City Club of Chicago: Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation Rebekah Scheinfeld
March 27, 2017
Rebekah Scheinfeld – Commissioner – Chicago Department of Transportation
Rebekah Scheinfeld was appointed Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in January 2014 with the direction to continue the critical work of making sure Chicago has a strong, vibrant, accessible transportation network that provides a foundation for a thriving economy in the 21st Century.
Scheinfeld has a broad background in urban development issues, working in both the public and private sectors and in a variety of policy areas including transportation, infrastructure investment, housing, open space, and real estate. She oversees a department with about 1,300 employees and manages a $745 million capital and operations budget.
In her time at the helm of CDOT, Scheinfeld has led the Emanuel Administration’s key transportation initiatives. In addition to an unprecedented amount of street repair and resurfacing, these initiatives include major capital investments that are completed or underway, such as: The 606 Trail, the Chicago Riverwalk, Loop Link, the Navy Pier Flyover, the Union Station Transit Center, new CTA elevated stations at Washington-Wabash and Cermak Road, and a major freight rail grade separation project—as part of the CREATE Program—at 130th Street and Torrence Avenue. Scheinfeld has also spearheaded investments in bicycle infrastructure throughout Chicago and the growth of the popular Divvy bike share program, the city’s newest transit system. In September of 2016, Chicago was named “Best Bike City in America” by Bicycling magazine.
Previously, Scheinfeld was the Chief Planning Officer and a Senior Vice President at the Chicago Transit Authority, where she handled the CTA’s strategic planning for major capital projects and new transit service. She is an attorney, having worked previously at Mayer Brown, where she represented public and private sector clients on major infrastructure and transportation projects.
A native Chicagoan, Scheinfeld graduated from Brown University with a BA in Urban Studies and earned both her JD and MBA from Northwestern University.