Instructor Information

Norma Ortega Chief Financial Officer, California Department of Transportation

Norma Ortega was appointed Chief Financial Officer for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in August 2009. Ms. Ortega has been with Caltrans over 25 years and has served in a number of increasing responsible fiscal management positions including serving as Acting, Chief Deputy Director during 2013 and 2014, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise to manage the internal operations of Caltrans. During her career at Caltrans, Ms. Ortega has lead a number of fiscal strategies designed to keep funds flowing for transportation, including serving as Caltrans lead on the Road Charge Pilot Program. Other strategies include aggressive cash management of funds during very challenging fiscal times, allowing projects to continue through numerous years of stops and starts of funding, federal approval of almost $5 billion in federal toll credits, reduction of federal inactive obligations, and capturing over $1.5 billion of additional federal funds from other states through the August Redistribution of funds.

Gian-Claudia Sciara PhD, AICP, Professional Researcher, UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies

Gian-Claudia Sciara is a researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. Her portfolio addresses institutional questions in transportation planning, policy, and finance across national, state, regional and local levels, and her current work examines implementation of SB375 in California, which makes greenhouse gas reduction a central policy goal for regional transportation. Her publications address funding for advance environmental mitigation of infrastructure projects; Congressional earmarking's impacts on regional decision making; revenue generation for metropolitan infrastructure; and HOT-lane equity and planning.
Dr. Sciara earned the Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and is active member of the Transportation Research Board and its Transportation Programming and Investment Decision-Making Committee.

Andre Boutros PE, Former Executive Director, California Transportation Commission

Mr. Boutros retired from public service in December 2014, as the Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission. Andre concluded a career of more than 30 years of direct involvement in the development and preservation of California's transportation infrastructure with extensive focus on program and project delivery, and transportation policy and finance. Andre had staffed the Commission since 2007, holding the positions of Chief Program Delivery Officer and Chief Deputy Director, leading to his appointment to the Executive Director in January 2013. Prior to joining the Commission, Andre spent over 23 years with the California Department of Transportation, holding numerous technical and leadership positions, with extensive involvement in bridge and highway engineering, and program and policy development and implementation. Andre currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies, a member of the Steering Committee for the Annual UCLA Lake Arrowhead Symposium on Transportation, Land Use and Environment, and a member of the Board of Directors of the California Transportation Foundation.

Maura Twomey CPA, Executive Director, Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments

Ms. Twomey is the Executive Director for the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Monterey Bay Region. She has 30 years of transportation experience, including 20 years in executive management. Prior to her appointment at AMBAG, Ms. Twomey served as Deputy Director for the California Transportation Commission, providing high level transportation policy and project management advice to the Commission and ensuring the timely and cost effective delivery of more than $3 billion in transportation projects annually. Ms. Twomey also served as the Chief of External Audits for Caltrans, managing a complex and comprehensive audit function. Ms. Twomey is a member of the California Freight Advisory Committee and the current Chair of the Rural Counties Task Force.

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