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Debra Nelson is a Strategic Policy Advisor with the NYS Department of Transportation. Deb has more than 20 years’ experience in environmental leadership in the transportation realm. As a state leader, she co-chairs NYSDOT’s Statewide Sustainability Team that brings the sustainability triple bottom line to all aspects of NYSDOT’s business. Deb serves as Project Director/Team Leader on the I-81 viaduct project in Syracuse, in which sustainability, economic competitiveness, social equity and environmental stewardship are central to looking at how best to meet our transportation needs. Debra is also a prominent national leader in environmental stewardship, planning and sustainability in transportation. She chairs the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation and advises with the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the Strategic Highway Research Program and the National Highway Institute. Deb serves as the New York state representative on the Transportation Research Board, and is currently a member of two TRB committees addressing Sustainability, and Environmental Analysis, and previously served on the TRB committee related to Ecology. Debra has been certified as a Professional Wetland Scientist by the Society of Wetland Scientists and a Certified Ecologist, conferred by the Ecological Society of America. She is an ardent champion for making transportation decisions that support a sustainable society. Deb is earning a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the State University of New York at Albany (UAlbany). Having worked in planning for the last 25 years, collaborating with communities to develop and implement land use master plans and zoning ordinances, and leading efforts to link planning and environment in the transportation decision-making process, Deb feels a Masters in Regional Planning will help her to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and will increase her credibility and influence in the field.