A Collaborative Approach to Leadership
A senior principal currently leading our Seattle office, Jennifer joined Nelson\Nygaard in 2015 and has worked across the firm’s practice areas as a multimodal planning and policy specialist. At a time when the intersection of transportation and public health has never been more critical, Jennifer’s background in both fields gives her a deep understanding of how transportation impacts the health and equity of our communities.
Jennifer’s appointment continues Nelson\Nygaard’s legacy as a woman-founded and woman-led firm. She succeeds Leah Riley, who had been in the role since 2018. In announcing her decision to step away from the firm, Leah said, “The past few years I have spent with Nelson\Nygaard have been some of the most rewarding in my career. As I think about why I decided to join the firm several years ago, it was because Nelson\Nygaard cares about people and the betterment of our communities. I leave confident the firm is in the right hands.”
As part of this transition, Nelson\Nygaard moves back to its roots with a shared model of leadership. Jennifer will be supported by a new Nelson\Nygaard Executive Committee that includes Thomas Brennan as Director of Business Strategy, James McGrath as Director of Partnerships and Programs, and Tom Bacus as Director of Operations. This team will work with the Management Team to lead the firm.
The shared leadership approach gives the Executive Committee the ability to combine an internal and an external focus. Maintaining their roles as client service and practice leaders while directing the firm will advance Nelson\Nygaard’s vision as an egalitarian and entrepreneurial workplace that continues to draw the best talent in the industry.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Nelson\Nygaard’s next Managing Director,” Jennifer said. “Working in partnership with Tom, James, Tom, and the incredible team we have at the firm, we will continue to grow and thrive. We have always been a purpose-driven firm, and we will continue to be guided by our values to put people first and create more equitable, sustainable, and livable communities.”