About Our Speakers

James Anderson

James Anderson is the director of the Justice Policy Program and the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, a Pardee RAND Graduate School professor, and a senior behavioral/social scientist at the RAND Corporation. He has been the principal investigator on a wide range of projects, ranging from policy implications of autonomous vehicle technology to understanding the effects of indigent defense systems.

He has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the National Institutes of Health, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the State of Pennsylvania, the Institute for Civil Justice, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation. His work has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the Journal of Law and Economics, the Oxford University Press, and in numerous RAND publications. He has presented to a wide variety of academic and professional audiences. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Committee on Vehicle Highway Automation. In addition to leading research, Anderson currently serves as a member of RAND’s Institutional Review Board. Before joining RAND, he clerked for the Honorable Morton Greenberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced law for 10 years. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University.

Adam Blank

Adam is an attorney at Wofsey, Rosen, Kweskin & Kuriansky, LLP in Stamford, Connecticut. He practices in the areas of personal injury and land use law. He serves on the State of Connecticut Task Force to Study Fully Autonomous Vehicles and previously served on the Connecticut Trial Lawyers’ Ad Hoc Committee to Study Fully Autonomous Vehicle as well as a working group to study Autonomous Vehicles in Stamford.

For nearly ten years he served on Norwalk’s Zoning Commission (including as its Chair) and on Norwalk’s Aquifer Protection Agency from 2007 – 2016. Adam’s legal knowledge coupled with his interest in land use planning and autonomous vehicles has caused him to appear in numerous publications and radio interviews discussing the intersection between tort law, autonomous vehicles and land use planning.

He received his B.A., cum laude, in 1999 from Syracuse University and his J.D., with honors, in 2004 from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he served as an associate editor of the Connecticut Law Review and as executive director of the Connecticut Moot Court Board. While in law school, Adam received the CALI Award for Excellence in Securities Regulation and in Judicial Independence.

He is admitted to practice in Connecticut, New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the American Association for Justice, the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Adam has been recognized by the New England Super Lawyers Magazine and Connecticut Super Lawyers Magazine every year since 2012 in the areas of Personal Injury and Business Litigation. (a distinction awarded to no more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state.) He has been selected by Westfair Communications (the publisher of the Fairfield County Business Journal) as one of Fairfield County’s 2016 top “40 Under 40” leaders within the business community. He has been selected as a 2013 “New Leaders in the Law” by the Connecticut Law Tribune and he has also earned an AV Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Adam has always believed in service to his community. He currently co-chairs its Litigation Section of the Fairfield County Bar Association’s Board of Directors and is the co-President of his daughter’s school PTA. He formerly served on Norwalk’s Zoning Commission (including as its Chair) and on Norwalk’s Aquifer Protection Agency from 2007 – 2016. He has also previously served: on the Connecticut Bar Association’s House of Delegates; on Monroe’s Board of Finance; as vice-chairman of the Monroe Democratic Town Committee; on the Fairfield County Bar Association’s Board of Directors and as a mentor in the Champions Mentoring Program and Family and Children’s Agency Mentoring Program.

Kris Carter

Kris Carter, Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Boston, is a non-practicing engineer, an optimistic urban planner, and a self-taught filmmaker. New Urban Mechanics is the City of Boston’s people-centered civic R&D lab, working collaboratively with research institutions, civic entrepreneurs, and government agencies to explore and prototype what’s new and next in cities.

With the Mechanics, Kris oversees a wide portfolio of prototypes while also advising on the City’s mobility and public realm work, including the management of the Boston’s autonomous vehicle research efforts. Prior to leading the Mechanics, Kris ran the City’s bicycle program, served as an advisor to Mayor on the creation of the Innovation District, and helped operationalize One Fund Boston in response to the Marathon bombings. He has won awards from the Federal Labs Consortium, American Planning Association, and was recognized as one of Boston’s ‘50 on Fire for his work. He is a two-time AmeriCorps alum, amateur filmmaker, firmly believes in bagging his own groceries, and has yet to find a role more rewarding and exhausting than raising twins.

