About Us

COMTO Headquarters

Meet the COMTO Staff

COMTO Headquarters is led by a team of professionals who are committed to the mission and vision of the organization. The national office is supported by a distinguished Board of Directors who are well-respected and experienced leaders in the transportation industry.

  • April Rai

    President & CEO

    202-506-2917

    April Rai

    President & CEO

    As President & CEO, April works to build upon COMTO’s 50-year history of ensuring equitable opportunities and maximum participation for minority individuals, veterans, people with disabilities and minority, women and disadvantaged business enterprises (MWDBEs). With over 15 years of experience managing private, public sector and non-profit organizations, April’s career focus has centered on strategic partnership development, coalition building, people and project management. Under the direction of the COMTO Board of Directors Chair, Tanya Adams, April provides strategic leadership, guidance and ensures COMTO operates effectively to further the mission.

    Previously, April served as Deputy Executive Director for the Women’s Transportation Seminar International (WTS), partnering with the Executive Director to achieve the WTS mission and vision. In that role, April focused on the management of operations including serving as Chief of Staff, lead on project planning and execution ensuring deliverability on time and within budget. April managed several board-level committees, strategic initiatives and worked to implement growth and retention strategies for membership, chapters, public and private partners as well as build relationships with advocacy organizations, local, state and federal stakeholders.

    Prior to joining WTS, April served as the CEO for the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), a coalition of over 100 organizations and agencies dedicated to youth health and safety education. In this role, April engaged with transportation stakeholders on road safety programs, injury prevention education and workforce development initiatives.

    April previously served as Manager & Affairs Analyst in the Office of the Dean at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing, directing government affairs and communications. In this role, April was responsible for managing the State of Maryland, Action Coalition, an initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    April resides in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, and is based out of COMTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

  • Nadji Kirby

    Chief of Staff

    202-506-2917

    Nadji Kirby

    Chief of Staff

    Nadji Kirby serves as Chief of Staff for COMTO. In this role, Nadji uses her strategic understanding of the President & CEO’s priorities, COMTO organizational capabilities and network to move the mission forward. With oversight and direction of headquarters staff, Nadji ensures the growth and development of programs, communications and stakeholder engagement ensuring efficient operations. As a key member of the leadership team, Nadji represents COMTO at various industry events, and strategically engages partners to advance opportunities for collaboration.

    Nadji has more than 10 years’ experience in the transportation field working on local and national initiatives focused on the safety of children and vulnerable roadway users. Her passion to serve others, as well as her mission to create and foster positive change, has always been at the foundation of her work and one of her core principles.

    Prior to coming to COMTO, Nadji served as Senior Program Manager - Domestic Road Safety at Safe Kids Worldwide. At Safe Kids she collaborated with cross-functional teams, sponsors, partners and coalitions throughout the United States to develop and implement bicycle, pedestrian, and rail injury prevention programs.

    Previously, Nadji managed the Safe Routes to School program for the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Transportation. In that role she managed a network of community-based traffic safety programs building multigenerational pedestrian and cyclists awareness for school administrators, parents and students. Nadji led the development of a multi-award winning County-wide High School Pedestrian Safety Program and also created the County’s Vision Zero Youth Ambassador program to encourage youth to have an active role in road safety efforts and improvements.

    Nadji enjoys traveling, fishing, hiking, and spending time with her partner Charles and their three year old black Labrador Millie. Nadji graduated from Morgan State University with a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business from Eckerd College.

  • Melissa Dent

    Chief Financial Officer

    202-506-2917

    Melissa Dent

    Chief Financial Officer

    Melissa Dent has over 35 years of experience in Accounting and Finance. Her vast experience includes executive positions as Senior Internal/External Auditor, CFO, V.P. of Finance and Senior Business Consultant in the public accounting, federal and state governments, corporate, banking and non-profit sectors. Melissa is a Certified Public Accountant and received her B.S. degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

    She leads the processes for financial forecasting and budgets, and oversees the preparation of all financial reporting, provides strategic recommendations to the President & CEO and members of the executive management team, and establishes and develops relationships with senior management and external partners and stakeholders.

