2021 Conference – Expert Participants

Brave New Road: The Role of Technology in Achieving Safe and Just Transport Systems

Expert Participants

Tuesday, March 23

Emerging Transportation Technologies, a Primer

A write-up of this panel is available here


Emily Frascaroli, Managing Counsel, Product Litigation Group, Ford Motor Company (US)

Emily Frascaroli is managing counsel of the Product Litigation Group at Ford Motor Company, including the product litigation, asbestos, and discovery teams. She also advises globally on automotive safety, regulatory, and product liability issues, including a focus on autonomous vehicles and mobility. She has extensive experience handling complex product litigation cases, regulatory matters with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other governmental entities, and product defect investigations. She also is co-chair of the Legal and Insurance Working Group for the University of Michigan’s Mcity. In 2017, she was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Council on Future Mobility, and in 2019 she was appointed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to the DriveOhio Expert Advisory Board.

Professor Frascaroli earned her JD, cum laude, from Wayne State University and was an editor of the Wayne Law Review. She received her BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and her MEng in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to practicing law, she worked in engineering at both Ford and NASA.

Expert Participants:

Jennifer A. Dukarski, Shareholder, Butzel Long

Jennifer A. Dukarski is a Shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Ann Arbor office, practicing in the areas of intellectual property, media, and technology. She focuses her practice at the intersection of technology and communications with an emphasis on the legal issues arising from emerging and disruptive innovation: digital media and content, vehicle safety, connected and autonomous cars, shared mobility, infotainment, data privacy, and security. Jennifer leads clients in securing and protecting rights in technology through transactions and litigation.  Jennifer was named one of the 30 Women Defining the Future of Technology in January 2020 by Warner Communications for her innovative thoughts and contributions to the tech industry.  She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional concentrating on the U.S. Private Sector privacy and data protection law (CIPP/US). 

Nira Pandya, Associate, Covington & Burling LLP

Nira Pandya is an associate specializing in corporate and technology transactions.  Ms. Pandya developed a keen interest in connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) during law school, where she researched issues of automation and labor.  As a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Emerging Technology Law, she has assisted in the planning of the annual Automated Vehicle Symposium over the last four years. 

At Covington, Ms. Pandya continues to grow her expertise in this area by tracking and analyzing legislative and regulatory developments with respect to CAVs.  As part of this work, she has published several blog posts and client alerts on this topic.  Ms. Pandya leverages her passion and knowledge in this space to deliver exceptional service to clients in the Internet of Things (IoT) and technology sectors. 

Ms. Pandya has always been passionate about mentorship as a tool for career development, with a focus on women of color and first generation professionals.  In her free time, you’ll find her sipping pour-overs from a local coffee roaster or practicing classical singing.

Bryant Walker Smith, Co-Director of Law and Mobility Program, Associate Professor of Law, University of South Carolina Law School

Bryant Walker Smith is an associate professor in the School of Law and (by courtesy) the School of Engineering at the University of South Carolina. He also is an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School and co-director of the University of Michigan Project on Law and Mobility. He previously led the Emerging Technology Law Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and served on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.

Trained as a lawyer and an engineer, Smith advises cities, states, countries, and the United Nations on emerging transport technologies. He co-authored the globally influential levels of driving automation, drafted the leading model law for automated driving in the United States, and taught the first legal courses dedicated to automated driving (in 2012), hyperloops, and flying taxis. His students have developed best practices for regulating scooters, and he is writing about what it means to be a trustworthy company. His publications are available at newlypossible.org.

Before joining the University of South Carolina, Smith led the legal aspects of the automated driving program at Stanford University, clerked for The Hon. Evan J. Wallach at the U.S. Court of International Trade, and worked as a fellow at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He holds both an LLM in international legal studies and a JD (cum laude) from the New York University School of Law and a BS in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to his legal career, Smith worked as a transportation engineer.

