Tri-State Transportation Campaign Announces Selection of New Executive Director

After three years at Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Nick Sifuentes has stepped down from the role of executive director. The board of directors has appointed Renae Reynolds, current transportation planner for the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, as the next executive director.

“On behalf of TSTC’s board, we are very pleased to announce the hiring of Renae Reynolds as our new executive director,” said John Casellini, the Board Chair. “We believe that Renae will build upon the foundation established by Nick and his predecessors, advancing TSTC to the next level in the years to come. Transportation sits at the intersection of climate, recovery, and equity. We’re so proud to bring in someone who has been a leader in the Transportation, Environmental and Environmental Justice communities who has spent the bulk of her career looking at how transportation policies impact vulnerable communities. Her reputation with the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance as a knowledgeable transportation planner led to her appointment to the NYS Climate Action Council Transportation Advisory Panel. She is an impassioned communicator, and an outspoken advocate for transit equity and climate resiliency – all qualities that led our board to select her.”

Under Sifuentes’ leadership, TSTC’s instrumental advocacy resulted in key victories such as the nation’s first congestion pricing program, commitments from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Jersey Transit to redesign bus networks and transition to a fully electric bus fleet, expanding bus lane camera enforcement, reforming NJ Transit’s board of directors, and securing nearly $20 billion in federal COVID-19 stimulus aid for the region’s transportation authorities.

Overall, Sifuentes’ work has resulted in the expansion of New York City’s bus lane network, increased funding for transit, and improved transparency at transportation authorities throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. His expertise earned him several appointments, including to the NYS Climate Action Council Transportation Advisory Panel, the Penn Station Community Advisory Committee, as well as COVID-19 recovery panels for the Mayor of NYC and the Governor of New Jersey.

“I am thrilled that Renae will succeed me in leading Tri-State,” said Nick Sifuentes, former Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “I’ve known Renae for years as a campaign partner and colleague and think she is the best possible person to take the organization to the next level. Her vision, talent, and deep experience working on environmental justice issues are exactly what Tri-State needs right now. I am so excited to see Tri-State continue to grow and thrive under her direction, and I can’t wait to see what she and the organization do next.”

Renae Reynolds comes to Tri-State Transportation Campaign from the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, where she managed the organization’s transportation advocacy efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the harmful impacts of transportation pollution in New York’s most vulnerable communities. At NYC EJA, Renae led the development of ElectrifyNY, a statewide coalition united in the fight for an equitable electric transportation future. Under her leadership, the collaborative group successfully engaged the MTA to commit to an all-electric fleet by 2040. Renae was also a key advocacy partner in the successful passage of congestion pricing.

Prior to NYC EJA, Renae worked with the United State Forest Service in the New York City Urban Field Station (USFS) conducting participatory research and community engagement on social and ecological resilience on the Rockaway Peninsula in the devastating wake of Superstorm Sandy. She also managed the Science of the Living City program during her time with the USFS. Components of her work are detailed in a co-authored chapter of the technical report, the Green Readiness Recovery and Response: A Collaborative Synthesis. Renae also worked on community and youth development with the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. She received her Master’s in the Theories of Urban Practice at Parsons School of Design.

“Our transportation system is an invaluable resource that provides us access to a variety of vital opportunities; be they economic, social, cultural or health related,” Reynolds said. “We are at a moment in time where that system has been tested in unprecedented ways. As we face new challenges and new opportunities to improve our transportation system we must ensure equity, and justice are at the forefront. I am extremely proud and excited to take on this role of leadership at Tri-State Transportation Campaign. I look forward to the continuous work to advocate for a transportation future that responds to the call for environmental justice, economic justice, climate justice, access and inclusion.”

“TSTC is a vibrant institution whose work impacts the lives of millions of people in the tri-state region,” said Betsy Plum, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance. “With so much critical work ahead, the Riders Alliance is excited and energized by the selection of Renae Reynolds as the organization’s next executive director. We have worked closely with Renae to win congestion pricing and improve bus service. Her experience as an equity planner and leader for environmental justice uniquely fits the urgency of this moment. We are confident that Renae will lead the Tri-State Transportation Campaign to the next generation of victories at the intersection of transit, racial, and climate justice. We look forward to continuing our work together with Renae and her team to improve access to opportunity for all New Yorkers.”

Reynolds will join Tri-State Transportation Campaign on May 3, 2021.