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Learn from a Leader Series

In 2014, WTS-GNY launched a new program: Learn from a Leader Roundtable Series.
Leaders from both the public and private sectors shared their experiences with small groups, providing insight into the exciting work they are doing and the lessons learned in getting to this point in their careers.
WTS-GNY is excited to introduce our 5th Annual Learn from a Leader Series.
August 23 Connie Crawford
  Senior Vice President, Rail & Transit Leader, Louis Berger 
  96 Morton Street, NY

Connie Crawford, Senior Vice President at Louis Berger, has over 30 years of public and private sector experience in the management, design and construction of major transportation programs. She served as Chief Engineer for MTA New York City Transit, where she was responsible for a $2.25 billion annual capital program for subway and bus infrastructure. Previously, as Chief Engineer for the New York City Department of Transportation, she managed planning, design, construction and maintenance of the City’s bridges and tunnels. At Louis Berger, Ms. Crawford is responsible for the rail and transit market sector worldwide, with direct involvement on projects in the United States and Middle East, including most recently the Northeast Corridor Maglev Train and the Doha Metro.

Ms. Crawford holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from Princeton University, where she has also taught. She is a licensed professional engineer and involved in professional organizations such as the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), The Moles, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), FIRST Robotics, and the Transportation Diversity Council (TDC) for which she is the founding chair. She has authored and presented papers on engineering topics, and is the recipient of a number of industry recognitions.

August 29 Griselda Cespedes
  Capital Program Management and Chief Compliance Officer, MTA 
  2 Broadway, NY

As an employee of MTA for over 32 years, Ms. Cespedes has recently been promoted to the VP and Chief Engineer of Disputes in the Program Services group in the office of Capital Program Management in MTA New York City Transit. She is responsible for oversight of all scheduling, estimating, quality and safety activities for capital projects as well as compliance with ADA and the New York State Building Code.

Prior to this Ms. Cespedes was the Chief Program Coordination, Code Compliance and ADA Officer, responsible for interagency coordination, adherence to NYCT standards, New York State Building Code and Federal ADA regulations. Prior roles at the MTA have included General Manager and Line General Manager within The Line General Managers program and Assistant Chief Station Officer for Maintenance and Support, under the Division of Station Operations, Department of Subways responsible for the maintenance of 468 stations.

Ms. Cespedes commenced her career as an MTA NYCT Civil Engineer Intern, in the MOW Engineering, and was promoted and appointed to several positions during her tenure. Ms. Cespedes is a licensed Engineer in the State of New York, with both a Bachelor and Masters in Civil Engineering, from Manhattan College in the Bronx.

September 12 Madeleine Ehrlich McDonnell
  Director of Special Projects-Office of the COO, NYCDOT
  55 Water Street, NY

Madeleine Ehrlich McDonnell is the Director of Special Projects for the Office of the COO at the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT). The COO’s office oversees the agency’s operating divisions which are responsible for the City’s bridges, roads and highways, sidewalks and pedestrian ramps, street lights and signals, street safety projects, the Staten Island Ferry, and NYCDOT’s fleet of vehicles and equipment. Ms. McDonnell provides strategic direction on a broad portfolio of high profile operational projects that span multiple divisions and city agencies. This includes the multibillion-dollar BQE reconstruction project, a major expansion of the City’s pedestrian ramp construction and upgrade program, and launching New York City’s first municipal public parking mobile app. Ms. McDonnell also manages NYCDOT’s employee town hall initiative – a series of town hall-style events for agency divisions and cross cutting employee groups, such as “Women in the Field,” hosted by Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

Prior to this role Ms. McDonnell served as Deputy Chief of Staff at NYCDOT, as well as Director of Special Projects in the agency’s Bridges Division. She previously worked at the Roosevelt Institute, an economic policy think tank located in New York City. Madeleine has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the NYU Wagner School, and a BA from Cornell University.

Stay tuned for more events in New Jersey.
Register HERE for one or more of this year's roundtables.
These are members-only events. If you are not a member click here to become a WTS member!
We received great feedback during these session. If you have any suggestions on speakers, please email us at wtsgny@gmail.com.





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