Transportation Sector


Sector Lead Cynthia J. Burbank

Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., 38 (5 with PB)

Transportation Research Board: Member of NCHRP Synthesis Program overview panel and member of

Panels for NCHRP research on (a) extreme weather impacts on transportation; and (b) identifying and

forecasting alternative revenue sources for transportation. Women’s Transportation Seminar: Past

Secretary of WTS-National and Past Vice President of WTS-Washington, DC. Ridesharing Institute: Vice



Cindy joined PB in 2007, after 32 years with the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). At DOT,

Cindy played key roles in highway, transit, aviation, and national transportation policy and legislation.

From 1999-2007, she served as Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty for the

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), where her she oversaw streamlining of the environmental

review process for FHWA projects, increasing environmental stewardship, developing new regulations for

the highway-transit planning process, joint border planning with Canada and Mexico, managing FHWA’s

environmental and planning research programs, and introducing innovations into the highway right-of-way


Cindy was FHWA’s senior executive with responsibility for CMAQ and implementation of the Clean Air Act

(CAA) for transportation. She oversaw the start-up of the CMAQ program in 1991 and played a major role

in CMAQ program guidance. Cindy’s responsibilities also included oversight and direction for the

Transportation Enhancement Program, Recreational Trails, Scenic Byways, and bike/ped research and


Prior to joining FHWA in 1991, she held positions in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Urban

Mass Transportation Administration (predecessor to FTA), the Office of the Secretary of Transportation,

and the U.S. Navy. A member of the Senior Executive Service from 1991-2006, she was designated in

October 1998 as one of five core business unit leaders for FHWA.

In 2007, after retiring from FHWA, Cindy joined PB as National Environment and Planning Practice

Leader. She provides strategic and tactical advice to PB’s clients on planning and environmental issues,

including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), air quality, and global climate change (GCC).

In 2008, Cindy was certified by AASHTO as a climate change expert, and has been a major source of

advice and assistance to AASHTO on climate change. Cindy conducted 17 climate change workshops

for AASHTO/state DOTs, organized and hosted 15 national webinars on climate change, oversaw the

development and populating of AASHTO’s climate change website, and oversaw AASHTO’s weekly

briefs on climate change.

Cindy also provides advice and assistance to the Association of MPOs. In 2010-11, AMPO sought out

Cindy to prepare a white paper on performance planning, to communicate AMPO views on performance

planning to a key Congressional Committee. In 2011-2012, Cindy assisted AMPO with an FHWA-funded

project on climate change.

Cindy has given over 80 presentations on climate change to national, state, and local organizations,

including AASHTO, AMPO, American Planning Association, TRB, National Association of Environmental

Professionals, The Pew Center, Institute of Transportation Engineers, and individual state DOTs and MPOs.

BA, Economics, Georgetown University, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, 1973; Boston

University, 1970-1971; Duke University, 1968-1969