Infrastructure consulting firm InfraStrategies LLC, which provides infrastructure financing advice to a number of major issuers nationwide, has brought on board Emma Huang from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation.
Huang follows the firm’s January hire of Joshua Schank, who ran LA Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation, which oversees the agency’s public private partnership program, among other things.
As a senior consultant, Huang will focus on strategic planning, transportation policy and technology and innovation, the firm said in a release. She “will add immeasurably to InfraStrategies’ capabilities and thought leadership in the transportation and infrastructure space and will leverage the knowledge and expertise our team brings to a broader client base,” managing principal Mike Schneider said in a release announcing the hire.
In an interview, Schneider said the firm is bulking up “modestly” as the firm expands its offerings.
“We are flexible and we grow our staff as the workload and the types of projects that we undertake increase,” he said. “Our ultimate objective goal is to not necessarily sell the company to a larger organization, but allow it to grow from within, with smart young people to eventually take over the organization.”
With Huang’s hire, the firm now has 12 employees. InfraStrategies does not claim to provide municipal advisory services, but Schneider said the firm does work with MA firms if necessary.
At LA Metro, Huang helped craft its 10-year strategic plan, its COVID recovery plan, a congestion pricing program and worked on several public-private partnership programs. She has a special interest in ESG in transportation, the firm said.
Founded in 2018, InfraStrategies, which provides strategic advice on infrastructure, including P3s, to public and private sector clients. Its four partners are well-known industry veterans, including former acting Federal Transit Administration administrator Carolyn Flowers; former director of the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency Sharon Greene; and Jeff Morales, who headed up both the California Department of Transportation and the California High Speed Rail Authority. Schneider has spent more than 40 years in the private sector working on P3 deals, including some of the country’s largest and earliest projects.
The firm is involved with up to 45 ongoing projects, mostly but not all transportation related, Schneider said. “It’s a nice mix,” he said.
Clients include the Chicago Transit Agency, where the firm is leading the development of the financial plan for the $2.3 billion Red Line Extension, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, where it’s helping the agency implement its $9.3 billion capital funding plan and develop “a financing strategy for the agency’s capital investment program in the context of the prolonged impact from COVID-19,” its website said.
Other high-profile clients include New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Caltrans, the California High Speed Rail Authority and the Atlanta Belt Line.
The hire come as the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act begins to roll out, which is leading to an uptick in notice of funding opportunities across the country, Schneider said.
“If there’s one area that we specialize in that will certainly grow, it’s working with local agencies and authorities to support them in identifying and preparing grant applications for the many existing and new programs” in the IIJA, Schneider said.