Karen E. Philbrick, Ph.D.Karen E. Philbrick, PhD

Executive Director
San Jose State University
Mineta Transportation Institute

Karen Philbrick has served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University since 2014, after five years of service as MTI research director. Dr. Philbrick is responsible for long-term financial and strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining MTI, she was assistant director of the National Center for Intermodal Transportation at the University of Denver, where her contributions included research expertise on transportation fatigue management and operator response to work-related trauma. 

Dr. Philbrick was appointed by US Secretary of Transportation (ret.) Ray LaHood to the USDOT Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS) in 2012 and she has received consecutive reappointments from Secretaries Anthony Foxx and Elaine Chao, respectively. In this capacity, she chaired the task force charged with identifying key elements of a fatigue management program for the transit industry.

Dr. Philbrick was elected to the prestigious Executive Committee of the national Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) in 2013. Since that time, she has served as CUTC Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President, and, in 2018, was elected President. She also has the privilege of serving as the President of the Research and Education Division (RED) of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) where she simultaneously serves as a member of the ARTBA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Committed to advancing and retaining women in the transportation industry, Dr. Philbrick also serves her profession on the Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) Foundation Board, where she is serving her second term. Since 2016 she has been an appointed member of the advisory board for the Los Angeles Metro Office of Extraordinary Innovation (OEI), and in 2018 she joined the Executive Committee for the City and County Pavement Improvement Center, UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. She serves her community as an active member of the Rotary Club of San José where she serves on the Rotoplast and Rotocare committees that offer volunteer-based free medical services. In 2018, she was elected to serve a three-year term on the Rotary Club of San José Board of Directors.

Dr. Philbrick received the 2015 CUTC-ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership and that same year was honored to receive a commendation on behalf of the City of San Jose from Mayor Sam Liccardo for excellence in transportation policy leadership. In 2016 the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) named Dr. Philbrick a “Woman Who Moves the Nation” and the SJSU Urban and Regional Planning Department presented her an award for significant contributions to faculty and students. In 2017, the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Dr. Philbrick 1 of the 100 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley. Most recently, she was recognized by the YWCA Silicon Valley with a 2018 Tribute to Women Award for her contributions to the field of transportation in the Silicon Valley.

On an international level, Dr. Philbrick has contributed to the development of educational and training materials for intermodal specialists. Her work has formed a key portion of an international training effort and seminar, Innovations and Challenges in Intermodal Transportation, in the Philippines and Indonesia. She has been a member of the US delegation to the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Transportation Working Group since 2000.

Dr. Philbrick holds a PhD from the University of Denver and an MA and EdM from Columbia University. She earned her undergraduate degree from California State University, Fresno.

Asha W. Agrawal, Ph.D.Asha Weinstein Agrawal, PhD

San Jose State University
Director, National Transportation Finance Center; Education Director
Mineta Transportation Institute

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. Her research agenda is guided by a commitment to the principles of sustainability and equity: what planning and policy tools can communities adopt to encourage environmentally-friendly travel and improve accessibility for people struggling with poverty or other disadvantages? She has explored this question most deeply through two substantive areas, transportation finance policy and the travel behavior of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders. Dr. Agrawal earned a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Hilary Nixon, Ph.D.Hilary Nixon, PhD

San Jose State University
Director, Research and Technology Transfer
Mineta Transportation Institute

Hilary Nixon was appointed Director of Research and Technology Transfer in 2016, after serving for nearly 10 years as a Research Associate for MTI where she was principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or research team member on 17 MTI research publications. In addition, Dr. Nixon is a Professor in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at San José State. She specializes in transportation and environmental planning and policy, and her research focuses primarily on the factors that influence pro-environmental behavior and the relationship between transportation and the environment. Her research has been published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals. She earned a B.A. from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in Planning, Policy and Design from the University of California, Irvine.

Stephen Arhin, Ph.D.

Director, Howard University Transportation Research Center
Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Howard University

Dr. Arhin is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Howard University. He has 19 years of experience in all facets of traffic and transportation engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the District of Columbia, MD, and VA, and a registered Professional Traffic Operations Engineer (PTOE).

Edd Hauser, Ph.D.

Director, UNCC Center for Transportation Policy Studies
UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Dr. Hauser has served as Director of the Center for Transportation Policy Studies at UNC Charlotte since September 2000. He was the first full-time Director of the UNC system-wide Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) and developed a new Center for Transportation Systems Research at Arizona State University. He has also served as Assistant State Highway Administrator at NCDOT.

Srinivas Pulugurtha, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, UNCC Center for Transportation Policy Studies
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNCC
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Dr. Pulugurtha is a tenured full professor and director of the graduate program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNCC, the Director of Infrastructure, Design, Environment & Sustainability (IDEAS) Center and the Assistant Director for the Center for Transportation Policy Studies. He has served as principal investigator or co-PI on more than $7.2M in funded research and authored or coauthored more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles and reports.

Peter Romine, Ph.D.

Coordinator, Electrical Engineering
Navajo Technical University

Dr. Romine has a long, distinguished record of leadership, teaching, curriculum development, and research. Most recently Dr. Romine was awarded a multimillion-dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of Native Americans completing high school, selecting STEM college majors and careers.


Jill Carter

Executive Assistant, Office Manager

Jill Carter applies her business operations skills to MTI administrative management and support. She and her husband own a successful automobile repair facility, where she managed office operations, accounting, staffing and sales. As a librarian for the Campbell School District, she purchased books and equipment, instructed in library skills, and organized the book fair. At Bank of America, she was a bookkeeper and teller. She is involved with the activities of her five children, including sports, fundraisers, PTA and classroom support. She attended San Jose State University, where she majored in liberal arts.


Irma Garcia

Communications and Workforce Developement Coordinator

Irma Garcia is a San Jose native with an appreciation for the humble beginnings of the Silicon Valley. After earning her B.A. in English, Irma went on to teach middle school English for two years before returning to San Jose Staté University (SJSU) to pursue a master’s degree. While in the master’s program, Irma managed the Urban and Regional Planning Department as well as others departments within the College of Social Sciences. Her duties included managing the department finances, scheduling department events and classes, hiring, supervising student assistants and other day-to-day activities. During her time at with the College of Social Sciences, Irma received the Provost Staff Professional Development Grant for two consecutive years and was recognized with the Staff Service Award in 2017. She is also a former member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the recipient of the 2017 Owen Milton Boyles Scholarship at SJSU. Irma’s background in writing and public speaking skills translate well into her position at MTI. She has successfully applied her skillset at MTI through such K-12 programs as the Mineta Summer Transportation Institute, the National Flight Academy, the Garrett Morgan Sustainable Transportation Competition; and through local and national collaborations such as the Silicon Valley Bike Summit, High Speed Rail Leadership Summit, MTI Annual Banquet & Convocation Celebration, MTI Finance Summit, and is in the process of enthusiastically developing several more MTI events.