Our Board & Staff
Who We Are
The Institute for Transportation Decarbonization focuses on research and analysis of viable decarbonization pathways for light-, medium-,and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as the freight, aviation, and maritime transportation sectors.
Dr. Kelly L. Fleming is the Director of the Institute for Transportation Decarbonization. Kelly is an expert in energy technology with a focus in transportation energy and energy policy, including the transition to zero-carbon fuel resources, and the role of electricity in transportation decarbonization.
Kelly has served as an intermediary between world-leading transportation research and the key policymakers, mobility and environmental organizations, and leaders in the transportation industry. She has held prior roles at Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) and the Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy at the University of California, Davis, an affiliate of the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS).
Kelly served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Vehicle Technologies Office. Kelly is Vice President at Boundary Stone Partners where she is focused on facilitating relationships between federal policymakers and clean transportation companies deploying solutions. Kelly has a doctorate and master’s of chemical engineering from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor’s degree in chemical and biochemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
Summer 2023 Clean Fuels Fellow
Brian is a former naval aviator and current graduate student in global environmental policy. As an aviator, Brian flew the MH-60S and led missions ranging from multinational exercises, medical evacuations, operational logistics, search and rescue, and provided fundamental and mission-specific training to junior pilots.
Brian is passionate about combating the climate crisis. He is seeking work on Capitol Hill to learn the nuances of policymaking to take climate action, promote United States interests, and make lasting improvements for everyday Americans. Brian is enthusiastic about continued service as a public servant to further those causes. Brian earned dual BA/BS degrees from Central Washington University. After commissioning into the Navy through officer candidate school, he continued his education by earning a graduate certificate in Joint Professional Military Education from the Naval War College, a MA in organizational leadership from the George Washington University, and is currently studying global environmental policy at American University.
Chair of the Advisory Board
Suzi Emmerling is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Transportation Decarbonization. She has nearly two decades of experience working in communications at the both local and federal levels – as an advocate, a communications leader, a government insider, and a force for change in philanthropy. She is an alumnus of one of the most powerful progressive think tanks in Washington DC, the Center for American Progress, and served in President Obama’s Administration as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Department of Transportation. Now based in Los Angeles, she most recently served as the Chief Communications Officer for billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and the Broad Foundation and as Communications Director for Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti.
Prior to living in LA, Suzi spent most of her career in Washington, D.C., most recently as an appointee of President Obama as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this role, Suzi served on the executive leadership team and advised former Secretary Anthony Foxx on all transportation issues and crises facing the department. During her time at DOT, Suzi worked closely with her counterparts in the White House on all major transportation and infrastructure-related rollouts and initiatives. She maintained close oversight of every mode of transportation to ensure that President Obama and Secretary Foxx’s priorities were implemented. Highlights include reinstating commercial flights to Cuba and the FAA’s Drone Program, as well as Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, the 2015 Philadelphia Amtrak derailment, the Ladders of Opportunity initiative, movement of crude oil by rail, and the national Smart Cities Competition.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Suzi worked on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee, the 2012 Obama for America Campaign, and the Democratic National Convention Host Committee in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been an advocate for progressive policies on the communications teams at the Center for American Progress and the BlueGreen Alliance in San Francisco, and as the Director of Development at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Advisory Board Member
Andrea Purse has led communications efforts for national political organizations, including leading communications at the Center for American Progress, NextGen Climate, and overseeing communications for over $40 million of issue campaigns as Managing Director for Communications at the Hub Project. She helped to develop Navigator Research, a progressive polling organization that has provided regular tracking and data that has been cited everywhere from President Biden’s twitter account to national news publications.
Andrea is currently a Senior Producer for the Emmy-nominated political docuseries, The Circus, Andrea Purse has over twenty years of experience in political communications, broadcast media, and advocacy. As the former Director of Broadcast Communications Strategy for the Obama-Biden White House, Andrea arranged high-profile interviews for President Obama, then Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Cabinet officials, and other senior members of the administration. She also previously led broadcast outreach for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, The Center for American Progress, and the John Edwards for President campaign.
She continues to work in advocacy communications as a consultant for leading national organizations including Climate Power, the National Education Association, Times Up and We the Action, working to build and expand their communications capacity and strategy.
Dan Sanchez, PhD
Advisory Board Member
Dr. Sanchez is an early developer and leading expert on engineered biomass and bioenergy systems that remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Trained as an engineer and energy systems analyst, Sanchez’s work engages technology developers, policymakers, and corporations to advance sustainable biomass carbon removal and storage.
Dr. Sanchez is on entrepreneurial leave from the University of California-Berkeley, where he is an Assistant Professor of Cooperative Extension in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Prior to joining the faculty of UC Berkeley, Daniel was a AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow serving in the Office of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO).
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