ITS America Staff Directory


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. Her focus is to promote policies that advance the development and safe deployment of intelligent transportation technologies throughout the United States 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 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. 

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 has led industry initiatives focused on bringing more women into the transportation industry and continues to work towards growing equity in the industry and our transportation networks. 

Across the industry, Chace is seen as a leader on transportation technology and innovation.  She has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve as an advisor on the Transforming Transportation Advisory Committee to help the Department navigate how to safely and responsibly incorporate advanced technology into our transportation system to support mobility needs now and in the future. She also serves as a member of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation’s Electric Vehicle Working Group to provide recommendations on how to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.  Additionally, Chace also serves on the advisory board of the Accelerator for America’s Innovative Infrastructure Initiative (i3). 

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. 


Carlos Alban

Senior Vice President, Technical Programs & Strategic Partnerships

Carlos is a proven program management expert with over 18 years of experience who provides technical guidance on a variety of projects focused on advancing the deployment of intelligent and connected transportation technologies, leads implementation of key strategic initiatives, and manages client relationships at the federal level. In his current role Carlos serves as an integral part of the organization’s Senior Leadership Team; oversees ITS America’s technical services portfolio; performs project management duties for most of ITS America’s client-based contracts and manages a group of dedicated professionals who support a variety of clients. Carlos is also responsible for managing most of ITS America’s external relationships with key industry partners.

Carlos has been in the transportation industry for over a decade and has developed an impeccable reputation for being able to convene, engage with, and educate leaders from the public and private sectors on new technology developments, vital deployment strategies, and future trends which may directly impact the ITS Industry. He has also focused on supporting knowledge transfer efforts related to innovations in transportation and emerging technologies that can help improve the efficiency and safety of the transportation system. Carlos is a respected industry resource who has superior communication and interpersonal skills which have helped him develop outstanding relationships with clients, members, partners, and colleagues alike.

Timothy Drake

Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Affairs

Timothy Drake serves as ITS America’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs. He brings more than 10 years of experience in the private and non-profit sectors working on federal, state, and local transportation and infrastructure policy and developing and implementing comprehensive strategic plans regarding policy, legislative, regulatory, and funding priorities.

Tim is responsible for ITS America’s development of policy positions on transportation and infrastructure issues including automated and connected vehicles, artificial intelligence, digital infrastructure, emerging technologies, sustainability, and resiliency. He also oversees ITS America’s interactions with Congress and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Energy.

Tim is also responsible for ITS America’s committees, working groups, and communities of practice, where members gather to address the policy and practical issues facing the development and deployment of transportation technology and innovation.

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.

Rachel Rettberg

Senior Vice President, Member Engagement and Operations

Rachel Rettberg serves as the Senior Vice President of Member Engagement and Operations. In this capacity, she holds a crucial position within the organization by overseeing various departments and ensuring effective collaboration with members.

One of Rachel’s primary roles is overseeing the events and education department. She plays a key role in planning educational programming and networking opportunities for both ITS America members and industry stakeholders. Rachel manages various activities such as organizing digital offerings like webinars as well as coordinating in-person forums, meetings, workshops, and roundtables. By providing diverse platforms for knowledge sharing and networking among professionals in the field of intelligent transportation systems (ITS), she contributes to advancing innovation within this sector. Rachel takes charge of planning major events like ITS America’s Conference & Expo and ITS World Congress events.

Another important aspect of Rachel’s role is overseeing the membership and communications department. She works towards developing strategies to enhance member engagement and satisfaction. By understanding the needs and expectations of members, she aims to create a seamless experience for them while also fostering strong relationships between the association and its members. This includes developing effective communication channels to keep members informed about relevant updates, initiatives, and opportunities within ITS America. Through clear and concise messaging, she ensures that information reaches members in a timely manner.


Bobby McCurdy

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, artificial intelligence, and digital infrastructure. 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 both the Hill and in the Virginia General Assembly. Bobby was born and raised in Leesburg, Virginia and graduated from the University of Richmond. 

Tina Williams

Director, Policy and Stakeholder Engagement

Tina Williams is the Director of Policy & Stakeholder Engagement of ITS America where she helps to shape the vision and strategy of ITS America’s policy and advocacy program and works closely with ITS America’s Communications, Events, Technical Programs, and Membership Departments to ensure ITS America members are supported and their needs are met. As the Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Tina manages ITS America’s member-led Standing Advisory Committees, Working Groups, Communities of Practices, partners, and consultants to support ITSA’s programmatic and strategic objectives. 

