ITE Joint Sections Webinar Series
Diversity & Inclusion

The transportation industry has a proud history of professionals making a difference in our communities. We have created unique opportunities for engineers, planners, analysts and designers who are passionate about transportation to not only achieve these dreams but to provide upward economic mobility, stability, security, and benefits to individuals. From the DBE program to 2020 discussion of social issues, our profession has challenged itself. While not perfect in every aspect of our history, we have learned differences in background and experience can enrich the communities in which we live and work. Because personal experience and identity shape how people see the world, there is plenty to learn about thoughtful, open, and integrated sharing of ideas and career journeys. But how do we do this? Why is it important to a transportation professional? Do we fully understand how seeking greater diversity of ideas and experiences positions us all to tackle transportation’s biggest challenges? Is it the same for all sectors of our industry? Why would an industry full of opportunity not have a workforce that reflects, proportionately, all members of society? What have we learned so far? How have these challenges and successes shaped our profession? What does the next step look like in this new decade for a transportation professional? Join us as we explore this topic by hearing from voices of thought leaders, consultants, public agencies, professional societies, and student leaders.

The Western District presents an ITE Joint Sections 4-part series on this topic starting February 17th. Each session in this series will bring a different perspective on Diversity & Inclusion with each session conveniently scheduled over lunch time (noon to 1:00 PM Pacific).  Registration is open to all ITE members for free (small registration fee for non-ITE members).

The series is hosted by the ITE Oregon Section as virtual meetings and made available by the Western District to all ITE members who might be interested in how Diversity & Inclusion is being addressed in the transportation industry.


Come join us for all these lunchtime sessions.  Registration includes all sessions so join us for a few or any one you find of interest and fits your schedule (register in advance to receive the email with the Zoom link and password).  We have also planned a 5th bonus session will focus on student perspectives and the role they see that Diversity & Inclusion plays in how the profession is to advance in the coming decade.

This webinar series is intended to supplement on-going ITE Section meeting activities and provide technical content for members of Sections that are not meeting regularly through the pandemic.

  • ITE Members = FREE (register below)
  • Non-ITE Members = $25 for the series (any one or all – one price register below)

Any proceeds, above expenses, from this series will be contributed on behalf of the ITE Oregon Section to the ITE Western District Student Endowment Fund.

Session Descriptions

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Session 1: Voices of Thought Leaders
Noon – 1:00 PM Pacific

This kickoff to our series on diversity & inclusion will explore the question we hear often – how does this relate to my job, my career, my work … why is this important to a transportation professional?  Are we self-aware of how traditional approaches to transportation design and planning might not represent community needs? Hear from thought leaders in this topic space and learn the difference between diversity and equity, the impact of inclusion and where do we go next?

Moderator: Shilpa Mallem, HDR

Alyssa Rodriguez, ITE International President, City of Henderson, Director of IT
Freddie Fuller, COMTO National Chair, Jacobs, Vice President

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Session 2: Business Voices in Transportation
Noon to 1:00 PM (Pacific)

Come hear what are companies doing to incorporate Diversity & Inclusion in their policies and decision making? How have these changes affected how they view the future of their business? What changes are occurring in workforce development? What is being done in terms of recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, leadership development, and retention? Should these changes be transitional or transformational?

Moderator: Monica Leal, Global Transportation Engineering, Principal

Abbas Mohaddes, Econolite, President
Amanda Gailinas, HDR, Area Human Resource Manager
Sri Chakravarthy, Kimley-Horn & Associates, Vice President

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Session 3: Agency Voices in Transportation
Noon – 1:00 PM (Pacific)

Public agencies in transportation have been dealing with diversity for some time, in the form of EEO and DBE policies. How has this impacted their career trajectory and that of transportation professionals working for public agencies? For the agency(s) they are working at, what are ways they address diversity and inclusion? What have best practices looked like? What role has this had in improving transportation outcomes for their communities?

Moderator: Neelam Dorman, City of Anaheim, Principal Transportation Planner

Eddie Curtis, FHWA, Traffic Management Specialist
Darcy Akers, City of Bellevue, Transportation Engineer
Ryan Russo, City of Oakland, Director, Department of Transportation

Wednesday March 31, 2021

Session 4: Voices of Professional Societies
Noon – 1:00 PM (Pacific)

ITE and many other professional societies experienced an elevated awareness of diversity and inclusion. Why doesn’t our membership and leadership reflect the demographics of the communities in which we work? Are the changes in this area going fast enough? What can ITE and transportation societies learn from other groups focused in specific demographic sectors (COMTO, NSBE, SHPE, AISES, ICTPA, and others)? How could ITE collaborate more effectively with other partners in diversity? What are the most important steps that can be done to serve members in this topic space?

Moderator: TBA

Michele Yatchmeneff, AISES, University of Alaska at Anchorage, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering
Victoria Gray, NSBE Professionals Region 6 Chair, Northrup Grumman, Systems Engineer

Wednesday April 7, 2021

Session 5: Voices of Students
Noon – 1:00 PM (Pacific)

Moderator: Pat Marnell, Q-Free

This session is focused on student perspectives and the role they see that Diversity & Inclusion play in how the profession is to advance in the coming decade.  Students will be randomly assigned to break out rooms to allow them to discuss some targeted questions and share back their thoughts on the role of Diversity & Inclusion within ITE.  The format of this session is intended to facilitate small group discussions.