Jonathan Gifford is a Professor & Director of the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy. Dr. Gifford’s primary area of expertise is transportation and public policy, with a focus on transportation and infrastructure finance. His recent research investigates transportation finance and the role of public private partnerships. Dr. Gifford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. See Professor Gifford on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” discussing the history, development, financing and future of the Interstate Highway Program (July 8, 2013): Click here
Kenneth Button, Senior Research Fellow in the Center, is a Professor of Public Policy at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government, and a world-renowned expert on transportation policy. Dr. Button has published, or has in press, some 80 books and over 400 academic papers in the field of transport economics, transport planning, environmental analysis and industrial organization. Some of his recent books include: Airline Deregulation: An International Perspective (David Fulton Publishing), Flying into the Future: Air Transport Policy in the European Union (Edward Elgar Publishing), Handbook of Transport Modelling (Pergamon Press); Transport, the Environment and Sustainable Development (E & FN Spon publishing); Meta-analysis in Environmental Economics (Kluwer); Air Transport Networks (Edward Elgar Publishing).
Porter K. Wheeler, Ph.D., consultant to the Center, has specialized in transportation policy and infrastructure finance throughout a career of college teaching, government consulting, Budget Committee work on Capitol Hill, and over two decades of private consulting and governmental advisory work. Since 2005, he has concentrated his efforts on toll road development and public-private partnership issues for the Maryland Transportation Authority, a state-wide public toll road authority, including a solicitation of interest in the I-270 Multi-Modal Corridor and a feasibility study for Nice Bridge reconstruction using a P3 approach.
Dr. Shanjiang Zhu, Research Fellow in the Center, is an Associate Professor of Transportation Planning and Engineering at George Mason University. He obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2010 and worked for two years as a Research Scientist at the University of Maryland before joining GMU. Dr. Zhu is experienced in travel demand modeling, travel behavior analysis, integrated transportation planning and simulation models. His Ph.D dissertation investigated the traffic and behavioral reactions to the I-35W Bridge Collapse in the Twin Cities, Minnesota using advanced behavior data collection techniques. As key personnel and project manager, he developed an integrated travel demand and simulation model for the Inter-County Connector corridor to analyze the pricing and operation strategies. He leads the research and education activities of the TransInfo UTC at GMU. Dr. Zhu’s research interests also include transportation policies, incident response systems, and transportation economics. He has been funded by Virginia OTP3 to investigate potentials of multi-modal P3 projects in corridor development. Dr. Zhu is a champion of the multi-disciplinary research approach. He holds three Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering, Automatics, and Applied Economics, respectively.
Dr. Carter B. Casady, is a Senior Fellow in the Center and is a Lecturer in Economics and Finance at University College London’s Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction. 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.
Morghan Transue is currently serving as the Center’s academic writer and editor. As a former doctoral student at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government, her research interests included technology diffusion, energy policy diffusion, and infrastructure resilience, with particular focus on the US electricity system. She received her B.S. in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and her Masters of Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Iqbal Safi is the Research Associate at the Center. He is a first-year Public Policy Ph.D. student at the Schar School. Iqbal is a Fulbright Scholar and Project Management Professional who completed a BS in Civil Engineering at the Kabul University and MS in Engineering Management at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN). After graduating from Kabul University in 2011, Safi started working in planning and managing commercial and Federal Government construction projects in Afghanistan and the Middle East. In 2016, he was awarded the Fulbright for Foreign Students scholarship through which, he undertook master’s studies at CSUN. Currently working for K2 Consulting, a Maryland-based construction projects management and controls consultancy. Iqbal’s main research interest is in transportation public-private partnership policy.
Narae Lee is a Graduate Research Assistant at the center and a doctoral student at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Her research interests include 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 University.
Caroline Gao is a Research Assistant for the Center. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in International Commerce and Policy at George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. 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.
Marina Manganaris is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center and 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.
Samuel Heller is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Center 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.
