Yassmin Gramian, PE, serves as the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. She was confirmed unanimously by the Senate on May 27, 2020. As secretary, she oversees programs and policies affecting highways, urban and rural public transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways. She manages PennDOT's annual budget of $9.5 billion, which is invested in all of Pennsylvania's approximately 120,000 miles of state and local highways and 32,000 state and local bridges. Under her leadership, PennDOT is directly responsible for nearly 40,000 miles of highway and roughly 25,400 bridges. She also has oversight of the state's 11.8 million vehicle registrations and 10.3 million driver's licenses and IDs.
Nicole joined the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor in September of 2021, and serves as the Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic Region, comprised of Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. She has led the WB priority for eliminating gender-based discrimination in the workplace, and is the current lead for the WB priority, eliminating the persistent wage gap.
Matt Smith became president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, an affiliate of
the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, in June 2015. The Chamber advocates
at the local, state and federal levels to improve the economy and the quality of life for all
who live, work and do business in the 10-county Pittsburgh region.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Smith represented the 37th Senatorial District serving in the
Pennsylvania State Senate.While in the Senate, Smith served as theminority chairman of the
Banking and Insurance Committee and of the State Government Committee. He also served
on the Aging and Youth Committee, Appropriations Committee, Judiciary Committee and
Katie Marshall is an attorney in Venable LLP’s Autonomous and Connected Mobility Group where she serves as counsel to the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (“AVIA”), a trade association consisting of the world's most innovative technology, automotive, trucking, delivery, and rideshare companies. In her role as counsel to AVIA, Katie focuses on state policy efforts. She additionally advises companies in the connected technology and autonomous vehicle industry on federal and state transportation policy and regulatory developments. Katie also provides compliance guidance on federal, state, and international laws and regulations, including Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (“FMVSS”).
Prior to practicing law, Katie served as Chief of Staff to an organization focused on state policy in Illinois. She obtained her J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif. She obtained her B.A. in History and Anthropology, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame.
Katherine Kortum is a Senior Program Officer at the Transportation Research Board where she provides recommendations to Congress and the USDOT on transportation policy. She leads a Forum on sustainable mobility and automated vehicles, a self-supporting initiative to provide the research questions needed for better public policy, and is on the editorial board of TR News magazine. Katherine has chaired citizens’ advisory groups for both the Washington DC MPO and for the WMATA transit system, along with committees for ASCE, ITE, and WTS. She was a Robert Bosch fellow in Berlin, Germany, on shared and integrated mobility research projects, and during 2020 and 2021, she worked with the DC Department of Health overseeing logistics and processing for the District’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination response. She holds an MS and PhD in Transportation Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MBA from the University of Illinois. She is a Professional Engineer in the District of Columbia.
Demonstrating the safety of autonomous vehicles at deployment and making sure that they remain safe over time is a major challenge to realizing the promises of automation. From his doctoral work at Carnegie Mellon University, through testing autonomous vehicles for the Department of Defense and developing fail-safe robotics systems at the National Robotics Engineering Center, to his current work at Edge Case Research, Dr. Justin Ray has spent his career making software systems safer for the people who interact with them. Currently, he is applying his expertise in developing and testing distributed and embedded systems, providing guidance on software process and system architecture, and developing safety cases for complex, software-intensive systems to help customers in commercial AV, defense, mining, and robotics.
Steve D’Ettorre serves as the Deputy Secretary of Technology & Entrepreneurship for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, where he focuses on supporting technology-based economic development, engaging with universities, encouraging the growth of Pennsylvania’s small businesses, working to further support the life sciences industry, and addressing the issue of outmigration in the commonwealth. He oversees policies and programming in a number of areas, such as supporting Pennsylvania’s start-up ecosystem, strengthening the manufacturing sector, venture capital funding, small business development, and the catalyzation of existing energy resources. Additionally, a number of federal opportunities tied to innovation and regional economic growth are driven out through Technology & Entrepreneurship, including EDA, SSBCI, and ARC.
Steve previously served as Policy Director at DCED where he worked on the development and execution of several of Governor Wolf’s initiatives, including the creation of the Pennsylvania Business One Stop Shop. He also served DCED’s primary point of contact on public-facing issues such as automated vehicles and health equity.
Sterling Anderson is the Co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Aurora, and a member of its board
of directors. A longtime developer of autonomous vehicle technology, Sterling developed the MIT
Intelligent Co-Pilot, a shared autonomy framework that paved the way for broad advances in
cooperative control of human-machine systems. In 2014, he joined Tesla, where he led the design,
development, and launch of the Tesla Model X and then led the team that delivered Tesla Autopilot.
Sterling holds several patents and over a dozen publications in autonomous vehicle systems and
earned his Masters and Ph.D. from MIT.
