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 Office
Joshua is our Chief Innovation Officer Joshua came from the Eno Center for Transportation, a transportation policy think-tank in Washington, DC, where he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer.
Rani Narula-Woods – Senior Director, Special Projects
Rani is our Sr. Director of Special Projects. She manages the agency's new demand-responsive service offering, Metro Micro Transit. Rani previously advised transit agencies and departments of transportation on multi-modal projects and the adoption and integration of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design.
Nazaneen “Naz” Habib – Senior Administrative Analyst
Naz is a Senior Administrative Analyst. She currently manages Metro’s Micro Transit Pilot Program with Rani Narula-Woods. Naz previously worked at the Dean’s Office at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Before that, she worked at the David Geffen School of Medicine in their Simulation Center.
Avital Shavit – 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.
Nolan Borgman – Manger, 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.
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.
Yousef Salama – Senior Manager, P3 and Innovation
Yousef is a Senior Innovation Manager. Yousef is responsible for leading the development of Metro’s Public-Private Partnership program (P3) to support the identification, evaluation, development, and execution of P3 delivery opportunities for Metro capital plan projects. Yousef is currently working on bringing two large-scale transit projects to market: the $6.5B West Santa Ana Transit Corridor LRT and the $1.3B East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor LRT. Before joining Metro, Yousef spent seven years working for PPP Canada, formerly a Federal Government of Canada Crown Corporation.
Tham Nguyen – Senior Director
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.
Andrew Quinn – 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.
Emma Huang – 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
Glendora Walker – Executive Secretary
Glendora Walker 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.
Innovation Fellows are LA Metro staff who will rotate into the Office of Extraordinary Innovation for a one year fellowship:
Sharyne Ng – Innovation Fellow
Sharyne is a Principal Talent Development Specialist at Metro. She is responsible for supporting internal efforts such as facilitating the implementation of the Agency’s Employee Engagement Survey, process improvement pilots, and supporting the development of internal education resources for Metro’s Strategic Plan – Vision 2028. Sharyne previously worked in Talent Development, with responsibilities over the development and enhancements of Metro’s Career Pathway’s Program, On-boarding Program, Multi-Agency Exchange (MAX) Program, and the standardization of mandatory training efforts. Sharyne received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Business Administration degree in Organizational Behavior from Pepperdine University. Before Metro, Sharyne spent five years as the Manager of Organizational Development at Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).
Marie Sullivan – Innovation Fellow+
Marie is a Transportation Manager at Metro. Marie is joining OEI from the Transit Oriented Communities team at Metro. She works primarily on Metro’s New Mobility projects– both the Mobility on Demand partnership with Via and the Metro Micro Transit Pilot. Her experience at Metro has focused on specialized real estate projects such as The Bloc / Metro Connection and the North Hollywood Joint Development. She hails from Denver, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Spanish from Pomona College and a Master of Urban Planning degree from the University of Southern California. Marie spent three years editing documentaries in New York City, and she took her first shared, on-demand taxi during her 2003 semester in Havana, Cuba. Her travels in Latin America drew her to on-demand, shared jitney style transportation, and she is excited to be newly re-immersed in that world in Los Angeles.
Doreen Morrissey – Innovation Fellow
Doreen is a Principal Transportation Planner at Metro. Prior to joining OEI, Doreen served as a GIS Analyst with the Systems Analysis and Research team. There, she focused on socioeconomic data and travel patterns, worked in Long Range Planning supporting the development of Measure M and the Call for Projects, and most recently was part of Metro’s Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) where she managed the programming of over $23bn in transportation projects. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from CalArts and a Master of Landscape Architecture from CalPoly Pomona. As part of the 2018 EnoMAX transit agency exchange program, Doreen developed a business case for Fareless Transit in LA County.
OEI also 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.