MNTRC Newsletter Vol 20, Issue 2: Fall 2013

Board Profile
Diane Woodend Jones


Donna Maurillo, MNTRC Director of Communications

MNTRC board member Diane Woodend Jones

Diane Woodend Jones
Chairman of the Board, Lea+Elliott, Inc.

A recent addition to the MNTRC Board, Diane Woodend Jones is the Chairman of the Board for Lea+Elliott, Inc., a transportation consulting company with a dozen US offices and an international practice. As a principal in the company’s Dallas/Fort Worth office, she is also involved in the management of the company’s central region.

MNTRC chose Diane in part for her transportation and board of directors experience. She has served in operations management as well as on Lea+Elliott’s board for more than a decade. During her board service, Diane spearheaded and continues to lead the firm’s strategic planning initiatives. In part due to her efforts, the company has grown into an international practice.

She also brings a great deal of insight about many facets of mobility. Diane began her career at DFW International Airport and joined Lea+Elliott in 1989. During the past 30 years, she has managed many large infrastructure projects in transportation and aviation. Her professional experience includes architecture; airport, urban, and transportation planning; project development; transportation system integration; procurement; program management; contract compliance; and project oversight.

As a registered architect and certified planner with an MBA degree, Diane is very comfortable leading and participating in multi-disciplined professional environments. When she began her career at Lea+Elliott, it quickly became evident that the blend of her ability to lead complex projects and relate well to other disciplines was a very effective combination.

Diane strongly advocates the benefits that women’s insight, perspective and contributions bring to transportation industry leadership, and as such, she is proud to serve on the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) International Board of Directors. As a National Association of Corporate Directors Governance Fellow, Diane is committed to boardroom excellence. She maintains an ongoing engagement in the director community with a focus on best practices.  

Diane is also an active member in other organizations, including the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Architects, the Texas Society of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the American Public Transportation Association. She is certified as a LEED® Accredited Professional, meaning that she is regarded for her Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design within the green building movement.

Diane has a Bachelor of Science in architecture and environmental design from the University of Texas and a Masters in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

“The Mineta Transportation Institute is the foremost leader in significant and relevant research related to US transportation policy,” Diane said. “I am honored to be selected as a Trustee and to have the opportunity to serve with leading industry experts in providing important and meaningful guidance to MNTRC’s future research.”

She noted that Lea+Elliott’s focus has been on leading-edge transit technologies and project delivery since its inception 40 years ago. “As such,” she said, “I come to the MNTRC Board with many years of experience in alternative project delivery and automated transit technologies. Throughout my career, I have had an interest in managing the complexities of integrating transportation systems in physically, politically and commercially dynamic environments. The possibilities related to advancing our public policy and practices to support the continued development and sustenance of our transportation systems are vast. The MNTRC’s research plays a significant role in laying the groundwork for realizing those possibilities.”