Virtual Panel Discussion

Application to Action: A Deep Dive into SS4A Grants with Insights from former USDOT leaders and Miami-Dade County

Virtual Panel Discussion on Friday, March 22nd at 1:00 pm

Join us for an expert panel discussion moderated by Lynda Tran of EpicWorks Advisors, featuring Emily Schweninger, EpicWorks Advisors, and Commissioner Eileen Higgins from Miami-Dade County. This session offers a unique opportunity to gain insights into the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program from individuals with extensive backgrounds in transportation policy, safety initiatives, and regional governance, providing a blend of expert analysis and local experience.

Lynda Tran will guide the conversation to detail the strategic use of SS4A grants to create safer community street environments. Drawing on their collective expertise and understanding of past USDOT priorities, the panelists will share critical insights into developing effective action plans and the essential steps for crafting successful grant applications.

Attendees will benefit from a detailed examination of the latest FY24 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), focusing on key deadlines and eligibility criteria, to ensure project proposals align with broader safety objectives without directly representing past or current USDOT positions.

The session empowers representatives from counties, cities, towns, transit agencies, or planning organizations with knowledge and strategies derived from past experiences. It will cover the spectrum of SS4A grants, from Planning and Demonstration Grants to Implementation Grants, discussing how to maximize their impact.

Join this panel to leverage the wisdom of experts familiar with the inner workings of transportation safety and policy, all while maintaining a clear distinction from official USDOT stances. This is your chance to be inspired and equipped to elevate your community’s safety initiatives using SS4A grant funding, guided by those who have navigated these paths. 

Now available: watch the webinar recording.


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Eileen Higgins

Commissioner of Miami Dade County & Florida Chair, NACo Transportation Policy Steering Committee

Eileen Higgins has served as the County Commissioner for District 5 since 2018, representing portions of the cities of Miami and Miami Beach. Serving a diverse district with stark inequality, Commissioner Higgins is a leading voice for closing existing equity gaps by bringing transportation to underserved neighborhoods, championing increased affordable housing, creating an economic ecosystem to support small minority-owned businesses, defending low-wage workers, seniors and LGTBQ allies, and protecting the waters that surround Miami-Dade. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of NACo’s Transportation Steering Committee (TSC) where she has represented NACo’s transportation and infrastructure objectives nationally on several occasions, including testimony at the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth hearing titled “Connecting Americans to Prosperity: How Infrastructure can Bolster Inclusive Economic Growth.” She also serves on NACo’s Economic Mobility Leadership Network. An engineer by trade with an undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico and an MBA from Cornell University, Eileen is a problem solver with a proven record of helping businesses and local organizations address a range of complex issues. Her work as a Country Director in the Peace Corps and as a diplomat in the U.S. State Department gives her the ability to look at local challenges with a unique perspective and compassionate manner.
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Lynda Tran

Partner, EpicWorks Advisors

Lynda Tran is an expert in advocacy and public engagement. Over more than two decades of experience across politics, policy, and communications, Lynda has helped launch national and international initiatives, shaped the narrative around historic moments, and built and scaled groundbreaking organizations. As Senior Advisor to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Director of Public Engagement for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), she helped activate stakeholders to secure passage of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — and played a critical role in shaping the policies and programs that determine how these historic resources are allocated in communities nationwide. Lynda is a nationally recognized leader in transportation and infrastructure policy. She serves on the Board of Directors for STV, a leading professional services firm that plans, designs, and manages infrastructure projects across North America, and is a senior advisor to LSN Partners. She returned to federal service after co-founding 270 Strategies, where she developed public engagement strategies for campaigns, companies, and causes – including the Environmental Defense Fund, Oxfam America, United Way Worldwide, Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the Black Economic Alliance, the Economic Security Project, Ready for Hillary, and some of the country’s most-watched political races. Lynda was a senior strategist for Breakthrough Energy – Bill Gates’ network of climate-focused investment funds, nonprofit and philanthropic programs, and policy campaigns – and served on the Advisory Board for political technology incubator Higher Ground Labs and for Battleground Texas. A CBS News Political Contributor and columnist through the 2020 cycle and frequent commentator, she previously led teams for President Obama’s Organizing for America, then-Governor Tim Kaine, and SEIU.
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Emily Schweninger

Senior Advisor, EpicWorks Advisors

Emily Schweninger is a public health expert focused on the cross-section of public health, systems development, and equity. With almost twenty years of professional experience across the globe, Emily has led national level policy coordination and adoption of strategic plans in various countries, successfully applied global best practices in context-specific conditions, developed and expanded life saving services, and created critical communications strategies to support program and country goals. Over the years, she has honed and leveraged skills in multi-sectoral coordination, policy development, coalition building, advocacy, facilitation and training, and project administration and management to build stronger, healthier, more resilient communities large and small. In her recent role as Senior Policy Advisor for Transportation Health and Safety in the Office of the Secretary at the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), Emily led on coordination of the USDOT's ambitious and groundbreaking National Roadway Safety Strategy and the supporting Call to Action with external partners and stakeholders. She also advanced roadway safety across the country by leading on the development, launch, and management of the Safe Streets and Roads for All Discretionary Grant Program that will allocate 5 Billion USD over five years to local communities to create and support comprehensive safety action plans that save lives. Additionally, Emily coordinated the USDOT COVID Response Team and other health related initiatives for the Department.
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Ryan McMahon

VP of Strategy & Corporate Development

Ryan McMahon is the Senior Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development at Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), the world’s largest telematics provider. Ryan is a member of CMT's executive team with responsibilities overseeing the company's road safety advisory board, government, and public affairs. Prior to his professional career in insurance, Ryan volunteered as an EMT while a student at the State University of New York at Potsdam Ryan holds a BA in Psychology, and an MBA from Worcester Polytechnic University.