Sahar is an experienced problem solver and has spent most of her career tackling complex issues that span multiple stakeholders. From coordinating across 14 federal agencies at the Office of Management and Budget, to engaging with California’s diverse communities and international partners for the Governor’s Office, to her daily activities in mobility and land use planning, she works to frame the goals and outcomes, then dig into the nuance to make solutions actionable.
Sahar’s varied background spans across policy and planning arenas—including transportation, land use, environment, housing, economic development, public health, and equity—and focuses on the intersections and connections between goals. She sees emerging mobility as an opportunity to rethink the way our cities and towns are formed and address past mistakes that caused direct and indirect harm to communities.
Prior to joining Nelson Nygaard, Sahar served as planning and policy lead for emerging mobility at WSP, senior planning advisor in the office of California Governor Jerry Brown, policy analyst for the Office of the Secretary at USDOT, policy lead at the Office of Management and Budget at the White House during the Obama Administration, and as a preschool teacher for 10 years.
Her early childhood in Iran during a war, her family’s prolonged escape to the United States, and the challenges faced through her adolescence helped shape her passion for public service. Sahar currently lives in Oakland, where she is a planning commissioner, local political and policy schemer, neighborhood benefit planner, and lazy bike rider.