Wendy Ju

Wendy Ju is an Assistant Professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and in the Information Science field at Cornell University. Dr. Ju comes to Cornell Tech from the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, where she was Executive Director of Interaction Design Research, and from the California College of the Arts, where she was an Associate Professor of Interaction Design in the Design MFA program.

Her work in the areas of human-robot interaction and automated vehicle interfaces highlights the ways that interactive devices can communicate and engage people without interrupting or intruding. Dr. Ju has innovated numerous methods for early-stage prototyping of automated systems to understand how people will respond to systems before the systems are built. She has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford, and a Master’s in Media Arts and Sciences from MIT. Her monograph on The Design of Implicit Interactions was published in 2015.

Jackie Lightfield

Jackie is a civic entrepreneur who has lead tech startups as a writer, coder, designer, and futurist. She co-founded a civic tech startup Norwalk 2.0 in 2010 and has led smart city projects through The Stamford Partnership from 2013-2019. She experiments in digital media and develops strategic frameworks on how tech and everyday living intersect.

Jackie is a hands-on technical leader whose expertise in IoT, AI and ML blend practical applications with a civic focus. She has led and initiated projects that include; bringing Smart City applications to the City of Stamford and the City of Philadelphia. She designed an autonomous shuttle pilot project for the City of Stamford along with a LiDar and LoRa Wan backbone, introduced free public WIFI, and developed an IoT infrastructure pilot for real-time information tracking utilizing low powered sensors.

She is a strategic thinking troubleshooter with a track record of delivering solutions to complex problems. A background in tech development, management and marketing allow her to easily work within a wide range of organizations and industries. Strong leadership abilities with a focus on amplifying the skills of those around her. She has worked with tech companies; MECA Software, blowtorch studios, US Daily Digital, AOL-Patch, Mainstreet USA, Inline Software, Microtech International, and SunStar on projects that helped companies like Schick, PowerSmart, Dun and Bradstreet, Iomega, Apple, and Disney, develop products.

Lucy Nalpathanchil

Lucy is the host of WNPR’s popular talk show, “Where We Live,” a 2018 winner of two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc., or PRNDI. Lucy and her team were awarded second place in the categories of “Call In Program” and “Interview.”

She’s been a public radio journalist for more than 20 years covering everything from education to immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues to veterans’ affairs and the military. Her reporting has taken her to all sorts of places including a nausea inducing ride aboard a Coast Guard patrol boat in Florida and to Tambacounda, Senegal to talk with women journalists and farmers.

Lucy moved to Connecticut in 2006 to become WNPR’s Assignment Editor.

She’s also been local host for mid-day programming and for “All Things Considered.”

She contributes to National Public Radio and her stories have aired on several national NPR shows including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Weekend All Things Considered, Here and Now, and Latino USA.

During her time in Connecticut, Lucy has focused on immigration including New Haven’s controversial ID card program, efforts for an in-state tuition law for undocumented students, and the Becoming American series: stories of immigrants and the citizenship process. In 2011, Lucy launched the Coming Home Project to tell the stories of returning Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans in transition. To learn more about the military, Lucy was chosen to take part in a week-long training for journalists hosted by the U.S Army at Fort Leavenworth, KS and Fort Leonard Woods, MO. Getting up at 3:30 am to participate in boot camp was most memorable!

In 2014, she was selected to join military reporters around the country for a conference hosted by the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative in Washington D.C.

Lucy has worked in several states as a public radio reporter after beginning her career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh. She’s received awards from Pennsylvania’s Golden Quill, the New York State Associated Press, the Mayor’s Asian American Advisory Board in Jacksonville, Florida, the Connecticut Associated Press and the state’s Society for Professional Journalists chapter.

