Staff Bios

Carlos Alban

Vice President, Technical Programs
calban@itsa.org

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.

Christiana Beckwith Cameron

Chief Financial Officer
ccameron@itsa.org

As ITS America’s Chief Financial Officer, Christiana oversees the organization’s Finance, Treasury, Contracts, Human Resources, IT and Facilities functions. Christiana joined ITS America in 2017 and has over 25 years of industry experience that includes Non-Profit Management, Government Contracting, Management Consulting and Commercial Aviation.  She holds a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in History & Italian from Gonzaga University.

Laura D. Chace

President & CEO
lchace@itsa.org

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. 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.
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Direna Cousins

Director of Membership
dcousins@itsa.org

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.

Sara Davidson

Senior Technical Lead, Emerging Technologies & Innovative Mobility
sdavidson@itsa.org

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.

Tim Drake

Timothy Drake

Vice President, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs
tdrake@itsa.org

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.

Portrait of Nicole DuPuis, PhD

Nicole DuPuis, PhD

Vice President, Innovative Mobility and Emerging Technology
ndupuis@itsa.org

Dr. Nicole DuPuis is ITS America’s Vice President for Emerging Technologies and Innovative Mobility. Over the course of her career, her work and research has investigated the role technology plays in impacting various facets of human life, including mobility/travel behavior, professional/industrial shifts, and policymaking/governance tendencies. Areas of expertise and interest include connected infrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, smart city applications, automation/autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence/machine learning and the future of work. Throughout her research career, Nicole has published articles in both peer-reviewed and policy-oriented outlets and authored numerous research reports on these and other topics. Her writing and work have been featured in Tech Crunch, Governing, Route 50, and City Lab, among other outlets. Prior to joining ITS America, she worked for the American Public Transportation Association, Gartner, and the National League of Cities.

Tiffany Durden

Tiffany Durden

Executive Assistant
tdurden@itsa.org

As Executive Office Manager and Intern Coordinator, Tiffany is responsible for managing the executive office and internship program at ITS America. In her role as Executive Office Manager, she provides administrative assistance to the executive team, with direct support for the President & CEO, COO, and office management for ITS America staff. In addition, she recruits interns from universities around the country and plans and executes annual robust program for undergraduates. Tiffany provides support for state chapters and other projects as needed. She is a proud alumna of Howard University and in her free time, enjoys singing and spending time with her teenage son.

Tarek Gouda

Tarek Gouda

Controller
tdurden@itsa.org

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.

Aaron Lal

Aaron Lal

Membership Database Manager
alal@itsa.org

As ITS America’s Membership Database Manager, Aaron leads the development and deployment of the organization’s membership and sales databases and is responsible for its association management system (AMS). He works with directly with the membership team to support the online join process for new members and the overall CRM software and works with the web design and development staff to ensure effective design and technical accuracy of systems. Aaron holds multiple Salesforce-based certifications that quantify his skills related to customer management software.

Tracy Larkin Thomason

Tracy Larkin Thomason

SR. Vice President, Program Development
tlarkin@itsa.org

Tracy is a transportation innovator with more than 30 years of experience in visionary leadership, industry collaboration, strategic planning, asset management, finance, and operations.  She has strong collaborative abilities to build partnerships across regional and jurisdictional boundaries at national, state, and local levels.  She has extensive experience in transportation policy, planning, design, and field operations. Tracy is recognized as a national leader in connected automated systems on policy, implementation, workforce development, operations, and supporting infrastructure.

Matt Leasure

Vice President, Public Policy and Legislative Affairs
mleasure@itsa.org

Matt brings more than a decade of experience in public service and more than eight years’ experience on Capitol Hill to ITS America. Prior to joining the association, he served as congressional staff under Rep. Peter DeFazio, (D-OR), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he honed expertise in the legislative and policy development process. Matt has a particular focus on smart infrastructure and vehicle automation at ITS America.

Bobby McCurdy

Bobby McCurdy

Director of Policy
bmccurdy@itsa.org

Bobby is the Director of Public Policy 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.

Rachel Rettberg

Director, Meetings & Education
rrettberg@itsa.org

As Director of Meetings and Education, 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 Viita

Technical Lead
kviita@itsa.org

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.

Kristin White, J.D.

Chief Operating Officer
kwhite@itsa.org

Kristin White is Chief Operations Officer of ITS America where she oversees policy, advocacy, regulatory affairs, membership, events and education, and DEI work and supports the organizational and financial health of the organization. Previously, she led the development of Minnesota’s transportation innovation program, the Connected and Automated Vehicle Office (CAV-X), served as legal counsel for Minnesota DOT, worked in the city of Minneapolis in civil rights and economic development, and practiced law in the private sector. Kristin’s work includes the development of AASHTO’s Connected and Automated Vehicle Guiding Principles and Mid-America Association of State Transportation Official’s 10-Year Strategic Plan for Connected and Automated Vehicles. She has won awards for procurement innovation from National Association for State Procurement Officials, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and AASHTO. Her work to champion women in transportation has been recognized by WTS as she’s committed to promoting humble leadership to promote more women and people of color in the industry.