Member Profiles

Member Profile: Modou Cham

Modou Cham
Senior Associate, Transportation & Smart Mobility

Twitter: @modoucham


I’m originally from the Gambia, West Africa, but live in Brooklyn, New York. I currently work at ICF as a Senior Associate in Commuter Services and Mobility Specialist within the Climate, Energy and Transportation division working on Transportation Demand Management (TDM) projects and studies across the U.S. I work on a project that assists local governments, municipalities, and major employers in New York State implement green transportation programs.

Prior to ICF, I worked as the Chief Administrative Officer for an international, not-for-profit organization at the United Nations promoting environmental health and literacy. While I was at the UN NGO, I served as the Executive Secretary on the board of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development from December 2013 to December 2016, through which we assisted in influencing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development negotiation to mainstream climate change in the Global Goals.

I earned a M.Sc. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and a B.A. in Political Science & International Relations from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

1. What is your favorite YPT-NYC event and why?  
My favorite YPT-NYC event was the first one I attended, the annual end of the year event! I very much appreciate that YPT-NYC opens the door for potential new members to meet members that have been with the organization for a while to learn more about the association in a relaxed atmosphere.
2. If you could snap your fingers and make one change to regional transportation, what would it be?
The proliferation of micro mobility programs and vehicles such as bikes, electric bikes, e-scooters, mopeds, e-microcars, etc. in rural/suburban communities. And mostly importantly, micro mobility infrastructure!

Micro mobility infrastructure is deficient in many rural/suburban communities. So, in short, the enhancement of micro mobility infrastructure & the proliferation of micro mobility vehicles.

3. What sparked your passion to work in the transportation industry?  
I studied Sustainability Management at Columbia University Climate School at graduate school and during this time I was exposed to many courses, projects, and discussions related to Transportation and Sustainability.

I took a course called Access, Innovation and the Urban Transportation Transition and this course made me more aware of how transportation can change people’s lives globally. My professors were brilliant and worked on projects from all over the world (New York, London, Kenya, etc.). One of my professors, Dr. Jacqueline Klopp worked on a project called the Digital Matatus – a research project involving Columbia University, MIT, the University of Nairobi, and Groupshot Design Consultancy with the goal of mapping an unofficial network of minibuses and minivans that do not have centrally controlled schedules, fares, or route plan. After the class adjourned, I wanted to work on projects like the Digital Matatus project.
4. What are you working on that you’re most excited by? 

I’m currently working on a TDM project with the goal to reduce single occupancy vehicles. In this project, we administer an annual campaign called Car Free Day to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home for one day and use an alternative commute mode. It’s a very exciting time for the team I work with because this gives us an opportunity to introduce innovative and alternative travel options such as electric shuttles and autonomous vehicles to urban and rural communities.  
5. What career advice would you give to other YPT’ers interested in your career path?
Let your network know you are open to new opportunities and when opportunities come along respond with enthusiasm!
6. What famous celebrity do you think should be given the opportunity to voice a NYCT Subway Announcement?
Eddie Murphy!  80’s SNL/Coming to America Eddie Murphy!!

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