strategy, and science policy.
Mariia Zimmerman, Board Secretary
Principal and Founder, MZ Strategies, LLC
As Founder and Principal of MZ Strategies, LLC, an urban policy firm located in Richmond, VA, Mariia serves clients across the country. Mariia has worked in dozens of communities on a wide range of policy topics addressing such critical community needs as sustainable infrastructure and affordable housing, inclusive community development finance, and anti-displacement strategies. Mariia served previously as the Deputy Director for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Sustainable Communities and Housing, was a founding member and interim Director of Transportation for America, and spent several years working on Capitol Hill and at the US Department of Transportation. Mariia has authored numerous reports and publications including on topics covering transportation reform, equitable transit-oriented development, and emerging practices in regional planning.
Anita Cozart (née Hairston)
Deputy Director of Community Planning and Design
Office of Planning, Washington D.C.
Anita is the Deputy Director of Community Planning and Design at the Office of Planning (OP) with a history of public sector work primarily focused on Washington D.C. Anita initially served at OP as a Neighborhood and Citywide Planner and Chief of Staff. In her current role, she oversees the OP’s work on neighborhood plans and urban design analyses. Having previously served as a managing director at PolicyLink, where she led place-based, equitable development initiatives in cities across the United States, Anita brings to her current work at OP a decade of experience utilizing a racial equity lens with community planning, housing, transportation, and infrastructure policy.
President and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation
Robert Puentes is President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a non-profit think tank with the mission of improving transportation policy and leadership. Prior to joining Eno, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program where he directed the program’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. He is currently a non-resident senior fellow with Brookings. Before Brookings, Robert was the director of infrastructure programs at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. Robert has worked extensively on a variety of transportation issues, including infrastructure funding and finance, and city and urban planning.
Emily Castor Warren
Senior Policy Advisor, Nelson\Nygaard
Emily is a shared mobility pioneer with a wealth of experience in transportation policy and technology regulation. As Senior Policy Advisor, she guides transportation agencies in developing policy frameworks to govern emerging technologies and deliver safe, equitable, sustainable outcomes. After starting her career as a Congressional legislative aide and municipal financial analyst, Emily joined Lyft in 2012, where she founded several core departments and led teams focused on transportation policy, public transit partnerships, and community engagement. Emily later joined Lime, where she led the global policy and research team. Emily also serves on the advisory board of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and Boston’s LivableStreets Alliance. She maintains advisory affiliations with Fontinalis Partners and Superpedestrian.
Kevin is a mobility entrepreneur, passionate about turning great ideas into products and services that improve people’s lives through better mobility and healthier cities. He is a 4-time founder of successful Canadian mobility and healthy city ventures, including AutoShare, Toronto’s original carsharing service (1998), now part of Enterprise CarShare; Vancouver’s Modo – the Car Co-op (1997) and Evergreen.ca (1991), Canada’s leading NGO that works to make cities flourish. He is currently CEO of his latest startup Zygg—the first subscription service for personal e-bikes in North America, based in Toronto. Kevin was recently a Vice President at Free2Move, the urban mobility service that allows users to search, compare and choose from a variety of mobility options on a single app.
Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
At the AARP Public Policy Institute, Jana manages AARP’s transportation research agenda and is responsible for the development of policy adopted by the AARP Board of Directors. Jana’s areas of expertise include livable communities, transportation, and land use planning and policy. Her current research explores how “disruptive” technologies may influence the form and delivery of transportation services of the future. In 2015, Jana was responsible for the development of AARP’s groundbreaking Livability Index, which measures how well every neighborhood in the United States meets residents’ needs. Jana previously served as director of transportation planning for the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, where she designed and managed an influential study on the link between land use and the mobility of older adults.