Allanté V. Whitmore, Ph.D. currently serves as the Director of SAFE’s Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Initiative. The AV Initiative has led the effort to study and quantify many of the benefits that these new technologies can offer and will continue to advocate for well-thought out and safe policy solutions to advance this critical technology. Whitmore’s passion and expertise brings a new voice to the AV community as she recently earned a joint Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research explores the environmental, equity, economic, and ethical impacts of AVs. More specifically, she assesses the integration of AVs with other modes of travel to ensure equity and accessibility, while maintaining cost-efficiency, which is important to benefiting the disadvantaged, disabled, the elderly, and society as a whole. Prior to joining SAFE, Whitmore interned at Argonne National Laboratory in the Vehicle and Mobility Systems Group, as well as served as a member of the Pittsburgh Micromobility Collective and Pittsburgh Department of Mobility and Infrastructure AV Policy Advisory Group.
Nadji Kirby serves as Chief of Staff for COMTO. In this role, Nadji uses her strategic understanding of the President & CEO’s priorities, COMTO organizational capabilities and network to move the mission forward. With oversight and direction of headquarters staff, Nadji ensures the growth and development of programs, communications and stakeholder engagement ensuring efficient operations. As a key member of the leadership team, Nadji represents COMTO at various industry events, and strategically engages partners to advance opportunities for collaboration.
Dr. Rory Cooper is the founder, director, and CEO of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL), a joint venture of the University of Pittsburgh, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Cooper also serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research for STEM and Health Sciences Collaboration and FISA/PVA Distinguished Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also Professor in the Bioengineering, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Orthopaedic Surgery departments at the University of Pittsburgh, and holds adjunct professorships at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University and the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He was awarded an Honorary Professorship at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an Honorary Doctorate at Xi’an Jiatong University in Xi'an, China. He has dedicated his career to improving mobility, function, and quality of life for people with disabilities through advanced engineering in clinical research and medical rehabilitation.
Chase Klingensmith serves as the Autonomous Vehicles Policy Analyst for the City of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining DOMI, he worked at Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science Department in Professor Mahadev Satyanarayanan’s Living Edge Lab while earning his Master’s in Public Management from CMU’s Heinz College. Chase is passionate about improving equity in urban environments with novel and creative applications of emerging technologies.
Tara Andringa is the Executive Director of Partners for Automated Vehicle
Education (PAVE), a nonprofit coalition focused on engaging with the public
about automated vehicles and their potential to improve the safety, mobility and
sustainability of our transportation system. Ms. Andringa has led the group since
its public launch in January 2019.
Ms. Andringa has more than 25 years of experience in communications, policy
and coalition management. Prior to joining PAVE, Ms. Andringa spent two decades
as a communications director in the United States Senate, managing public
relations for a U.S. Senate office and several Senate committees, including the
Senate Auto Caucus.
Ms. Andringa received her B.A. in political science from the University of
Kristin White is the Chief Operating Officer of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America). As COO Kristin’s role is to promote policies that advance the development and safe deployment of emerging transportation technologies to advance safety, equity, access, mobility and sustainability. This work includes overseeing the strategic direction of future transportation policy, developing a cohesive national vision for AVs, empowering local communities, engaging thought leaders, and promoting equity and economic prosperity. In this work, Kristin champions MobilityXX – a public-private partnership to advance gender equity in transportation.
Frank Menchaca is President, Sustainable Mobility Solutions at SAE International, the oldest and largest technical organization for engineering in ground and air transportation. Frank incubated and developed SAE's work in sustainability and has also led the organization's product development, marketing, information publishing, professional learning, events and international business. Frank has a deep background in information products and served as Executive Vice President at Cengage Learning. Frank holds degrees from New York University and Yale University and is a candidate in the Chief Sustainability Officer certification program at MIT. A musician and artist, Frank has released ten records of original music under his own name and in the duo Hourloupe; his visual art practice includes painting and digital media.
As Vice President of Academic Affairs for Pittsburgh Technical College (PTC), Eileen Steffan oversees the institution’s ten academic schools (encompassing more than 30 programs of study at the bachelor’s, associate, and certificate levels), as well as the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Library Resource Center. Driven by a student-first philosophy, Dr. Steffan inspires her team to set high expectations for students while consistently supporting their path to success.
Dr. Steffan’s 40-year career as an educator includes serving as a high school business teacher, corporate training manager, and 25 years in higher education with PTC. Before being appointed as Vice President of Academic Affairs at PTC in 2004, Dr. Steffan served as a faculty member for the Business Administration program and then the Faculty Development Coordinator. In July 2018, the PTC Board of Trustees appointed Ms. Steffan as Interim President. Serving in this role until July 2019, she focused on overseeing operations and keeping the college moving forward on its strategic initiatives.
Dr. Steffan earned her BS in Business Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her MS in Instructional Leadership from Robert Morris University. She completed her Doctorate in Education in Higher Education Leadership from Walden University in February 2021.