Wednesday, March 24

A Conversation with Paul C. Ajegba, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation

Paul C. Ajegba, P.E., Director, Michigan Department of Transportation

Paul C. Ajegba has over 30 years of experience with the Michigan Department of Transportation, and was after 28 years with the department, he was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer as Director on Jan. 1, 2019.  He previously served MDOT for three months as Metro Region Engineer, and before that as University Region Engineer.  During his seven years in the University Region, Ajegba oversaw his team’s involvement in the planning, design and construction of several major projects, including the US-23 Flex Route – a project nominated for the America’s Transportation Award, landing among the top 12 national finalists. Other notable projects include the I-94 rehabilitation project in Ann Arbor/Jackson, the I-96/US-23 interchange, and the I-75 freeway project.

Ajegba holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Prairie View A&M University and a Master’s Degree in construction engineering from the University of Michigan.  He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Michigan.

Paul is a member of COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials), and serves on the following boards:   AASHTO, ITS America, M-City, University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Engineering Society of Detroit, and the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

Thursday, April 1

Transportation Equity and Emerging Technologies

A write-up of this panel is available here


C. Ndu Ozor, Associate General Counsel, University of Michigan

Ndu Ozor joined the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President and General Counsel in 2015.  As Associate General Counsel, Ndu advises his U-M clients on various business and transactional matters, primarily focusing on investments, acquisitions and divestitures, domestic and international transactions, partnerships, financing, automated vehicles, and general corporate governance.

Prior to joining the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, Ndu was in the private equity group of Perkins Coie LLP, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and finance.  Ndu began his legal career in Chicago as an associate in the private equity group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.  Ndu received his JD and BBA from the University of Michigan.

Expert Participants:

Robin Chase, Transportation Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Zipcar

Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the world’s leading carsharing network; as well as co-founder of Veniam, a network company that moves terabytes of data between vehicles and the cloud. She has recently co-founded her first nonprofit, NUMO, a global alliance to channel the opportunities presented by new urban mobility technologies to build cities that are sustainable and just. Her recent book is Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism.

She sits on the Boards of the World Resources Institute and Tucows, and serves on the Dutch multinational DSM’s Sustainability Advisory Board. In the past, she served on the boards of Veniam and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the French National Digital Agency, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, the Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force.

Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including the prestigious Urban Land Institute’s Nichols Prize as Urban Visionary, Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and BusinessWeek Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow, and received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Dr. David Rojas-Rueda, MD, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University

Dr. David Rojas-Rueda’s primary research focuses on promoting a healthy urban design, supporting mitigation, and adaptation to climate change. David is an environmental epidemiologist with over ten years of experience evaluating the health and equity impacts of urban and transport planning policies related to air pollution, traffic noise, green spaces, heat island effects, physical activity, and traffic accidents. He has worked in several countries around Europe, Africa, Latin, and North America. David specializes in health impact assessment, populational risk assessment, the burden of disease, and citizen science. His research actively involves citizens, stakeholders, local and national authorities. He has active collaborations with the World Bank and United Nations agencies, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and UN-Habitat.

Dr. Regan F. Patterson, PhD, Transportation Equity Research Fellow, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

Dr. Regan F. Patterson is the Transportation Equity Research Fellow at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), where she conducts intersectional transportation policy analysis and research. Prior to joining the CBCF, Dr. Patterson was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation research focused on the impact of transportation policies on air quality and environmental justice. Dr. Patterson holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UCLA and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Patterson’s most recent work – New Routes to Equity: The Future of Transportation in the Black Community – Can be found here

Tuesday, April 6

Justice, Safety, and Transportation Policy

Building on what we’ve learned from the first two weeks, participants will focus on examining how transportation policy is generated and how policymakers can take a more active role in how new technology is deployed and used. This includes policy issues like policing, street and city design, and their intersection with technological adoption.