  • Gatwiri Muthara

    Sr. Manager, Marketing & Communications

    202-506-2917

    Gatwiri Muthara

    Sr. Manager, Marketing & Communications

    Gatwiri Muthara serves as Sr. Manager, Marketing & Communications for COMTO. In this role, Gatwiri works to ensure COMTO’s communications and marketing strategies are executed at the highest levels and COMTO virtual and in-person events are delivered effectively. As Brand Champion, she leads in maintaining and uplifting the reputation of the COMTO brand.

    Previously, Gatwiri served in marketing and public relations roles for global corporations, nonprofits and membership associations and small businesses managing public relations, news writing, reporting, video production, business development and more. An avid music lover, Gatwiri enjoys dancing, camping, kickball and hiking. Gatwiri resides in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area with her cat, Smoke.

  • Dante Flood

    Executive Assistant to the CEO, Coordinator, Operations

    202-506-2917

    Dante Flood

    Executive Assistant to the CEO, Coordinator, Operations

    Dante Flood serves as the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, Coordinator, Operations for COMTO. In this role, Dante supports the President & CEO in the scheduling & administration of executive-level meetings, board-level committees, executive communications, and outreach. In his role as Coordinator, Operations, Dante supports efficient office operations, and execution of COMTO hosted webinars and meetings of the Board of Directors. Dante is a proud alumnus of the COMTO CITY Internship Program. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology & Graphic Design from the University of Pittsburgh. An avid car enthusiast, Dante enjoys leisure weekend drives and roller-skating during his free time.

  • Leon Spinner

    Associate, Membership & Chapter Support

    202-506-2917

    Leon Spinner

    Associate, Membership & Chapter Support

    Leon Spinner serves as Associate, Membership & Chapter Support for COMTO. In this role, Leon oversees the full life cycle of membership at COMTO including retention and recruiting. In addition, Leon provides support to COMTO’s 35 chapters across North America and works with the President & CEO to ensure an optimal membership experience with in-person and virtual engagement.

    Previously, Leon served in membership and stakeholder relations roles for associations and non-profit organizations in the DC Metro area as the primary point of contact responsible for fulfillment, recruiting, retention and membership program oversight. Leon graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Virginia Wesleyan University and is an avid music enthusiast who collects vintage vinyl records. Leon resides in the DC Metro area.

  • Olivia Byrd

    Associate, Programs & Strategic Engagement

    202-506-2917

    Olivia Byrd

    Associate, Programs & Strategic Engagement

    Olivia Byrd serves as the COMTO Programs & Strategic Engagement Associate. In this role, Olivia oversees the execution of programs at COMTO and supports engagement through outreach to strategic partners. In addition, Olivia supports the President & CEO in engaging Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), students, transportation professionals, DBE/MBE/WBE/SBE organizations and private and public agencies to support COMTO scholarship and internship programs.

    Previously, Olivia served in development, technology and data analyst roles for the National Museum of African American History & Culture as well as various non-profit organizations in the DC Metro area overseeing diversity-related research, programming and outreach.

    Olivia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business & Marketing from Sweet Briar College and enjoys creative writing and reading. Olivia resides in the DC Metro area with her family.

  • A'roya Reese

    Coordinator, Marketing & Communications

    202-506-2917

    A'roya Reese

    Coordinator, Marketing & Communications

    A’roya Reese serves as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for COMTO. In this role, A’roya supports the Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications in the development and delivery of all COMTO communications and executing COMTO’s marketing strategy. As a brand champion, A’roya works to develop engaging content for dissemination across COMTO’s digital platforms, and in print. Previously, A’roya supported content creation and client branding development for a B2B marketing firm.

    A'roya graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from George Mason University and is an avid vocalist who enjoys singing in multiple languages.

 

We believe that diversity moves the nation.

We believe that the leadership of a massive industry that has the responsibility of transporting all people all the time should reflect the complex mosaic of those they serve. We believe that commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, identity and experience moves us forward every day.