Her work includes developing thought leadership materials, strategy sessions with industry leaders, and facilitating policy-focused discussions. Topical areas include automated vehicles, digital infrastructure, V2X, sustainability and resiliency, advanced air mobility, multi modal transportation, emerging technologies, and AI. Tina is a strategic thinker with over 18 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, 5 of those years with MD DOT demonstrating proficiency in contract management, program development, stakeholder and community engagement and relationships.

Eryn Banton

Policy Engagement Specialist

Eryn Banton is the Policy Engagement Specialist and a part of the Public Policy Team. Eryn facilitates the work of ITS America’s Standing Advisory Committees, Working Groups, and Communities of Practice to support ITS America’s programmatic and strategic objectives related to advancing intelligent transportation for a safer, greener, smarter transportation future for all. Eryn earned a BA in Global Development and Sustainability and has a background in Environmental Social Governance reporting sector. 

Jim Broderick

Policy Analyst

Jim is a Policy Analyst at ITS America, where he supports policy development, legislative and regulatory strategy, and external advocacy on ITS America’s member priorities. Prior to joining ITS America, Jim worked at a public affairs agency, collaborating with Fortune 500 clients in the technology, transportation, and healthcare industries, executing communications strategies and conducting policy research. During college, Jim served as an intern with General Motors’ government affairs team. Originally from the Detroit, Michigan area, Jim graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in economics. 


Direna Cousins

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.

Chad Chitwood

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 spent more than a decade in communications at the American Public Transportation Association.

Victoria Christopher

Membership and Education Coordinator

Victoria Christopher is the Membership and Education Coordinator at ITS America with experience in business management, policy, and engagement. She provides assistance to the Membership Director and supports ITS America’s membership services, along with managing ITS America’s member webinar series and coordinating ITS America’s State Chapter Council Committee.  Victoria graduated from the University of Redlands where she obtained a B.A. in Public Policy and Business Management with a minor in Spatial Studies. 


Sara Davidson

Senior Technical Lead, Emerging Technologies & Innovative Mobility

Sara is the Senior Technical Lead for Emerging Technologies and Innovative Mobility at ITS America, with over a decade of experience related to technology, sustainability, and transportation in the United States and South Korea. At ITS America, she has led collaborative, interdisciplinary work pertaining to energy efficient mobility systems, automated vehicles, multimodal shared-use mobility, accessibility, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) trends, among other topics. Sara has developed and collaborated on deliverables for a range of industry clients and partners, authored more than 90 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 scholarship 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 (KOTI). Sara graduated from Bryn Mawr College with honors in mathematics and is an active/voting member of both SAE and TRB-affiliated committees.  

Kevin Viita

Technical Lead

Kevin is a Technical Lead in the Programs Department. Kevin joined ITS America in 2017 and has more than a decade of experience as a transportation engineer, with a focus on roadway and intersection design, traffic studies, 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, V2X, and other emerging technologies. Kevin graduated with a degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Washington.

Rashad Pinckney

Transportation Program Specialist

Rashad Pinckney is a Transportation Program Specialist currently with ITS America. He is from South Carolina and attended South Carolina State University for undergraduate and graduate degrees in Transportation Planning with several years of state government experience specializing in transit. He has an identical twin brother and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and boat rides.


Andrew Barberi

Director of Operations

Andrew Barberi is the Director of Operations at ITS America. While bringing several years of operational experience from multiple industries, Andrew spent the early years of his career in the education field as a teacher alongside running several district wide programs for the Eanes Independent School District. After leaving the education field in 2021, Andrew moved into corporate operations in administration for a technology start up in Austin, Texas. After relocating to Washington, D.C., Andrew was the Operations Manager for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Government Affairs Department interfacing with many governmental agencies at all levels and handling all operational and logistical aspects of the department. Andrew currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his partner and their two dogs and two cats.

Tarek Gouda


Tarek as the Controller is responsible for the overall financial health of ITS America including financial plans, records, budgets, reporting, accounting processes, internal controls, and regulatory compliance. Tarek has extensive 22 years of financial management experience that has crossed industries including both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Before joining ITS America, he served as the controller for RTI International contract with USAID overseas. In that role, he was responsible for finance, accounting, budgeting, internal controls, audit and managing IT, human resources, risk management, and contracts. Tarek holds a B.S. in accounting from Stockton University and lives in Alexandria, VA with his family.

Hilina Tafesewarq


Hilina Tafesewarq is a highly experienced professional accountant with over a decade of experience working in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She joined ITS America in 2021 as a staff accountant, where she is responsible for handling day-to-day accounting-related activities and maintaining financial reports, records, and general ledgers with utmost professionalism. Hilina earned her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Administration in 2010. Originally from Ethiopia, she now resides in Maryland with her family and enjoys spending quality time with them.