Senior Vice President, Programs and Partnerships
Carlos is a proven program management expert who provides technical guidance, supports implementation of key strategic initiatives, and manages client relationships at the federal level. As Vice President, Technical Programs, he oversees ITS America’s technical services portfolio, serves as the project manager for most of ITS America’s client-based projects, and manages a group of dedicated professionals who support the U.S. Department of Transportation and other clients. Carlos is a senior technical resource to the association and supports partners, members, and government agencies by engaging with key industry stakeholders, educating leaders from the public and private sectors, and facilitating knowledge transfer among industry professionals on new technology developments, vital deployment strategies, and future trends which may directly impact the ITS Industry.
Laura D. Chace
President & CEO
Laura Chace was named President and CEO of ITS America in August, 2021. Previously, she served as the association’s Chief Operating Officer. In her role as COO and now as President and CEO, her focus is to promote policies that advance the development and safe deployment of intelligent transportation technologies throughout the United States in support of safer, greener, smarter mobility for all.
Chace has extensive experience in strategic planning, operations, communications and advocacy, and a proven track record of implementing complex initiatives with strong engagement and collaboration among stakeholders. As COO, she led operations across ITS America with a focus on technology’s ability to save lives and reduce crashes on U.S. roadways, reduce congestion, minimize transportation’s carbon footprint, and provide seamless mobility and transportation choices for all Americans.
Chace serves on the External Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Energy’s SMART Mobility Lab consortium under the Officer of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
She is passionate and speaks often about the need to include more female and diverse voices in the transportation workforce to create better outcomes for all who use the transportation system. Chace is a founding member of the MobilityXX initiative, which is focused on increasing the number of women in transportation by 10 percent in 10 years.
Chace brings 15 years in trade association management to her new role, having previously worked at USTelecom and the American Trucking Association. Early in her career, she served in the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Justice Office and in the White House. She holds a Bachelor of Art’s degree from Colgate University.
Director of Communications
Chad Chitwood serves as the Director of Communications for ITS America. Working closely with members, the media, and partner organizations while overseeing the communications program. Chad has previously worked in campaigns and for elected officials at all levels of government, at non-governmental agencies, and in film since 2000. This had given him a skill set of learning issues quickly, meeting with stakeholders and synthesizing messaging into something that will change minds. He most recently spend more than a decade in communications at the American Public Transportation Association.
Membership and Education Coordinator
Victoria Christopher is the Membership and Education Coordinator at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America). She supports current and new members and stakeholders with the Membership Director. Victoria also works with the Director of Meetings & Education to develop educational programming and events for the organization. Her experience includes interning at ITS America as a summer intern, where she supported the Meetings and Education department, assisted with the ITS World Congress speaker management, and helped to create digital marketing content for ITS America webinars. She also worked as an event organizer assistant for the University’s Redlands’ first Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice. Victoria is a recent graduate from the University of Redlands where she obtained a B.A. in Public Policy and Business Management with a minor in Spatial Studies.
Director of Membership
Direna Cousins is an empathetic leader with more than seven years of experience and demonstrated success in association management. She joined ITS America in April of 2022 as the Director of Membership, where she manages and oversees membership programs. Before joining ITS America, she was the Manager of Member Experience & Engagement at the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA). She managed the member experience and engagement program, focusing on strategic engagement, retention strategies, new member onboarding, and the reengagement of existing members and stakeholders. Her role at AAPA also spanned managing the trade show exhibit sales and overall vendor management for the organization’s annual convention and trade show. She also served as staff liaison to the Information Technology and Smart Ports Technical Committee. Prior to AAPA, Direna was the Member Engagement and Digital Media Manager at APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities Management, a trade association for facilities professionals. She developed and implemented successful membership recruitment plans and designed creative solutions and marketing deliverables, resulting in membership and stakeholder engagement growth and increased member retention.