Dr. Nobuhiko Daito is a Research Affiliate in the Center. Nobuhiko Daito completed his Ph.D in Public Policy under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Gifford at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. His research interests include infrastructure financing, transportation policy, public finance, public-private partnerships, spatial analysis, and non-motorized transportation modes. His research focus under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Gifford is institutional factors and performance of public-private partnership policy and projects. He holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Zhenhua Chen completed his Ph.D. in Public Policy at George Mason University under the direction of Dr. Kingsley E. Haynes. Zhenhua is currently an Assistant Professor in City and Regional Planning (CRP) at the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University. His research interest includes infrastructure planning and policy, regional science, risk and resilience, and big data analytics. Zhenhua received a series of awards during his Ph.D. including the Student Paper Award from the Section on Transportation Policy and Administration of ASPA, the Charles M. Tiebout Prize in Regional Science, the Benjamin H. Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Regional Science, the Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Fellowship Award, the First Prize of the International Student Competition of the 8th World High Speed Rail Congress, and two Student Best Paper Awards from Transportation Research Forum. He was an IRF fellow and Eno fellow, respectively. Zhenhua’s recent research has been published on Papers in Regional Science, Public Works Management and Policy, Applied Economic Letters, Case Studies on Transport Policy and Transportation Law Journal. Website: http://mason.gmu.edu/~zchen7
Victor Aragones is a Graduate Research Affiliate in the Center. He is also a doctoral student at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. His research interests include public-private partnerships and transportation economics. He holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics and a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Daniel Grimaldi is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center and a first-year doctoral student at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. 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.
Lauren N. McCarthy was the Program Manager and Researcher for the Center, and a doctoral candidate at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Lauren left the Center to take a position with the Shared-Use Mobility Center in Los Angeles while she completes her dissertation. Her research interests include micro-mobility and the policy process, innovation, Sustainable Smart Cities, emerging technologies, and technological diffusion. She has contributed her knowledge on Smart Cities and transportation to various organizations, including United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the Niskanen Center, The American Conservative Magazine, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. She was a 2019 Google Public Policy Fellow. She received her B.S. in Business Administration and M.A. in Geography from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Lisardo Bolaños is a PhD graduate from George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. He was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center from 2014-2019. His research interests include industrial policy, labor policies, and transaction cost economics. He was a Fulbright scholar from 2009-2011. He was a 2019 recipient of the Provost’s Dissertation Completion Grant. Dissertation Completion Grant. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, Guatemala. He holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland.
Motoki Murayama was a visiting scholar in the Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy from 2016-2019. He is from NEXCO-Central, a Japanese major expressway company, and as a representative of the company, conducts research at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. NEXCO-Central is seeking opportunities to enter and contribute to the P3 market in North America by using its technological capabilities and experience. Therefore, Moto is interested in US P3 policy, and the demands and needs of P3 players. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Australian National University.
Hyun Ju (Monica) Kim was a Graduate Research Associate at the Center. She is a doctoral candidate at George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Her 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.
Eric Childress was a Graduate Research Associate in the Center from 2018-2019. He is 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.
Vinh Mai was a Center Research Associate while studying Economics in the George Mason Honors College. He is now a graduate student at University College London. Before starting his college experience he was the 2014 CATS Academy Boston High School Valedictorian. He has strong ties to highway investment and construction in his native country, Vietnam to include serving as an intern for the Planning, Land Acquisition and Social Department for the Noi Bai-Lao Expressway Project. He is very interested in US highway policies, infrastructure financing, transportation policy, public finance, public-private partnerships, and various technologies and innovations used in operation, maintenance and construction.
Susan A. Woods served as the Administrative Support Manager for the Center until November 2016 when she became the Office Manager for the George Mason University Department of History and Art History. Sue received her MS in Project Management from George Washington University and earned a BS in biology from Clarkson University (with distinction). From 1993-1999 she served in the U.S. Air Force as an aerospace physiologist supporting aircrew life support and full-pressure suit training for U-2 pilots. As chief of Research Chamber Operations at Brooks Air Force Base she managed air-pressure chamber operations and worked with researchers on protocol design. From 1999 until 2010 Sue was a stay-at-home mom and Air Force spouse with stints in Ft. Meade, Ramstein, Germany, Augusta, Georgia, and Fayetteville, NC, and was an active volunteer in community schools and life on base.
Dr. Jeong Yun (“JK”) Kweun served as a Graduate Research Associate in the Center while she was a PhD candidate at George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. JK received her PhD in 2017. She is currently a Program Manager at VDOT’s Office of Public-Private Partnerships. Her research interests include travel demand analysis of toll roads, infrastructure financing, public-private partnerships, evidence based policy and governance and institutional impacts. She was an International Road Federation (IRF) Fellow. She received her B.A. in International Studies and Master of International Studies from Ewha Womans University, South Korea.
