The Office of Extraordinary Innovation was created in 2015 by CEO Phil Washington to identify the best ideas in transportation and help to test, refine, and implement them at LA Metro. OEI is focused on finding new ways of thinking and innovative new methods and approaches for bringing convenient, affordable, and effective mobility solutions to Los Angeles.
Who We Are
Dr. Joshua Schank
Chief Innovation Officer
Joshua Schank became the first-ever Chief Innovation Officer for Metro in 2015, when he joined Metro to build the Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI). In that time OEI has grown from a small office into an industry leader, bringing to life some of the most cutting-edge ideas in transportation. Prior to joining Metro, Dr. Schank was the President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, a national transportation-policy think-tank in Washington, DC. He previously served as Transportation Policy Advisor to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and is the co-author of All Roads Lead to Congress: The $300 Billion Fight Over Highway Funding. Dr. Schank has a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University, a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from Columbia University.
Executive Officer of Innovation
Mark has researched, taught and advocated on a range of policy issues, including transportation, housing, homelessness, urban planning, climate change, sustainability, food and trade. Mark previously directed the think tank LAplus, was policy director for Abundant Housing LA, researched and taught urban and environmental policy at Occidental College, and worked on international trade for Friends of the Earth. Mark is co-author of The Next Los Angeles: the Struggle for a Livable City. Mark received his BA and JD from the University of Virginia.
Tham is a Senior Director. She is responsible for facilitating the implementation of Vision 2028 and monitoring its progress to ensure alignment with the agency’s strategic vision and goals. Her professional work has focused on the intersection of improving mobility, livability, and environmental outcomes. Her work in transportation has spanned over 16 years and includes leadership roles in multimodal planning, transportation policy development, and infrastructure funding. She currently oversees Metro’s transformational initiatives, including studying the feasibility of testing and implementing pricing strategies to reduce traffic congestion and exploring opportunities for expanding access to shared, demand-responsive transportation options.
Colin F. Peppard
Senior Director, P3 and Innovation
Colin is a Senior Director overseeing Metro’s Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Program. He oversees Metro’s work to identify, evaluate, and implement innovative approaches to deliver high performing capital project investments and emerging mobility services. Colin previously led the implementation of Metro’s Unsolicited Proposal Policy, where he developed and launched Metro’s first on-the-ground pilot project with a Transportation Network Company (TNC). Prior to that, he served as Policy Advisor and Committee Staff to a senior United States Senator on federal transportation issues Washington, D.C.
Senior Manager, P3 and Innovation
Andrew is a Senior Innovation Manager developing and evaluating Metro’s Public-Private Partnerships opportunities. Over the last three years, Andrew worked to expand Metro’s public and employee Electric Vehicle Charger programs and to electrify Metro’s Non-Revenue Fleet. Previously he worked as a Capital Projects Coordinator for the City of Long Beach and as an urban planning consultant in international development.
Senior Manager, Transportation Planning
Avital is a Senior Manager in OEI where she focuses on shaping policies and implementing projects that work to nudge LA County towards more sustainable modes of transportation instead of driving alone. She previously worked in Metro’s Planning department launching and managing the Metro Bike Share program. A daily transit and bike rider with a flair for “cycle chic” fashion, Avital holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA.
Raymond is leading the first agency-wide review of Metro’s pricing policies for all transportation services, including transit fare policy and user charges for on-demand mobility. Ray’s professional work has centered around evidence-based policy development at the nexus of transport, land use, and the environment. Some of his prior work include regional apartment parking studies and transit-oriented affordable housing. With stops at TransLink, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and Metro Vancouver Regional District, Ray brings a regional perspective to city-making. Ray holds an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, and a graduate degree in urban planning.
Ryan is focused on the Traffic Reduction Study and implementation and monitoring of Vision 2028. Prior to LA metro he worked in the nonprofit and consulting industries on climate mitigation and adaptation planning, economics, and land use and mobility policy at the federal, state, and local levels. He has Master of Arts degrees from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace and American University in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development and International Development, and an undergraduate degree in International Environmental Policy from UC Davis. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran.
Manager, Transportation Planning
Nolan is a Transportation Manager primarily responsible for managing the Unsolicited Proposals Policy and process. Through this process, Nolan works with the private sector and Metro Departments to develop a range of low-cost, high impact innovation pilots and proofs of concept. Nolan has overseen the review of over 130 proposals, advancing over a dozen ideas from concept to implementation. In 2019, his work on the use of drones for data collection was recognized with Metro’s Innovation Award. He was also a member of the inaugural Women and Girls Governing Council, which received Metro’s 2019 CEO Award for its recommendations to improve transportation outcomes for women and girls. Before helping to launch OEI, Nolan was a Transportation Planner in the Office of the CEO. Nolan joined Metro in 2013 as a Trainee with the Management Audit Services Department after completing the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Los Angeles. Nolan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College. While at Occidental College, he also studied abroad in Senegal and played two seasons of varsity soccer.
Principal Transportation Planner
Eileen has 20 years of experience in branding, graphic design, and communications, particularly for the arts and public services sectors. In the past decade, she has focused these skills on improving mobility for LA County through working at Metro. In OEI, she contributes to the Traffic Reduction Study, Vision 2028 agency strategic plan work, and diverse OEI projects. She holds a MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BA from UC Berkeley in Mass Communications, and will earn a Masters of Science in Transportation Management from SJSU’s Mineta Transportation Institute by 2021.
Principal Transportation Planner
Emma is a Principal Transportation Planner and leads OEI’s research and policy efforts. Under the FTA’s Mobility on Demand Sandbox Demonstration program, Emma worked to design, implement, and project manage Metro’s pilot partnership with Via for on-demand first-and-last mile shared ride service, which launched in January of 2019. She was part of the project team and a contributing author to Vision 2028, Metro’s agency-wide strategic plan that was adopted by the Board in June 2018. Emma co-authored UpRouted: Exploring Microtransit in the United States , published by the Eno Center for Transportation in 2018. She received her Master of Public Policy degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where she focused on urban policy, and her Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies from Pitzer College.
Senior Transportation Planner
Shaun is supporting Metro’s Unsolicited Proposals Policy. He reviews conceptual proposals from firms with ideas to design, finance, build, deliver or operate services and implement innovative proposals to help Metro achieve its strategic planning goals. Shaun brings energy and sustainability planning, policy and project delivery experience, previously serving as an advisor to cities, agencies and school districts across California. He received his MA in Philosophy from the University of Houston and MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside.
Glendora is the Executive Secretary to Joshua Schank, OEI’s Chief Innovation Officer. Glendora is a 23-year veteran of Metro, 16 of those years she served in both Bus and Rail Operations. She holds a Master’s degree in Management and Leadership from the University of LaVerne
Luis E. Zazueta, Jr.
Administrative Analyst (interim)
Innovation Fellows are LA Metro staff who will rotate into the Office of Extraordinary Innovation for a one year fellowship:
OEI accepts part-time academic fellows, and hosts high school and college interns on a temporary basis through the Transportation Career Academy Program (TCAP) and the Metro Internship Program (MIP), respectively.