Senior Program Specialist, Safety and Security
Member Services Department
What are the job elements you focus on the most (your primary responsibilities)?
I wear many hats at APTA. I’m part of a team that works to help our members provide “Safe and Reliable Mobility Systems,” one of APTA’s Strategic Goals. My colleagues and I conduct peer reviews and audits, as well as helping to maintain the other safety and security programs that APTA offers.
I primarily manage the Public Transportation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (PT-ISAC) and numerous projects that program encompasses. The ISAC is a critical tool that informs the public transit industry of potential security threats (physical and cyber-related), situational awareness, and mitigation measures. It sends this information to security and emergency managers on a daily basis to keep them informed of mitigation measures they can use to counteract threats or to implement best practices and security standards to protect better against attacks.
I also support the activities of the various APTA safety and security committees and several working groups.
We work to advance the interests of our industry and enhance the security of public transit agencies through ongoing coordination with our federal partners (FTA, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration) to improve information sharing.
Do you have direct contact with APTA members? If so, please talk about the most recent times you’ve helped out a member.
I work with APTA members on a regular basis to support them with their operational, safety, security, and emergency management needs. A lot of the requests we receive are for best practices from other public transit agencies. I coordinate with our various committees and chairs to find the best practices available.
I often get requests from members on specific security and emergency preparedness plans.
What initiatives, projects, or programs have you worked on at APTA that you have taken particular pride in completing?
Our Emergency Response and Preparedness Program has really helped APTA members in times of need. During Hurricane Sandy last year, my department worked to assist agencies in reaching other APTA members around their geographical area so they could find the parts and resources to help them recover from the significant flooding. That’s one of the most rewarding things I do—help get APTA members back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Additionally, the PT-ISAC program has raised the bar in the quality of information shared with our federal partners and across other sectors.
How did you “land” at APTA? How long have you worked here?
I applied to APTA since I was looking for a career where I could interact with people and actually make a difference in my field. APTA has provided me that avenue to truly impact our members on a daily basis. I’ve been with APTA for more than five years now.
Have you held other jobs in the public transportation industry (besides working at APTA)?
I previously worked with safety and security in the transportation industry, but not with public transit before APTA. Many of the same principles apply and the transition has been great.
What professional affiliations do you have?
I work with the various Sector Coordinating Council/Government Coordinating Council (SCC/GCC) working groups that focus on safety, security, cyber security, and emergency preparedness. Specifically, the Public Transit Information Sharing Working Group works with our federal partners and the industry to constantly improve the information sharing and flow between the public and private sectors. I am also an APTA representative (liaison) to the Transit Cooperative Research Program on emergency management, cyber security, and projects.
Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?
I love the outdoors, nature, and working with my hands. Now that I have a backyard, I spend a lot of my free time outside, pondering what new projects I will work on that will give me the excuse to make another trip to Home Depot. I’m currently building a fire pit and hanging up hammocks.
Make sure you see David Hahn’s video, now that you've read this!