AASHTO Adds New Staff

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials made four recent hires for its policy division and AASHTOWare product group.

Oscar Bermudez, Sofie Rhoads, and William Lusk are joining AASHTO’s policy team and will be based at the organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

Bermudez is the new program specialist for environment at AASHTO and will help support the group’s Center for Environmental Excellence and the Committee on Environment and Sustainability.

Prior to joining AASHTO, Bermudez worked for the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, which addresses public health and environmental challenges through the engagement of scientists from academia, government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. He holds a bachelor of science in biology from Radford University.

Left to right: Oscar Bermudez, Sofie Rhoads, and William Lusk

Sofie Rhoads joins AASHTO from the University of Maryland, where she is pursuing graduate studies in community planning. She will serve as AASHTO’s associate program manager for Environment, supporting the group’s Center for Environmental Excellence and the Committee on Environment and Sustainability, as well as its Committee on Active Transportation.

Rhoads said she became interested in the transportation field after a two-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps in Albania, working as an English teacher.

“Transportation in Albania is much more informal, but ultimately, it got them where they needed to go,” Rhoads told the AASHTO Journal. “That experience generated my interest in how transportation works and how it connects people to opportunity.”

Lusk will be AASHTO’s program specialist for policy and comes to the organization after a four-year stint as the program manager for the Ocean County Engineering and Applied Nautical Services group, based Jacksonville, Florida, where he handled business outreach efforts while aggregating and composing status reports for U.S. Department of Homeland Security funded projects.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida, Lusk also served as an international research specialist with the Federal Railroad Administration back in 2011.

Tinika Fowlkes

Finally, Tinika Fowlkes is joining AASHTO as the customer success manager for AASHTOWare; a new role that will allow AASHTOWare to “focus on individual member agency implementation hurdles and provide a bridge to the contractor support team so that issues can be resolved faster,” according to Jan Edwards, AASHTOWare’s project director

Previously, Fowlkes worked at Optimal Networks, Inc., as the firm’s client success manager. During her time there, she served as a “trusted advisor” for strategic accounts and performed in a chief information officer role, on an outsourced basis, to small non-profits and companies without a full-time in-house position for overseeing the development of technology strategy and implementation.

Fowlkes holds a bachelor of arts degree in graphic arts from Morgan State University, as well as a master’s degree in business administration from University of Maryland University College.


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