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Founder, Norman Y. Mineta

Secretary, US Department of Transportation (Retired)

Founder, Mineta Transportation Institute


(November 12, 1931 - May 3, 2022)

He was well known for his work in the areas of transportation—including aviation, surface transportation and infrastructure—and national security. He has been recognized for his accomplishments in economic development, science and technology policy, foreign and domestic trade, budgetary issues and civil rights. Mineta’s career in public service was both distinguished and unique. For almost 30 years, Mineta represented San Jose, California, first on the City Council, then as mayor and then as a member of the U.S. Congress. Throughout that time, Mineta was an advocate of the burgeoning technology industry. He worked to encourage new industries, spur job growth, and supported the development of the infrastructure needed to accommodate the technology industry and its tremendous growth.

Mineta served as chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Public Works and Transportation from 1992 to 1994 and chaired the Subcommittees on Aviation and Surface Transportation. He was the primary author of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton appointed Mineta Secretary of Commerce. There, Mineta was known for his work on technology issues, achieving international cooperation and intergovernmental coordination on complex fisheries issues and for streamlining the patent and trademark process.

President George W. Bush appointed Mineta Secretary of Transportation, where he served until 2006. Following the horrific terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Mineta grounded all aviation flights and then guided the creation of the Transportation Security Administration—an agency with more than 65,000 employees— marking the largest mobilization of a new federal agency since World War II. Mineta was also a vice president of Lockheed Martin, where he oversaw the first successful implementation of the EZ-Pass system in New York State.

Recognized for his leadership, Mineta has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor in the United States—and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is awarded for significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States. In February 2016, he was named a Chubb Fellow at Yale University. While in Congress, he was the co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and chair of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission in 1997.

He is survived by by wife, Danealia (Deni) Mineta, and has two sons, David K. Mineta and Stuart S. Mineta and two stepsons, Robert M. Brantner and Mark D. Brantner.



Karen Philbrick, PhD
Executive Director

Executive Director

Mineta Transportation Institute

Karen Philbrick is the executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University, a position she has held since 2014.

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Hilary Nixon, PhD
Deputy Executive Director

Hilary Nixon has served as Deputy Executive Director for MTI since 2018. Previously, she served as MTI’s Director of Research and Technology Transfer. Dr. Nixon is an active researcher and educator specializing in transportation and environmental planning and policy.

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Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD
Education Director and National Transportation Finance Center Director

Asha Weinstein Agrawal is Director of Education and Director the MTI National Transportation Finance Center. She is also Professor in the Urban and Regional Planning Department at San José State. 

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David Czerwinski, PhD
Interim Director of the MS Transportation Management program

David Czerwinski is Interim Director of the MS Transportation Management program for academic year 2023-2024. He is also a Professor of Business Analytics and Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Programs in the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

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Brian Michael Jenkins
Director, National Transportation Security Center

As a leading authority on terrorism and sophisticated crime, Brian Michael Jenkins has directed MTI’s continuing research on protecting surface transportation against terrorist attacks for many years. He advises and collaborates with government agencies, international organizations, and multinational corporations.

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Frances Edwards, PhD
Deputy Director, National Transportation Security Center

Frances L. Edwards, MUP, PhD, CEM, is professor emeritus of political science at San José State University, following 17 years as the Director of the Master of Public Administration program. She is Deputy Director of the National Transportation Security Center at the Mineta Transportation Institute.

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Hon. Rod Diridon, Sr.
Retired Founding Executive Director

Rod Diridon, Sr. served as founding executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute until 2014 when he moved to Emeritus status. Mr. Diridon has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment. He provides legislative testimony on sustainable transportation issues and is regarded by many as the “father” of modern transit service in Silicon Valley. 

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Alverina Weinardy
Director of Operations

Alverina Weinardy first joined MTI as a graduate student research assistant in 2017, and returned as Public Programs Coordinator in 2022. Currently, she serves as MTI’s Director of Operations. 

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Lisa V. Rose
Editor & Writer

Lisa V. Rose has been MTI’s Editor and Writer since 2020. She ensures MTI's written communication is concise, effective, and accessible, contributing and editing content for newsletters, social media, press releases, blogs, and more.

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Susan Vinh
Program Liaison, Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition

Susan Vinh joined the MTI team in 2023.  As Program Liaison, she leads recruitment effort through relationship building with local Bay Area schools.

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Rosa Bucio Arciga
Student Assistant

Student Assistant Rosa Elena Bucio Arciga first joined MTI in the summer of 2023. She is currently enrolled at San Jose State University, pursuing a BS in Business Administration Management with a minor in Justice Studies.

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Katerina Earnest
Graphic Design Assistant

Katerina Earnest first joined MTI as a student assistant in 2023. She is currently enrolled at San José State University, pursuing a BFA in Graphic Design, with a specialization in UI/UX and Interactive design.

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Raji Rajesh
Project Assistant

Raji joined MTI as a student assistant in 2022. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Studies at San José State University.

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Minhvy Tran
Graphic Design Assistant

Minhvy Tran joined MTI as a student assistant during the summer of 2022. She is currently enrolled at San José State University, pursuing a BS in Industrial Design. She has experience in both product and graphic design.

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