City Club of Chicago: Building a New Chicago
August 14, 2017
Building a New Chicago: 21st Century Infrastructure for a 21st Century Chicago – Dorval Carter & Rebekah Scheinfeld
Dorval Ronald Carter, Jr. is President of the Chicago Transit Authority. CTA is the nation’s second-largest transit agency, providing more than 500 million rides annually and serving Chicago and 35 suburbs. Prior to joining CTA in 2015, Carter served as the U.S. Department of Transportation Acting Chief of Staff. He served as a senior adviser to Secretary Anthony Foxx. Carter helped manage a Department with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation while working to ensure that America maintains the safest, most efficient transportation system in the world. Previously he was the Acting Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), As Deputy he assisted the Administrator in leading a staff of more than 500 in the Washington D.C. headquarters office and 10 regional offices throughout the United States, and implementing an annual budget approximating $10 billion.
Carter was originally sworn in as the Federal Transit Administration’s 14th Chief Counsel on November 2, 2009. As the FTA’s chief legal officer, he advised the FTA Administrator and his Executive team on a broad range of legal issues including appropriations, emergency operations, procurement, grants, ethics, personal and real property, labor protection, innovative finance, personnel, legislation, regulations, and litigation. He also coordinates with and provides support to the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel on legal matters concerning the federal transit program. During his time as a political appointee Carter also served on the President’s U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Interagency Task Force for Support of Military Families.
Before rejoining FTA as its Chief Counsel, he served for nine years as the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the CTA, including serving as its Acting President. From 1998 to 2000 he was FTA’s Assistant Chief Counsel for Legislation and Regulations, and from 1991 to 1998 he was FTA’s Regional Counsel in Region 5-Chicago. Carter began his legal career with the CTA, where he held various positions including staff attorney, legal assistant to the General Attorney, Acting General Attorney, and Deputy General Attorney for Corporate Law.
He is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s National Research Council and Chair of the TRB’s Committee on Transit and Intermodal Transportation Law. Carter is a Senior Fellow from the Council for Excellence in Government Fellows Program and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Saint Anthony Hospital. A graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees, he also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law and is a member of the Illinois and Federal Bars.
Rebekah Scheinfeld was appointed Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) 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 that is responsible for Chicago’s roadways, bridges, traffic signals, streetlights and signage as well as for permitting construction in the public right-of-way.
In her time at the helm of CDOT, she has led the Emanuel Administration’s key transportation initiatives, including an unprecedented amount of street repair and resurfacing, as well as major capital investments that are completed or underway, such as the Chicago Riverwalk, Loop Link, the Union Station Transit Center, construction of The 606 Trail, the Navy Pier Flyover, new CTA elevated stations at Washington-Wabash and Cermak Road, the new pedestrian and bike bridge at 41st Street over Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago Smart Lighting Project. In addition, she has spearheaded investments in bicycle infrastructure throughout Chicago and the growth of the popular Divvy bike share program, the City’s newest transit system.
Scheinfeld was previously the Chief Planning Officer and a Senior Vice President at the CTA, 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, representing public and private sector clients on major infrastructure and transportation projects.
Scheinfeld has a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University and both her JD and MBA from Northwestern University.