COMTO Honours HDR's Sharon Greene with Women Who Move the Nation Award
The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials honored Sharon Greene, director of HDR’s Finance Practice, on March 15 as a recipient of the Women Who Move the Nation Award. Greene received the award during the sixth annual Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation breakfast, held each year during Women’s History Month. The awards celebrate outstanding women transportation executives whose contributions advance the industry. This year’s ceremony took place at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Centre in Washington, D.C.
Greene began her undergraduate studies at Tufts University. She graduated with a bachelor’s in English and economics before entering Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where she earned a master’s degree in city and regional planning, one of only three women in her class.
Greene’s drive to improve communities and ultimately to become a leader in transportation stemmed from an experience before she entered graduate school. She worked with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, conducting an alignment study for a new highway corridor. The corridor extended across undeveloped areas of Staten Island, connecting Brooklyn and New Jersey. The study process employed an innovative geographic information system (GIS) and map overlay method to limit social and environmental costs, which irrevocably changed the future of highway corridor planning. In the process, Greene discovered a passion for transportation planning and policy, then applied to Harvard and later joined the Boston chapter of the newly founded Women’s Transportation Seminar.
And while her career started on the East Coast, many of the projects for which Greene is most recognized took root in other parts of the country and internationally. “I moved to Orange County, California, to lead a major multimodal undertaking that expanded highway capacity and introduced high-capacity transit and commuter rail service in a rapidly growing region,” she said. “There were significant opportunities to utilise new and innovative methods for funding and financing transportation infrastructure.”
Greene was then appointed the executive director of the Los Angeles–San Diego Rail Corridor Joint Powers Authority. She was the chief architect behind the now landmark funding model used to create Metrolink, today a staple of transportation in Southern California and the second largest commuter rail network in the nation. Through her company, Sharon Greene + Associates, which she established in 1985, Greene went on to help many other agencies leverage funding and sophisticated finance for transportation infrastructure. She assisted clients such as the Utah Transit Authority, LA Metro, Valley Metro Rail in Phoenix, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority and the Israeli Ministry of Transport.
HDR acquired Greene’s company in 2013 and today she is based in HDR’s Irvine, California, office. She continues to help clients use innovative finance to make great transportation infrastructure possible. Greene currently provides services for the robust Link Union Station project in Los Angeles, and the $8.2 billion Honolulu Rail Transit (HART) project in Hawaii. Her work has been cited by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Authority and her public sector clients as exemplary financial analyses for capital investments.
“The fact that Sharon is being recognised with this remarkable award is no surprise to any of us who work with her,” said HDR Transportation Group President Charlie O’Reilly. “She brings a visionary approach and extensive knowledge to address infrastructure funding and financing for our clients.”
Building on four decades in the industry, Greene applauds today’s greater inclusiveness in STEM education and the advancements made possible by organisations such as COMTO.
“It is a fantastic and necessary organisation,” Greene said. “Joining the cadre of exceptional women who have been recognised with this honour in previous years makes it extra special.”
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.