Board Members

Office: Board President


Yoriko Kishimoto is an elected member of the MidPeninsula Regional Open Space Board. Previously, she served on the Palo Alto City Council where she promoted walkable communities, open government, high environmental standards, and fiscal responsibility. She became Mayor in 2007.

Yoriko represents Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District on several regional boards, including two years as Chair of the Santa Clara Water Commission and as alternate delegate to Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) of Santa Clara County.  She is also a Councilor of the Save the Redwoods League and Honorary Advisor to the Hakone Foundation. She previously served on the boards of Hidden Villa, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Valley Transportation Authority.

Yoriko enjoys painting, and she and her husband love hiking on all Midpen trails.

Office: Board Vice President

Marianna Grossman

Marianna Grossman is Managing Partner of Minerva Ventures, a consultancy focused on solutions for a resilient future – advising communities on climate risk and restoration solutions, and companies in circular economy, water, energy, remediation, and finance. Marianna brings people and institutions together across sectors to collaborate, invent and implement solutions that enhance sustainability and reverse climate change. She led Sustainable Silicon Valley, after working in the automotive, computer, and semiconductor industries. Recent publication: Sustainable Electricity II: A Conversation on Tradeoffs, Chapter on Silicon Valley Corporate Case Studies on Clean Energy Innovation. Service positions include: California’s Climate Adaptation Action Plan Technical Advisory Group 2016; Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable; the international Balaton Group; ClimateMusic Project; Environmental Entrepreneurs; and, climate action councils for Palo Alto and Mountain View. She earned a BA in Policy Studies, Dartmouth College and an MBA from Yale School of Management.

Office: Board Treasurer


Richard W. Lee PhD, AICP (Rick) is a certified planner, transportation consultant and academic with a longstanding and wide-ranging interest in sustainable transport and human-scale cities. He has over 30 years of diverse experience in transportation and urban planning. His consulting experience includes management of regional transportation plans, general plans, rail and bus transit projects, smart growth transportation studies, and a wide variety of traffic forecast studies. His fundamental career aim is to integrate the best academic research into the practice of transportation planning.

He holds a Ph.D. in City & Regional Planning as well as master’s degrees in both city planning and civil engineering from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and a BA (History) from Carleton College. He has taught transportation planning and led major research projects at several universities, including Massey University in New Zealand (where he lived from 1995 – 1998), UC Berkeley, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, UC-Davis, UCLA and San José State University (his current appointment). He is a Mineta Institute Research Associate and serves as an advisor to TransForm’s GreenTrip certification program.

He has authored or co-authored dozens of professional and academic publications, including Sustainable Transportation Indicators for California, Mineta Transportation Institute (2004), and “Smart Growth Parking Requirements Review,” ITE Journal, December, 2010.

Office: Board Secretary

John Eells  is a transportation planner with 34 years of experience preparing comprehensive transportation plans and developing sustainable transportation projects at the local and regional level. John’s experience includes 2 years in the Legislative Analyst Office in the California State Legislature, 5 years with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), 7 years as the Transportation Planning Coordinator for Marin County and 20 years as a consultant. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree in City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

John has assisted in the preparation of Regional Transportation Plans for Sacramento and Lake Tahoe and reviewed Regional Transportation Plans throughout California for conformance with State greenhouse gas reduction requirements for the California Attorney General’s Office. He participated in a joint effort by Caltrans and the California Council on Science and Technology to develop a proposal for a new California Center for Transportation Innovation to coordinate transportation research activities in California.

John has also managed major multi-modal transportation studies, evaluated the feasibility of proposal ferry services, and worked on the implementation of several rail transit projects including the Sacramento Light Rail project, the ACE Commuter Rail Service from Stockton to San Jose, the SMART Commuter Rail Service from Cloverdale to Larkspur, proposed AMTRAK service from Oakland to Reno, and the proposed high speed Maglev Service from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

michellederobertisMichelle DeRobertis is a licensed Traffic and Civil Engineer in California specializing in bicycle, pedestrian and sustainable transportation issues. She holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and a M.S. in Transportation Engineering, both from the University of California at Berkeley.  In 2019 she received her PhD from the University of Brescia Italy.

Michelle was a transportation engineering consultant for over twenty years managing nonmotorized and traffic calming projects in California as well as in Charlotte NC, Chicago IL and Lima Peru.

She has been an Instructor for U.C. Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies Technology Transfer Program and has guest lectured graduate courses at UC Berkeley and CSU San Jose in City and Regional Planning. She served on the Bicycle Technical Committee which advises the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. She received a fellowship from the German Marshall Fund to study TOD and land use in Italy and Germany in 2009.

Sue Prant has been involved in bicycling for over 20 years. In the early nineties she became the first Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition and grew the organization from a handful of committed folks to over 1,500 members. As director she increased funding, added events, established a center city office and lobbied for over 40 million dollars of federal funds for bike projects in the region, including the Philadelphia Bicycle Network of over 300 miles of bikes lanes- one of the largest in the country and the first large scale US city bike network of its kind.

In 2006, Sue moved to Boulder Colorado, where she re-vamped the city Bike to Work Day and Walk & Bike Month programs, dramatically increasing participation and local sponsorship. In 2006, she also served on the founding board of Community Cycles, Boulder’s first nonprofit bicycle organization. Community Cycles is a community bike shop offering Earn-a-Bike and safety and education programs, as well as bike advocacy.

