The Evidence Project
- The George Mason University Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy has released two recent case-study reports that found surface transportation infrastructure public-private partnership (P3) projects generally met or exceeded the objectives set by their sponsoring public agencies. The studies found the major objectives across the nine cases to include cost reductions for the public sector and/or faster completion times compared to traditional procurement. The study also identified five major reasons public agencies effectively engaged in P3 delivery approaches. In addition, the reports present suggestions for the public sector to improve P3 outcomes. All project materials can be downloaded here.
- To learn more about the study or to request a briefing, contact Center Director Dr. Jonathan Gifford, at email@example.com
Center GRA Presents Research at the TRB 100th Annual Meeting – A Virtual Event
Center’s Graduate Research Assistant Narae Lee presented her research “Credit Support and Infrastructure Investment: The Case of the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program at the TRB 100th Annual Meeting — A Virtual Event during a poster session. The session featured various works relating to the use of financial and economic analysis in addressing emerging issues in transportation areas. As outlined in the poster, the research addresses the TIFIA program’s market-leveraging function since the 2015 FAST Act. The final research report, co-authored with Center’s Director Jonathan Gifford, has been accepted for publication in the Transportation Research Record.
Center Welcomes New RA
- The Center welcomed Tim Hurley as the Research Assistant at the beginning of the spring semester. Tim is currently pursuing his Master of Public Policy at the Schar School. He received his Bachelor’s in History and Political Science at Washington College in Maryland. His interest in infrastructure, public-private partnerships, and transportation economics brought him to the Center.
Center Welcomes New URA
- The Center welcomed Samuel Heller as the Undergraduate Research Assistant for the spring 2021 semester. Samuel is a senior undergraduate student at George Mason University’s Honors College, with a major in Government and International Policy and a minor in Economics. He has research experience with George Mason University, working on a project in summer 2020 titled Social Isolation and Loneliness Among Older Adults. He also worked on three political campaigns on the national, state, and local levels. Samuel grew up on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and has lived in the commonwealth for most of his life. The Center is excited to work with Samuel under the Schar School’s Undergraduate Research Assistant Program.
Center Welcomes New Senior Fellow
- At the end of the Fall 2020 semester, the Center welcomed Dr. Carter B. Casady as the Senior Fellow. Dr. Carter B. Casady is a Lecturer in Economics and Finance at University College London’s Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management. His research focuses on the institutionalization and governance of infrastructure public-private partnerships (PPPs). Dr. Casady has published extensively in the fields of public administration and public policy, including numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Public Management Review, Public Performance and Management Review, Construction Management and Economics, Transport Policy, and Sustainability. His past experience also includes work for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and President’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). He holds a BSc (2016) in Policy Analysis & Management from Cornell University and a MSc (2017) and PhD (2019) in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.
Center GRA Presents at CIAMTIS Conference
- Center’s Graduate Research Assistant, Narae Lee, virtually presented her research report, Credit Support and Infrastructure Investment: The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Case, at the Transportation Asset and Infrastructure Management Conference in October 2020. The conference was hosted by the Center for Integrated Asset Management for Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure System (CIAMTIS). Narae’s presentation was under the CIAMTIS Graduate Research and Post-Doctoral Student Consortium session among students from eight different universities. The final report was a co-authorship between Narae and the Center’s Director, Dr. Jonathan Gifford.
Center Welcomes New GRA
- At the start of the Fall 2020 semester, the Center welcomed Ms. Marina Manganaris as the Graduate Research Assistant. Marina is a first-year Public Policy Ph.D. student at the Schar School. Before starting on her Ph.D. journey, Marina worked in survey research. First at a business travel trade association and then for a market research firm focusing in educational research (both K12 and higher ed). Her main research interest is transportation policy. She holds B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook University and a Master’s in Public Policy from American University.
Farewell to the Center’s Program Manager
- The Center is saying farewell to a longtime associate of the Center: Lauren N. McCarthy. Lauren began at the Center as a Graduate Research Assistant in 2015, and became the Program Manager in the Fall of 2017. Lauren has accepted a position with the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and will be relocating to SUMC’s Los Angeles office. Lauren’s research focus is on shared-use mobility and she recently defended her dissertation proposal titled “Micro-mobility and the Policy Process: Policy making in the Age of the Smart City.” Her research on P3s, mobility, and her work as program manager of the Center has prepared her well for her new position. Lauren is excited to embark on a new chapter of her career and to work on the pressing transportation issues that face many large urban areas.