Ellen Partridge, Policy & Strategy Director, Shared-Use Mobility Center 

Ellen brings to SUMC the expertise and knowledge of nearly 20 years of work in public transit administration and operations at both the federal and transit agency levels. She was appointed Chief Counsel for the USDOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration and also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Counsel for the FTA. She is intimately familiar with the legal and regulatory landscape of public transit, including the nuances of public agency partnerships with private mobility providers.
At the Chicago Transit Authority, she focused on policy initiatives – first as Deputy General Counsel for Policy and Appeals and then in the Strategic Operations unit that deployed new technology and trained supervisors on how to use it to improve bus service. Before joining the nation’s second-largest transit agency, she practiced environmental law with the firms of Jenner & Block in Chicago and Van Ness Feldman in Washington, D.C. She lived in the Republic of Palau, serving as counsel to its government as it transitioned from being a United Nations Trust Territory to independence.
While practicing law, she taught environmental and natural resources law as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and DePaul University Law Schools. Ellen is a fellow with Leadership Greater Chicago, was awarded a fellowship with the German Marshall Fund and was a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Law and Policy Center. She earned her law degree at Georgetown University Law School and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Expert Participants:

Justin Snowden, Mobility Expert, Former Chief of Mobility Strategy for the City of Detroit

Kelly Bartlett, Connected and Automated Vehicle Specialist, Michigan Department of Transportation

Kelly Bartlett is a Connected and Automated Vehicle Specialist for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).  He analyzes state and federal regulations and policies on automated vehicles, mobility and related topics.  He was very involved in the drafting of the 2016 Michigan legislation on automated vehicles.  He also assists the Michigan Council on Future Mobility and Electrification and the state’s Office on Future Mobility and Electrification as both consider and develop new policy recommendations.  In addition, Mr. Bartlett participates in national work groups on federal policies.  Prior to his current position, Mr. Bartlett was Senior Policy and Legislative Advisor for MDOT, and previously was a policy advisor in the Michigan Legislature.    

Kristin White, Connected and Automated Vehicles Executive Director, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Kristin White is Executive Director of Minnesota’s Office of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV-X), a public sector tech startup and idea incubator that researches and deploys transformational technology and policy. Kristin is a lawyer, policy strategist and innovator who brings empathy and leadership into the transportation sector, challenging us to harness revolutionary technologies and grow new partnerships to build tomorrow today. The CAV-X program is one of the leading CAV programs in the nation, with its projects, research and partnerships winning the National Cronin Award, WTS Innovator Award, and AASHTO Innovation Award.

Kristin has a B.A. from St. Olaf College, law degree from Hamline University School of Law and global arbitration certification from Queen Mary University of London. She began her career as a Fulbright Fellow with the US State Department and has since represented Fortune 500 companies, cities, and states.

Wednesday, April 7 

Challenging Algorithms in Court: A Conversation with Kevin De Liban

Kevin De Liban, Director of Advocacy at Legal Aid of Arkansas

Kevin De Liban is the Director of Advocacy at Legal Aid of Arkansas, nurturing multi-dimensional efforts to improve the lives of low-income Arkansans in matters of health, workers’ rights, safety net benefits, housing, consumer rights, and domestic violence. With Legal Aid, he has led a successful litigation campaign in federal and state courts challenging Arkansas’s use of an algorithm to cut vital Medicaid home-care benefits to individuals who have disabilities or are elderly. In addition, he and Legal Aid of Arkansas, along with the National Health Law Program and Southern Poverty Law Center, successfully challenged Medicaid work requirements in federal court, ending the state’s unlawful use of red-tape that stripped health insurance from over 18,000 people. Kevin regularly presents about imposing accountability on artificial intelligence and algorithms and was a featured speaker at the 2018 AI Now Symposium with other leading technologists, academics, and advocates. In 2019, Kevin received the Emerging Leader award from the national community of legal aid lawyers and public defenders. His work has appeared on or in the PBS Newshour, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, the Economist, the Verge, and other publications and podcasts. When not practicing law, Kevin is passionately creating music as a rapper.