Senior Technical Lead, Emerging Technologies & Innovative Mobility
Sara is the Senior Technical Lead for Innovative Mobility and Emerging Technologies at ITS America, with a decade of experience related to emerging technology, sustainability, and innovative mobility across the United States and South Korea. At ITS America, she has led collaborative, interdisciplinary technical work pertaining to automated vehicle deployment, shared-use mobility, accessibility, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) trends, among other topics. Sara has developed and supported deliverables for a range of industry clients and partners, authored more than 60 news publications on mobility on demand pilots and partnerships, and coauthored dozens of reports on evolving transportation systems, services, and technologies. Her work in Korea includes completing both a Fulbright grant and CLS grant through the U.S. Department of State, working in a humanoid robotics lab at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) with funding from the National Science Foundation, and supporting research at the Korea Transport Institute. Sara graduated from Bryn Mawr College with honors in mathematics and is an active member of both SAE and TRB-affiliated committees.
Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs
Timothy Drake serves as ITS America’s Vice President for Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs. He brings 10 years of experience in the private and non-profit sectors working on federal, state, and local transportation and infrastructure policy and has experience developing and implementing comprehensive strategic plans regarding policy, legislative, regulatory, and funding priorities. Tim is responsible for developing ITS America’s policy positions on transportation and infrastructure issues including automated and connected vehicles, spectrum, sustainability, resiliency, and smart infrastructure. He is also responsible for ITS America’s interactions with federal agencies, including USDOT, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Energy, as they develop guidance and regulations to implement federal law and policy in these areas. Prior to joining ITS America, Tim was a Public Policy Associate at Squire Patton Boggs, LLP, working on transportation and infrastructure policy and regulatory affairs. He advised public and private sector clients in a variety of issue areas, including infrastructure funding, automated vehicles, transportation technologies, safety regulations, unmanned aircraft systems, economic development, public transportation, and federal agency procurement.
As Controller, Tarek directs the financial functions at ITSA and joined ITS America in 2018. He graduated from Stockton University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and began his career in banking. Tarek worked as a controller for not-for-profit and for-profit industries and has more than 19 years of financial leadership experience. He lives in Alexandria with his family.
Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy
Bobby is the Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at ITS America, where he focuses on policy development, legislative and regulatory strategy, and external advocacy on ITS America’s member priorities – particularly implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Vehicle-to-Everything communications, automated vehicles, and sustainability. He has been with ITS America since mid-2019. Prior to that, he helped former Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure DJ Gribbin launch his post-White House consulting firm and worked on the hill for Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia, who served on the Transportation and Infrastructure and Science and Technology committees. He previously served as Delegate Randy Minchew’s Legislative Director for Virginia’s 2017 legislative session, working on legislation primarily focused on transportation and energy issues. Bobby was born and raised in Leesburg, Virginia and graduated from the University of Richmond.
Senior Vice President, Member Engagement and Operations
As Senior Vice President, Member Engagement and Operations, Rachel Rettberg is responsible for the development and execution of educational programming and networking opportunities for ITS America members and industry stakeholders that support the association’s vision of a safer, greener, and smarter future. In this role, she leads the Education Department and is responsible for running the Education Series, which includes digital offerings, in-person forums, meetings, workshops, and roundtables. Rachel plays an integral role in the planning, logistics, and execution of ITS America’s Annual Meetings and ITS World Congress events. As part of this role, she oversees and manages the association’s partnership with Reed Exhibitions, which operates these two events.
Kevin is Technical Lead in the Programs Department and joined ITS America in 2017 and has more than a decade of experience as a transportation engineer, designing roads and intersections, construction planning, and traffic signal design. His work experience has spanned the public, private, and non-profit sectors across each phase of the project lifecycle. A driven advocate for ITS technologies, he brings expertise in a variety of fields, including curb management, accessibility, sustainability, and emerging technologies. Kevin graduated with a degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Washington.
Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement
Tina Williams is the Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement at ITS America where she oversees the programmatic focus of the six standing advisory committees covering topics focused on automated vehicles, smart infrastructure, V2X, sustainability and resiliency, mobility-on-demand, and emerging technologies. Her work includes developing thought leadership materials, organizing webinars/events, and facilitating policy-focused discussions. Tina is a strategic thinker with over 18 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, 5 of those years with Maryland DOT demonstrating proficiency in contract management, program development, stakeholder and community engagement and relationships.