Center Welcomes New RA
- The Center welcomed Caroline Gao, a Master’s student studying International Commerce and Policy at the Schar School, as the most recent addition to our team. Her study interests are in normalizing the U.S. – China relations, global trade, and international development. Caroline received her B.S. in Public Policy with a concentration in Economic Development and Planning from Georgia State University. She focused her senior research project on identifying Atlanta’s highway congestion problem and suggesting solutions to help reduce traffic in the city.
Center Welcomes New GRA
- Beginning with the Spring 2020 semester the Center welcomed Narae Lee as a Graduate Research Assisitant. Ms. Lee is a doctoral student at the Schar School interested in development policy, labor policy, and firm growth. Before starting the doctoral studies, she worked in Korea Small Business Research Institute (KOSBI) and Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Trainings (KRIVET). She received Master of Development Policy from Korea Development Institute (KDI) School, and Bachelor of Economics / Bachelor of Political Science from SungKyunKwan
Publication Alert: Center Research Published in Transport Policy
- “Understanding Project Cancellation Risks in U.S. P3 Surface Transportation Infrastructure”
- Public private partnership (P3) projects can face many internal and external risks affecting their development and implementation. As a result, this research explores the understudied risk factors underlying the U.S.’ cancelled, deferred, and terminated (CDT) P3 projects. A database of CDT projects is developed. Of the projects identified as the U.S. surface transportation P3 population, 46% (31 out of 68) experienced cancellation, deferment or early contract termination. The research then applied a risk typology and a multi-case study method to the troubled cases to identify common risk factors. Data collection focused primarily on the identification of political (public and political voice, bureaucratic complexity) and economic risk factors. The most frequently identified factors across the 31 cancelled, deferred, or terminated cases include political opposition, local opposition, and inadequate demand projections. Since the paper studies the entire U.S. surface transportation P3 project population, the results serve to inform public agencies and private sector actors of possible friction points meriting consideration during P3 procurement planning.
- Lauren N. McCarthy, Lisardo Bolaños, Jeong Yun Kweun, Jonathan Gifford. “Understanding project cancellation risks in U.S. P3 surface transportation infrastructure.” Transport Policy (2019)
Center GRA Presents at CIAMTIS Conference
- On October 29, 2019, Center GRA Hyun Ju (Monica) Kim presented her work “Measuring the Impact of Federal Transportation Credit Support Programs” at the Transportation Asset and Infrastructure Management Conference (Innovative Financing session), hosted by the
- (CIAMTIS). CIAMTIS is the 2018 U.S. Department of Transportations’ Region 3 University Transportation Center (UTC), housed at Penn State University’s Larson Transportation Institute. George Mason University is one of the seven CIAMTIS partners working to solve current and future transportation issues.
Director Presents to International Delegation
- On September 26, 2019, Center Director Jonathan Gifford provided an overview of U.S. P3 market conditions and current Center research for a delegation of Indian public- and private-sector transportation leaders visiting as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
Center Welcomes New Researchers
- With the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, the Center welcomes two new GRAs from the Schar School of Policy and Government: Hyun Ju (Monica) Kim and Daniel Grimaldi. Ms. Kim’s research interests include safety net programs, gender equality, and household decision-making models. Prior to joining the Schar School doctoral program, she worked at US-Korea Institute at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. She assisted research on Official Development Assistance policy and P3 policy in South Korea. She holds M.A. in Public Policy from George Mason University and B.A. in Korean History from Korea University.
Before joining Schar School doctoral program, Daniel worked for the Brazilian Government for almost nine years, first as a researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research (Ipea), and then as an economist at the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). As the leading impact evaluator of BNDES, he was responsible for structuring the institution’s M&E system and for developing several impact evaluations for its projects and policies. His main research interests are in credit policies and impact evaluation methods. He holds B.A in Economics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of São Paulo.
Center Director and Program Manager Present to Shanghai Jiao Yun Group
In October 2019, a group from the transportation services company Shanghai Jiaoyun Group Co. Ltd. visited George Mason’s Arlington Campus. Center Director Jonathan Gifford presented a talk on the U.S. P3 market and Center Program Manager Lauren N. McCarthy provided a presentation on Smart Cities and Public Transportation.
