Press Releases 03.01.2021

Socially Conscious Mobility Consultancy Nelson\Nygaard Continues Tradition of Women Leadership with New Managing Director

Jennifer Wieland, a collaborative leader and former head of Nelson\Nygaard’s Seattle office, has steered some of the firm’s most visionary projects focused on transportation’s role in public health and racial and social equity.

SEATTLE—March 1, 2021Nelson\Nygaard, the women-founded mobility consultancy known for developing high-profile transportation projects like A Better Market Street in San Francisco and Cleveland’s Public Square, has appointed a new leader to take the international practice to the next level. Jennifer Wieland, a senior principal who led the firm’s Seattle office for five years, is now the firm’s managing director, responsible for overseeing Nelson\Nygaard’s eight offices.

“At a time when the intersection of transportation and public health has never been more critical, I believe my understanding of how mobility impacts the health and equity of our communities will be an asset to clients everywhere,” Wieland says. “I’m excited about this next chapter and look forward to helping our clients realize their visions for transforming the ways people move around.”

LA Bureau of Engineering Strategic Plan
Guided by the values of equity, creativity, quality, transparency, and responsiveness, the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering Strategic Plan outlines the goals, strategies, and actions over the next three years to transform Los Angeles into the world’s most livable and resilient city.

Wieland joined Nelson\Nygaard in 2015 as a multimodal planning and policy specialist, playing a critical role in strategic planning and visioning, integrated transportation master planning, and developing congestion pricing programs. Some of her most recognizable projects include San Francisco’s downtown congestion pricing study; Denver’s first-ever citywide transit plan; and the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s strategic plan.

“COVID-19 has underscored the pressing need to account for equity and public health in the design of the world’s transportation systems,” says Phil Harrison, CEO of Nelson\Nygaard’s parent company, Perkins&Will. “Jennifer’s expertise in this area, specifically, combined with her proven leadership skills, give me great confidence that she will thrive as managing director.”

Wieland’s appointment serves as a continuation of Nelson\Nygaard’s legacy as a women-founded and women-led firm. She succeeds Leah Riley, who had been in the role since 2018.

“As I think about why I decided to join the firm several years ago, it was because Nelson\Nygaard cares about people and the betterment of our communities,” Riley says. “I leave confident the firm is in the right hands for what’s next. Jennifer truly embodies our values and has an unrelenting commitment to Nelson\Nygaard’s success.”

Wieland will work closely with a firmwide executive committee whose members oversee specific aspects of the business’s performance: Thomas Brennan is director of business strategy; James McGrath is director of partnerships and programs; and Tom Bacus is director of operations.

“Working in partnership with the executive committee and the incredible team we have at the firm, we will continue to grow and thrive,” Wieland says. “We have always been a purpose-driven firm, and we will continue to put people first as we create more equitable, sustainable, and livable communities.”

Denver Moves
Denver Moves: Transit is Denver’s first-ever citywide transit plan creating a local transit vision and guiding framework for improving the quality of transit options in Denver—making transit more reliable, more frequent, and more convenient for daily use.

About Nelson\Nygaard

Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Inc. is an internationally recognized firm committed to developing transportation systems that promote vibrant, sustainable, and accessible communities. Founded by two women in 1987, Nelson\Nygaard has grown from its roots in transit planning to a 115-person, full-service transportation firm with offices across the United States. Since 2016, the company has been part of global architecture and design firm Perkins&Will.

In keeping with the values set by its founders, Nelson\Nygaard puts people first. The firm recognizes that transportation is not an end by itself but a platform for achieving broader community goals of mobility, equity, economic development, and healthy living. Nelson\Nygaard’s hands-on, national experience informs but doesn’t dictate local solutions. Built on consensus and a multimodal approach, their work is renowned as practical and implementable.