Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the appointment of Ashley Z. Hand as the transportation technology strategist fellow at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). The fellowship is funded through a grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation.
“It takes ingenuity and technical savvy to plan the safe, dynamic and widely accessible transportation future that Los Angeles deserves,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Ashley has shown these qualities throughout her career, using uncommon creativity to help local governments build comprehensive networks. L.A. is defining the curve for transportation in the digital age — and Ashley will help steer us away from being the world’s car capital, and build on our Mobility and Sustainable City plans. Taken together, these initiatives have us on course for the smart and sustainable future that Angelenos deserve.”
Most recently, Hand served as Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) in Kansas City, Missouri — the first woman in the nation’s history to serve as a municipal CIO. In that post, she developed Kansas City's first-ever digital roadmap; established a public-private partnership to build a smart city network along a new streetcar starter line; and utilized data to deliver city services more efficiently. She previously served as an architectural designer and planner for the global firm AECOM, where she worked collaboratively across the public and private sectors to encourage clients to use sustainable best practices.
As an architect, Hand’s commitment to green, durable, and environmentally-sound buildings has earned her the designation as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, with a specialty in Building Design and Construction. In 2014, she was recognized by the Central Exchange as a Rising Star in Technology, and by Next City Vanguard for urban leadership. Hand was selected in 2013 as the Kansas City Business Journal’s inaugural NextGen leader, and was recognized in the previous year as Emerging Professional of the Year by American Institute of Architects-Kansas City.
As the transportation technology strategist fellow, Hand will work closely with DOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Chief Technology Officer Peter Marx to position Los Angeles as a national model in sustainable, tech-enabled transportation, and as a test bed for technologies that will change the future of transportation.
"Ashley has the best mix of vision and pragmatism needed for this first-in-class strategy to put Los Angeles at the forefront of transportation technology deployment in cities," said Reynolds. "We are lucky to have her and can't wait to get to work.”
In her new role, Hand will create a citywide transportation technology strategy to plan for the future of road safety, road use efficiency, traffic regulation, and traffic enforcement, and will be responsible for a policy plan to ensure a safe, mobile, sustainable future for Los Angeles. This strategy will also help LADOT meet the transportation goals outlined in the Mayor's Sustainable City Plan.
The fellowship is funded by a grant from the Goldhirsh Foundation and serves as part of Mayor Garcetti's effort to build a tech-savvy transportation system that helps Angelenos navigate the city — including wi-fi equipped smart bus stops, ridesharing at LAX and creating a data-sharing partnership with the Waze app to help cut commute times.