Center bids farewell to longtime GRA and Fellow
- This summer the Center bid farewell to two longtime staff members. First, Lisardo Bolaños completed with his PhD and returned back to his home country of Guatemala. Lisardo contributed to many research documents and publications on P3s. As a longtime GRA for the Center he became a regular face at many conferences. He will be missed. We suggest keeping an eye out for his future activities – there is no doubt he will be up to great things!
- Second, we bid farewell to Motoki Murayama. Moto was a visiting scholar from NEXCO-Central, a Japanese major expressway company, and as a representative of the company. Moto was an important part of the team at the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy from 2016-2019 and he will be missed. He has moved on to his next position and we are grateful for the ongoing support and relationship built between George Mason University and NEXCO-Central.
Student Research Presented at ARTBA P3 Conference
- In July 2019, Center Director Dr. Jonathan Gifford and Center GRA Eric Childress participated in the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) 31st Annual Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation Conference. Dr. Gifford moderated the July 19 breakout session, “Putting P3 Research into Action,” where “Candidates for advanced academic degrees share[d] their P3-related research with emerging leaders, with the shared objective of gaining more recognition for and positively influencing real-world projects through this important work among P3 practitioners.”
- “Bankruptcy Policy and Surface Transportation Public-Private Partnerships: A Comparative Analysis of the US and Europe.”
This paper explores bankruptcy legal frameworks as an explanation for perceived differences in U.S. surface transportation PPPs (or PPPs) outcomes compared to the European market. Through seven U.S. and eleven European PPP bankruptcy cases, the study provides some evidence that the U.S. legal framework, either Chapter 9 or 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, favors continuous facility operation through debt restructuring rather than asset liquidation. The case studies also highlight how European countries, particularly France and Spain, have adopted new legal frameworks mimicking U.S. Chapter 11, promoting debt-restructuring procedures to diminish the fiscal impacts associated with asset liquidation.
Bolaños, Lisardo, Jonathan Gifford, and Jeong Yun Kweun. “Bankruptcy Policy and Surface Transportation Public-Private Partnerships: A Comparative Analysis of the US and Europe.” Case Studies on Transport Policy (2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cstp.2019.04.003
P3 Center Participates Town-Gown Roundtable
- On January 15, 2019 Center Director, Jonathan Gifford and Center Researcher and Program Manager, Lauren N. McCarthy, along with other invited attendees participated in the 6th annual Town-Gown Roundtable co-hosted by ARTBA and AIAI. Read more about the event
Center Welcomes New GRA
- The Center welcomes a new team member, Eric Childress as a Graduate Research Associate. Eric Childress is a first year Public Policy Ph.D. student at the Schar School of Policy and Government. His research interests include international development, international trade, financialization, and public finance. Before coming to the Schar School, Eric served as a proposal manager for various international development firms. He earned his M.A. in International Commerce and Policy at the Schar School in 2016, and a B.A. in History from Ferrum College in 2012.
Center Alumni Update
- Center director Jonathan Gifford recently caught up with Center alumni Vinh Mai in January 2019. Vinh was an associate of the Center during his undergraduate work in Economics in the George Mason Honors College. He is now studying for a Msc in Infrastructure Investment and Finance at the University College London.
- Center Director, Jonathan Gifford and Editor, Morghan Transue, recently published a book chapter as part of an OECD report:
- Subnational Public-Private Partnerships Meeting Infrastructure Challenges.
- The book chapter “Public-private partnerships for infrastructure at the subnational level of government: Opportunities and challenges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States” presents a case study of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure development in the state of Virginia, United States. As one of the first US states to enable PPP procurement, Virginia’s more than 25-year history with PPPs and their governance provide a unique opportunity to study subnational governments’ challenges and success factors in practice. The full report can be accessed here.
Global Policy Impact
- Lauren N. McCarthy, the Center’s Researcher and Program Manager, recently completed a policy document for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, United for Sustainable Smart City (U4SSC) program – “Guidelines for the development Smart Sustainable City Action Plan.” The document provides guidance, tools and methodology for city leaders seeking to implement smart sustainable goals, including guidance on public-private partnerships. The document can be downloaded here.
KyooWon Oh, a former student of the Professor Jonathan Gifford, recently published a book chapter titled “Public and Private Partnerships for Renewable Energy Enhancement in Developing Countries: A Case of the Solar Rooftop Project in Gujarat, India.” The chapter was inspired by work the author began in Professor Gifford’s P3 Policy class. The paper can be accessed here.
