Secretary Buttigieg names HNTB’s Diana Mendes to USDOT’s Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity

Committee will advise Secretary Buttigieg on issues related to civil rights and expanding access to jobs and economic opportunities in transportation for all communities

ARLINGTON, Va. (Aug. 17, 2023)HNTB’s Diana Mendes, AICP, has been appointed by Secretary Pete Buttigieg to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Secretary Buttigieg re-established the ACTE to provide independent advice and recommendations about issues of civil rights and transportation equity from a variety of leaders with diverse perspectives.

Mendes serves HNTB clients as corporate president of infrastructure and mobility equity. She is responsible for shaping transportation and mobility equity policy through collaboration with federal, state and local agency leaders.

“I am honored to work with Secretary Buttigieg and other distinguished leaders on the Advisory Committee to support USDOT in advancing better, more inclusive infrastructure for all people,” said Mendes. “I look forward to working with these dedicated leaders to advance the potential and promise of unprecedented investment in our nation’s infrastructure to lift up all communities.”

Originally initiated during the tenure of USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, the ACTE will be chaired by the former Secretary and brings together representatives from public agencies, private sector companies, professional associations, non-profits, academia and research. The USDOT received and reviewed more than 240 applications for membership to the ACTE. Mendes and the 23 other newly appointed members will each serve two-year terms.

With over 35 years of leadership and management expertise in transportation consulting, Mendes is a nationally recognized industry expert specializing in environmental justice, equity, the National Environmental Policy Act and transit. Since 2017, Mendes has been an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, teaching the National Transit Institute’s Advanced Environmental Justice seminar.

Mendes has served on boards and committees for several professional associations and non-profits including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials; American Planning Association; the Institute of Transportation Engineers; the American Public Transportation Association; Transportation Research Board; and the non-profit Mpact (formerly Rail~Volution), which focuses on creating equitable and sustainable communities.

Currently, she serves as chair of the Advisory Council for the Equity in Infrastructure Project; chair of the APTA Awards Committee; and chair of the Mpact Board of Directors. She holds a seat on the inaugural Engineering Executive Council for Morgan State University’s Mitchell School of Engineering and is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Fine Arts Dean’s Council. Previous positions include serving as chair of APTA’s Legislative Committee; chair of APTA’s Policy and Planning Committee; on APTA’s Executive Committee; and on APTA’s Board of Directors. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Mendes has received numerous awards for her professional contributions. These include the 2019 COMTO Executive of the Year, the American Transportation and Road Builders Association Ethel S. Birchland Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, the 2018 COMTO Shirley A. DeLibero Women Who Move the Nation Award, and the NTI 2017 Training Professional of the Year. In 2020, she became an HNTB Fellow, one of the firm’s highest honors recognizing technical excellence and innovation. Mendes was also the recipient of the 2021 Virginia Business Women in Leadership Award and the 2021 Women’s Transportation Seminar DC Chapter Rosa Parks Diversity Award.

Mendes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Mount Holyoke College, and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She received a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University in April 2021. She also received a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace from the University of South Florida Muma College of Business in May 2021.

Mendes is based in the firm’s Arlington office.