When she’s not in the newsroom, Lucy enjoys traveling, hiking, and planning her next garden. She and her husband, Jason live in Suffield with their two children and a small zoo.

Peter Norton

Peter Norton is associate professor of history in the Department of Engineering and Society at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City (MIT Press).

His article “Street Rivals: Jaywalking and the Invention of the Motor Age Street,” published in Technology and Culture, won the Abbott Payson Usher Prize of the Society for the History of Technology. He is a member of the University of Virginia’s Center for Transportation Studies, and holds an academic appointment with Technical University Eindhoven (Netherlands).

Peter Sexton

Pete Sexton is Associate General Counsel and began his legal career with Travelers focusing on federal and state legislative efforts to address environmental and asbestos issues, along with providing legal counseling support for Underwriting and Loss Control.

Over the past two decades, he has been in the Claim Legal organization providing counseling, litigation management, regulatory/legislative support and compliance on a broad array of issues. In the most recent years, Pete has also been addressing the emerging issues associated with the Sharing Economy and Autonomous Vehicles. He received his B.S. from Northern Illinois University, M.S. from Northwestern University and J.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Neville Stanton

Professor Neville Stanton, PhD, DSc, is a Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Ergonomist and Chartered Engineer. He holds the Chair in Human Factors Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton in the UK.

He has degrees in Occupational Psychology, Applied Psychology and Human Factors Engineering and has worked at the Universities of Aston, Brunel, Cornell and MIT. His research interests include modelling, predicting, analysing and evaluating human performance in systems as well as designing the interfaces and interaction between humans and technology. Professor Stanton has worked on design of automobiles, aircraft, ships and control rooms over the past 30 years, on a variety of automation projects. He has published 40 books and over 300 journal papers on Ergonomics and Human Factors. In 1998 he was presented with the Institution of Electrical Engineers Divisional Premium Award for research into System Safety. The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors in the UK awarded him The Otto Edholm Medal in 2001, The President’s Medal in 2008 and 2018, and The Sir Frederic Bartlett Medal in 2012 for his contributions to basic and applied ergonomics research. The Royal Aeronautical Society awarded him and his colleagues the Hodgson Prize in 2006 for research on design-induced, flight-deck, error published in The Aeronautical Journal. The University of Southampton has awarded him a Doctor of Science in 2014 for his sustained contribution to the development and validation of Human Factors methods.

Rebecca Townsend

Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of communication in the Humanities Department of Hillyer College, University of Hartford. She is interested in rhetoric and deliberation, especially related to development of community life, in the US and in Poland. She has studied public engagement in transportation planning and deliberations about pedestrian safety.

Her work funded by the FTA on community engagement of under-served populations resulted in a White House Champions of Change for Transportation Innovation Award in 2012. With colleagues from UConn, she is studying deliberative public voice on autonomous vehicles and state legislative perspectives on that public engagement with support from the Kettering Foundation. Her scholarship often involves undergraduate students engaged in the civic life of their communities.

Harriet Tregoning

Harriet Tregoning is the director of NUMO, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, a collaborative effort aimed at harnessing tech-based disruptions in urban transportation to make cities more sustainable, livable and just.

Before joining NUMO, Harriet served most recently as advisor to corporations, cities, states, foundations and others, including Ford Smart Mobility, Arcadis, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the State of Louisiana. She recently prepared an amendment to Washington, D.C.’s Comprehensive Plan on Autonomous Vehicles. During the Obama Administration, she was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Community Planning and Development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she initiated the first ever $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. Her work at HUD included helping states, regions, cities, counties and towns across the U.S. build strong foundations for climate change resilience. Harriet was the Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning, for the two previous Mayors, where she worked to make DC a walkable, bikeable, eminently livable, globally competitive and thriving city. Prior to this she was the Director of the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, co-founded with former Maryland Governor Glendening. She served Governor Glendening as Secretary of Planning in Maryland. She was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.