Center Director Presents at IRF Conference
- In November 2018 Center Director Jonathan Gifford presented at IRF Global R2T Conference and Expo. As an invited speaker Professor Gifford participated in both a discussion panel and present the Center’s latest update to the Evidence Project. Read more about the Evidence Project here.
Center Researcher Presents at APPAM 2018
- Lauren N. McCarthy, the Center’s Researcher and Program Manager presented “Understanding Project Cancellation Risks in U.S. P3 Surface Transportation Infrastructure” at the annual APPAM conference. The research examines the risk of project cancellation in U.S. public-private partnership (P3) surface transportation infrastructure. The abstract and full conference paper can be accessed here.
Center Director Speaks at Cato Institute
- Center director, Jonathan Gifford, provided comments on Robert Poole’s new book: “Rethinking American Highways” in a Captiol Hill briefing presented by Cato Institute on September 7, 2018.
Center Director Briefs Utah Legislature Transportation Committee
- On August 17, during the meeting of the Utah task force created this year to investigate transportation funding options Center Director Jonathan Gifford shared the Center’s work on observed outcomes of P3s. The task force is looking at the potential for P3s in the state for both roads and transit and the findings from the Center’s Evidence project provides insightful conclusions. Click here for more information on the P3 Evidence Project
Center Director on Panel at Reason Foundation
- Center Director, Jonathan Gifford joined Robert Poole, The Reason Foundation and Joung Lee, Policy Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on August 1 for the panel Accelerating Innovation: Rethinking Transportation Financing, a Joint YPT-WTS-TRF Event at Reason Foundation offices. The panel was moderated by Baruch Feigenbaum, The Reason Foundation.
Center GRA Presents at APPAM Mexico
- Lisardo Bolaños, Center GRA and PhD Candidate, presented “Las Vegas Monorail Bank-ruptcy: Opportunism in Public-Private Partnerships, co-authored with Morghan Transue, and Jonathan Gifford, at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) International Conference, Mexico City on July 20.
Center Director Lectures on P3s
- Jonathan Gifford, Center Director, gave an invited lecture to a Public Policy Training Group from Qianghai, China on public-private partnerships. The lecture took place at the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University on July 9, 2018.
Center Staff Attends Blueprint 2025 Leadership Forum
- Center Director Jonathan Gifford, Center Staff Lauren N. McCarthy, Lisardo Bolaños, and Visiting Scholar Motoki Murayama attended the Blueprint 2025 Leadership Forum on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Vinh The Mai, former research associate with the Center, and current researcher with CG/LA is pictured here with Dr. Gifford. A bipartisan coalition, Blueprint 2025 mission is to identify and promote increased infrastructure investment in the United States.
Center Researcher Presents at TRF
Center Director Presents as IRF Workshop
- Dr. Jonathan Gifford was invited to speak to the participants at the International Road Federation (IRF) Workshop: PPPs in the Road Sector on February 8, 2018. Center GRA Lisardo Bolanos, Program manager Lauren N. McCarthy, and Visiting Scholar Motoki Murayama attended the workshop. Participants included individuals from the World Bank and various national governments.
P3 Center Co-hosts Annual George Mason University TRB reception
- After a packed few days of interesting sessions at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, the annual Mason reception was held at the Marriott Marquis on January 9, 2018. Current students, professors, alumni and friends of Mason were in attendance. The reception was made possible through the support of the Bill and Eleanor Hazel Endowed Chair in Infrastructure Engineering, the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy, and the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering.
Center GRA Presents Phase 1 of the Evidence Project at TRB Conference
- Lisardo Bolaños, Center GRA and PhD Candidate presented on January 10, 2018 as part of the Projecting and Evaluating P3 Project Performance: From Value for Money to Handback. The paper, ”U.S. Surface Transportation Public–Private Partnerships: Objectives and Evidence” was co-authored by Lisardo Bolaños, Morghan Transue, Porter Wheeler, Jonathan Gifford, and Lauren N. McCarthy. The paper was selected as a practice ready paper by the review committee.
P3 Evidence Project Phase 1 Released
Center Director Presents P3 Evidence Research
Center Welcomes New Program Manager
- Beginning in the fall of 2017, Lauren N. McCarthy, previously a graduate research assistant with the Center, and current PhD Student, took over for Morghan Transue as the Center’s Program Manager in addition to her research duties. Morghan has continued her service as the Center’s Academic Writer and Editor.