Community Outreach,
Research & Education

Community Outreach,
Research & Education

board members and staff

Don Borut, Board Chair

Don has served on many non-profit boards of directors and currently serves on the Levine Music, The Washington Chorus, National Theatre Boards and is a member of the advisory Boards of Think-Kids and the Center of State and Local Government Excellence@ICMA RC.

Don served as the Executive Director of the National League of Cities from 1990 – 2013 following 18 years with the International City/County Management Association. He is a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow and former Chair of its State and Local Government Working Group. He enjoys walking for exercise and rides a bike when on vacation.

Peter Harkness, Board Secretary

Peter Harkness is a retired journalist who devoted his career to covering government at all levels. His title at retirement was Executive Editor and Publisher Emeritus of Governing, a magazine and web service he had founded 35 years earlier with support from the Congressional Quarterly News Service.

He was editor and deputy publisher of CQ at the time but had become convinced that the story on government was changing, moving down the political food chain. In retirement he continued to write a column for Governing for another 11 years. For most of his career, he bicycled to and from work, 9 to 10 miles round trip.  He still rides frequently, but now using an e-bike.

Jeff Ciabotti, Board Treasurer

Jeff has spent his more than 25-year planning and advocacy career focused on creating healthy, sustainable communities through developing networks of trails, greenways, and connecting corridors for everyone to use. Over this time, his work has concentrated on the pathway between vision, planning, and implementation – taking good ideas and turning them into reality. Jeff's background as Vice President for Trail Development at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy gives him in-depth knowledge of the connection between land use, transportation, and health. He has presented numerous workshops, trainings, and keynote addresses domestically and internationally to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for trails and greenways. His day job is as the Trails and Greenways Practice Lead and Deputy Director of Planning for Toole Design’s the Mid-Atlantic Region. He is a recognized national leader in trails and active transportation.

Outside of work, Jeff gets his inspiration outdoors through gardening, riding, paddling,or hiking all varieties of trails and experiencing nature with his adventurous family.

Dick Fleming, Board Member

Dick’s experience as a city and regional planner includes community and economic development, and civic entrepreneurship in nonprofit, for profit, and public sector roles at the local, regional, and national levels. He serves as a board member or advisor for several organizations, including the Clean Economy Solutions, a national economic and environmental nonprofit funded by foundations including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Community Development Ventures, a consulting firm dedicated to public/private partnerships, clean economy initiatives, and urban education/charters schools; and the “Innovation District and Placemaking Project” for the Brookings Institution and Project for Public Spaces.

Evren Sonmez, Board Member

Evren is the Director of Strategic Policy and Practice at Living Streets Alliance (LSA), a Tucson-based nonprofit advocacy organization that envisions streets as living public spaces that connect people to places and to each other.

With a passion for people-friendly public spaces, she led the development of Tucson’s Complete Streets policy, collaborated with neighborhoods across Tucson on walkability initiatives, supported schools to implement Safe Routes to School programming, and facilitated various community engagement processes focused on amplifying traditionally marginalized voices.

Evren has a Master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Arizona in Tucson where she currently lives.

Carol Kachadoorian, Executive Director

Carol has a breadth of knowledge of and expertise in transportation planning and operations, working at both the city and regional levels, including school- and community-based active transportation plans and older adult mobility. She understands the importance of both big data and personal experience to determine feasible changes to transportation systems that make travel by all modes safe, accessible, and comfortable for all ages and abilities.

Carol has spoken nationally and regionally on the need to revise long-standing perceptions of older adults through words and images. She continues to conduct research on older adult mobility and wellness, partnering with several universities.