HDR has named Shyam Kannan Mid-Atlantic Transit Lead. Also, the Rail Passengers Association’s (RPA) volunteer leaders elected former Charlottesville (Va.) Deputy Mayor and City Councillor Meredith Richards as Board Chair.
At HDR, Shyam Kannan will be responsible for planning, directing and monitoring all aspects of large multidisciplinary transit and transportation planning projects and business activities throughout the Washington, D.C.; Maryland; and Virginia area. This includes regional planning, forecasting/modeling, surface transit (bus rapid transit, light rail, streetcar), subway/commuter rail, zero-emissions vehicles, transit equity, funding/financing, and transit facilities, and providing strategy for transit agencies, according to the engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services firm.
Kannan joins HDR from Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), where he served as Planning Director, handling new transit corridors, fare and service strategies, bus system restructuring, ridership and revenue forecasting, transit equity, capital program development, and transit-oriented communities.
“Shyam is an expert stakeholder facilitator who has a reputation for guiding multiple parties through complex issues and ensuring that all participants’ views are respected, heard and valued,” HDR Global Transit Director Tom Waldron said. “He will use his leadership skills and willingness to invest in others to help develop our professionals and expand our technical expertise in transportation planning and sustainable regional mobility.”
Meredith Richards is the first woman to hold the position of Board Chair at RPA. She will serve a two-year term.
Richards is President of the Virginia Rail Policy Institute, and former President of Virginians for High Speed Rail. Under her direction, RPA reported that its key internal objectives include “prioritizing volunteer committees under staff direction; galvanizing communications with state passenger organization; and continuing to build our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion platform.”
“All of us on the professional staff are looking forward to working closely with Meredith to advance an energetic passenger rail agenda,” RPA President and CEO Jim Mathews said. “She brings a depth of knowledge and experience not only in advocacy, but [also] in public-elected service, which will be vital as we work in the next few years to realize the benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in communities all across the country.”
Vice Chairs were also elected, including Harvey Bowen of Washington, Thomas Girsch of Massachusetts, Bruce Ashton of Texas, and Ken Joseph of Pennsylvania. Cliff Dunn will remain as Secretary, as he and Treasurer Ken Clifford both ran unopposed.