Each year, Community Cycles recycles over 2000 bikes, putting those bikes into the community. In 2008, Walk & Bike Month/ Bike to Work Day became a program of Community Cycles under Sue’s leadership. In 2010, Sue took on the additional role at Community Cycles of Development and Advocacy Director. In her first year in that position, Sue increased Community Cycles budget by 50% through federal and local funding sources.

RenneHeadshot2018Dr. John L. Renne, AICP is the Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) and an Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University.  He is also an Honorary Visiting Research Associate at the University of Oxford. He is the past Director of the Merritt C. Becker, Jr. UNO Transportation Institute, Associate Provost and tenured faculty member in Planning and Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans. He has held positions in academia and in the real estate industry in the United States, Australia and United Kingdom.

Dr. Renne’s research focuses on creating sustainable, resilient and  livable cities, with a focus on land development and transportation infrastructure. Dr. Renne is an author and editor of Transit-Oriented Development: Making It Happen (Ashgate, 2009), Transport Beyond Oil: Policy Choices for a Multimodal Future (Island Press, 2013) and over 100 papers, book chapters and professional reports. He chairs the Transportation and Land Development Committee for the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and serves on many committees and boards of nonprofits and professional associations.

ChrisFerrell-PhotoChristopher Ferrell Ph.D.  began his career in 1995 as a planner for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).   He completed his doctoral studies in City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley in 2005 and worked as a consultant with Dowling Associates, Inc. for 10 years before leaving to help form CFA Consultants in 2010.

He has been the principal investigator for five research projects for the Mineta Transportation Institute, where he has been a Research Associate since 2005. His research focuses on the relationships between transportation and land use, livability, travel behavior, transportation policy and planning-related institutional structures.

His research experience includes the study of multimodal transit and freeway corridors, the best practices for building successful transit-oriented development, the effects of transit-oriented development on surrounding property values, the effects of neighborhood crimes on transportation mode choice, and a set of methods, metrics and strategies for evaluating transit corridor livability.

As a practitioner, he has planned mixed-use, infill and transit-oriented development projects, analyzed the impacts of specific and general plans, planned and implemented intelligent transportation systems, and developed bicycle and pedestrian plans. He has taught several quantitative methods classes in the San Jose State University Urban Planning Department and a course in transportation and land use in the City and Regional Planning Department at the University of California at Berkeley.

John Whitelegg  is a Visiting Professor in the School of the Built Environment at Liverpool John Moores University (UK).  In addition to a PhD in geography he has a law degree (LLB). In recent years he has held professorial appointments at Lancaster University (Geography), Roskilde University (Transport), Essen University (Geography) and York University (Sustainable Development).

He is the editor of the journal, World Transport Policy and Practice (now in its 23rd year of publication), a member of the International Advisory Board of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Energy and the Environment (Germany) and a member of the Advisory Board of the Chandradeep Solar Research Institute (CDSRI) in Kolkata (India).

He has worked on sustainable transport projects in India, China, Australia, Germany, Sweden and Slovenia and on the same subjects with the European Parliament and European Commission.  He is the technical author of the world’s first technical standard on reducing demand for private motorised transport and published by the British Standards Institution. He is a member of the World Health Organisation expert group on physical activity which has produced a global strategy for improving health (reducing non-communicable diseases such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes and obesity) that gives strong support to walking, cycling, spatial planning and urban design.

John has written 12 books.  His most recent book is “Mobility: A new urban design and transport planning philosophy for a sustainable future”.  In this book he strongly advocates a “joined-up” approach to achieving 3 zeroes, all of which need the same set of measures and interventions:

  • Zero carbon
  • Zero death and injury in the road traffic environment
  • Zero air pollution

Meghna Tare
As UT Arlington’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Meghna works collaboratively to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments at UT Arlington. She leads institutional sustainability efforts in support of the UT Arlington 2020 Strategic Plan- Bold Solutions | Global Impact that is enabling a sustainable megacity that centers on four themes: health and the human condition, sustainable urban communities, global environmental impact and data-driven discovery. She also works to address opportunities to promote sustainability in several areas energy efficiency, resource conservation, waste management, transportation, education, outreach, community engagement, supporting and encouraging student initiatives, and implementing an interdisciplinary and sustainability-focused curriculum.

Meghna serves and represent UTA on several Advisory Boards including the National Academy of Science Board on Higher Education and Workforce Development—Policy and Global Affairs, National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB), Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and Women Economic Forum.

She was featured as the Women in CSR by Triple Pundit, and awarded Women of the Decade in Corporate Social Responsibility by the Women Economic Forum. Meghna graduated with an MBA in Sustainable Management, MS in Environmental Science, and MS in Chemistry.

Jessica Alba joined Stanford University as an internal and external liaison on transportation policy matters in 2017. Prior to Stanford, she was a sustainable transportation planner at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates and Trivector Traffic, two thought leaders on transportation solutions that put people first. While leading various TDM, parking management, and sustainable transportation planning efforts throughout North America, she was also Nelson\Nygaard’s Director of Staff Development. As Stanford’s Transportation Policy Manager, Ms. Alba represents and supports the organization on local, regional, state, and federal transportation policy matters.

Ms. Alba has dual M.S. degrees in Earth Science and Environmental Sciences from Lund University, Sweden.