Dr. Yang (Chloe) Yang was a Graduate Research Affiliate in the Center. She was a doctoral student at the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Her research interests include public-private partnerships, program evaluation, and performance management. She received her B.S. in Financial Management from Renmin University of China and her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University.
Jenny Henderson served as the Administrative Support Manager from its founding until March 2014 when her family moved from the Washington region.
Lawrence Heller is a former Research Associate in the Center. He studied in George Mason University’s Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics (TPOL) Master’s program. His background is in non-profit fundraising, but had long-held interest in transportation infrastructure brought him to the program. Lawrence holds a B.S. in Political Science from SUNY Oneonta and an M.P.P from George Mason University.
Nathan Dorfman collaborated with the Center through George Mason University’s Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, under the mentorship of Professor Jonathan Gifford. He contributed to a case study on Norfolk Southern’s Heartland Corridor and researched Northern Virginia’s transit-oriented development. Dorfman was a Master’s of Public Administration candidate at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) where he majored in urban & regional affairs with a minor in public management, and worked as a graduate assistant with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Metropolitan Studies.
Meredith Jackson Morgan was a Graduate Research Associate in the Center and a Ph.D. student at the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil Environment and Infrastructure Engineering in the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. She worked as a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant working under Dr. Shanjiang Zhu. Her research interests include modeling public-private partnerships and using connected vehicles data for transportation system optimization and near time travel-time forecasting. She received her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Cornell University and her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
John Gudgel was a Graduate Research Associate in the Center while a third year Ph.D. student with interests in cybersecurity, Internet policy, eCommerce, transportation, and global commons issues (including Antarctica, space and global spectrum allocation). He has nearly 20 years of experience with technology companies and has frequently presented technical papers at national conferences. He is a member of the Internet Society and the Internet Governance Forum USA. He holds a B.S. in Geological Engineering, an M.S. in Telecommunications, and an M.S. in eCommerce.
Dr. Kyung Min Lee is a Ph.D. graduate from the Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University. His research interests include Labor Policy, Health Policy, Applied Micro-Econometrics, and Program Evaluation. Before joining the Ph.D. program, he worked in the Korea Institute of Finance, Seoul, Republic of Korea. He conducted research for the International & Macroeconomic Finance Division on Korea’s experience of curbing inflation during industrialization and on the Tri-party Repurchase Agreement Infrastructure Reform. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from Kwangwoon University in 2009 and a Master of Public Policy degree from George Mason University.
Dr. Elle Yiying Wang obtained her Ph.D. from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University in 2018 and was a visiting student at Columbia University. She was awarded a Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council in 2013. Her research areas include African politics, China-Africa relations, and social identities and networks. She worked as a consultant at the UN and presented papers at major conferences including APPAM, the SSRC/Yale Conference on China-Africa relations, the 2013 Innovative Financing Conference, and she co-authored a journal article on public-private partnership practices in the US rail transit system (forthcoming). She holds a MPP degree from Pepperdine University and BA in Journalism from Tongji University (Shanghai). She speaks Mandarin, English, and basic French.
Dr. Venkataramana Yanamandra graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (honors) in Economics from Delhi University, Delhi, India in 2000. She received her Master of Arts in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2002. She was employed for 3.5 years as a researcher at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi after which she worked for Deloitte Touche and Tohmatsu in their Research Division. She briefly worked as a manager at the Fixed Income Group of of Infosys BPO in 2008. She graduated in 2014 with her Ph.D. from the Schar School of Policy and Government. She worked as a Graduate Research Assistant while pursuing her Ph.D.
Dr. Tameka Porter earned her Ph.D. in 2015 from the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. Her area of study is the efficacy of affirmative action programs in the most selective American post-secondary institutions. Tameka received her Bachelor of Science at the University of South Carolina and Master of Arts at American University.
Chang Kwon was a graduate research assistant at the GMU Center for Transportation Policy from August 2011 to May 2013. He worked on P3 case study projects and wrote the Virginia Mid-Town Tunnel and Florida I-595 Projects reports. Prior to working at GMU, he worked for the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He is primarily interested in research about the impact of government activities on social and individual well-being. Chang Kwon holds a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from the University of Virginia and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from Georgetown University.
The following Center alumni contributed to research and other projects:
- Eun-Jung Park