Janet Leli has been with CAIT since its inception and has contributed to its success over the years through taking on leadership positions and other efforts to advance the transportation field. She was recognized for these contributions at the CUTC Award Banquet before the TRB 2020 meeting.
The CUTC–ARTBA Award for Administrative Leadership recognizes outstanding administrative contributions to transportation. This year, Janet Leli, Associate Director of Technology Transfer at Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) and Director of the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program (NJ LTAP) won the award.
She was honored among approximately 300 of her peers at the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) 2020 Awards Banquet on Saturday, January 11, prior to the annual winter meeting of the Transportation Research Board. The event celebrated one of the most important benefits of university transportation research — outstanding faculty, students, and staff who help advance the UTC program.
“It is an honor to be recognized with the CUTC-ARTBA Administrative Leadership Award this year,” she said. “Technology transfer should never be an afterthought in the research process. At the onset of a project, time should be spent thinking about how the eventual outcome is going to be used to improve product or process. UTC research, and the connections it has created, has provided us with countless opportunities to provide professional development.”
Ms. Leli was nominated for the award based on her many leadership positions on numerous committees, development of hundreds of workforce training initiatives, and efforts to benefit technology transfer, all of which have made contributions to the industry.
At CAIT, as the associate director for Technology Transfer and the NJ LTAP director, Ms. Leli is responsible for coordinating the training and workforce-development portfolio of the center. Through her efforts, the programs together now train approximately 3,000 professionals annually in 200 courses and workshops. In this role, she is part of a Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts implementation team and co-chair of the National LTAP Association Safety Work Group.
Additionally, at Rutgers, she has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on more than $5M in workforce development and technology-transfer grants.
Nationally, she also serves as TRB editorial reviewer and has served multiple terms on the TRB Technology Transfer and TRB Highway Safety Workforce Development Committees, the National LTAP Association Executive Committee, and the American Public Works Association Diversity and Workforce Development Committees.
Ms. Leli co-chairs the New Jersey Work Zone Safety Partnership Committee, which has been nationally recognized for education-program delivery. Through these positions she has worked to collaborate and assist others in the betterment of transportation-program delivery and sharing the positive impacts of the UTC program.
She has been involved in many other programs too. For example, she is part of the leadership team for the Northeast Transportation Workforce Center (NETWC), one of the five regional transportation workforce centers funded by Federal Highway Administration to form the National Network for the Transportation Workforce.
NETWC serves an 11-state region, which actively facilitates communication across states and across agencies to leverage scarce resources, to share and build on promising programs, and to create new communities of practice to enhance the transportation workforce at all levels.
She has also been an instrumental part of the Federal Highway Administration funded National Center for Rural Road Safety, led by the University of Montana. The National Center for Rural Road Safety was created to identify the most effective current and emerging road safety improvements and deploy them on rural roads.