Carolyn Flowers has 30 years of experience developing a deep knowledge of transportation at the local and federal levels. Carolyn is intimately familiar with the federal funding and financing programs available to transportation projects, including the Capital Investment Grants, RAISE, Bus and Bus Facilities, and TIFIA programs. Carolyn began her career serving in various financial and operations roles at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), rising to Chief Operating Officer, where she oversaw bus operations and labor negotiations with Metro’s employees and was responsible for developing and managing a $1 billion operating and capital budget for bus and rail operations. Carolyn then served as the CEO and Director of Public Transit for the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) from 2010 to 2015, navigating the agency through a time of severe budget constraints and a major expansion of its light rail and streetcar system through federal, state, and local partnerships. Carolyn joined the FTA as a Senior Advisor in January 2015 and later served as the FTA Acting Administrator under President Barack Obama, leading a staff of more than 500 in the FTA headquarters office in Washington, DC and 10 regional offices throughout the US, and implementing an annual budget of over $10 billion in formula, discretionary, and special grants programs. Carolyn joined InfraStrategies LLC as Managing Principal in February 2019.
Carolyn is a long-time member of several industry boards and committees, including her service as a board member of the Eno Foundation, APTA, TRB, and TCRP TOPS Committee. She recently served on the International Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), on APTA Board of Directors, and as Co-Chair of the Reauthorization Task Force. She is a member of APTA’s Publication Advisory, Leadership, Legislative, and Awards committees. She also served on the Board of Directors for the North American Transit Services Association (NATSA) and the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection. In addition, she is a member of Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).
In 2007, she was recognized as the Tom Bradley Alumnus of the Year by the UCLA Black Alumni Association. The award is named for the first African-American Mayor of Los Angeles, a champion of public transportation for Los Angeles County. In 2008, she was named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar. She also received the Ambassador award for her volunteer work with the American Stroke Association and was given a special recognition award by the Greater Los Angeles African- American Chamber of Commerce. She was named by UCLA Anderson School of Business as one of 75 most Inspirational graduates in their first 100 years. She was also 2018 recipient of the Friends of Eno Award from the Eno Foundation. She is a graduate of the 2003 APTA Transportation Leadership Class. She participated in a 2005 international study project for the National Association of Sciences, sponsored by the Eno Foundation for Transportation Studies, as well as the executive development program sponsored by the Eno Center for Transit Leadership. She has served on Johnson C. Smith University Board of Visitors, the Foundation for the Carolinas Charlotte-Mecklenburg Fund Board of Directors, the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) Board and the Women’s Intercultural Exchange (WIE) Advisory Council.
Carolyn received a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). School of Management.