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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces 2021 Leadership Speaker Series on Innovation, Sustainability, and Equity in Transportation

Friday, May 21, 2021

Kick-off Event on Wednesday, June 2 to Feature U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Science Officer Dr. Robert Hampshire

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Science Officer Dr. Robert Hampshire will kick off the DOT Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (DOT Volpe Center) 2021 Leadership Series on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at 12:30 ET.  The new Series is in step with the DOT Volpe Center’s long tradition of engaging a broad range of stakeholders to inform decision making and advance an important dialogue about the future of the national and global transportation system.

The 2021 Leadership Series, “Innovation for a Sustainable, Equitable Transportation System,” will take place virtually from May through September 2021.  Each event is open to the public, but registration is required. 

As the United States innovates toward a clean energy future, the Leadership Series plans to cover how to transition to a low-/no-carbon transportation system that also enables disadvantaged communities to gain access to mobility, jobs, and economic opportunity.  Because transportation emissions account for about 28 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, solutions to climate change and equity challenges require a holistic approach. 

The Leadership Series will explore how the transportation sector can work together to address the profound climate crisis while ensuring that decision-making and investments also address transportation equity. 

Future Leadership Series speakers will include:

  • Tuesday, June 8: Dr. Ed Carr, Director and Professor, International Development, Community, and Environment Department at Clark University and a lead author of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report.

  • Tuesday, June 22: Dr. Erin Mayfield, researcher with the High Meadows Environmental Institute and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment at Princeton University will speak on “Net-Zero America: Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts.”

  • Tuesday, July 20: Dr. Marilyn Brown, Interim Chair and Regents and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech will speak on energy futures and the great energy transition.

  • Tuesday, August 3: Dr. James Bradbury, Mitigation Program Director for the Georgetown University’s Climate Center and manager of the Transportation and Climate Initiative will speak on collaboration among states to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.

  • Tuesday, September 14: Dr. Shelley Francis, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of EVNoire – an organization focused on best practices with e-mobility, transportation, energy, and environmental equity - will discuss work underway to provide resources and access to under-resourced, diverse, and frontline communities around affordable, clean, and sustainable energy vehicles and platforms.

  • Thursday, September 23: The Series finale will feature Dr. Susan Shaheen, Co-Director, Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. She will speak on innovation, sustainability, equity and mobility.

Additional events in this series are forthcoming.  For more information and registration, please visit