Rai Brings Over 15 Years of Experience to the Transportation Organization as It Builds Upon Its 50-Year Legacy as the Voice of Equity in the Industry
For Immediate Release
November 15, 2021
Alexandria, VA—The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), a nonprofit organization founded in 1971 dedicated to advancing minorities in the transportation industry with 35 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, announced April Rai as its new President and CEO starting December 20, 2021.
As President & CEO, Rai will 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). Under the direction of the COMTO Board of Directors Chair, Tanya Adams, Rai will provide strategic leadership, guidance and ensure COMTO operates effectively and optimally.
“The COMTO Board of Directors worked meticulously to find the right person to help COMTO build upon our 50-year legacy and lead us into the next 50 years and beyond,” said Tanya Adams, Chair, COMTO Board of Directors and Vice President, Inclusion and Diversity, WSP USA. “With an industry still contending with a pandemic, equity being a priority of the Administration, a newly signed infrastructure bill and COMTO continuously diversifying, we needed someone with impeccable leadership skills, knowledge, creativity, vision and passion ready to move us to the next stage as an organization.”
Rai comes to COMTO with over 15 years of experience managing private, public sector and non-profit organizations with a focus on strategic partnership development, coalition building, people and project management.
Most recently, Rai 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, Rai focused on the management of operations including staff management, planning and project execution ensuring deliverability on time and within budget. Rai worked to implement growth and retention strategies for membership, chapters, public and private partners as well as build relationships with advocacy organizations and local, state and federal stakeholders.
“I am honored to be selected to serve as President & CEO of COMTO. Reflecting on the work of my predecessors, it is amazing to see how much has been accomplished in moving the mission forward,” said Rai. “With the laser focus on equity in the transportation industry, I consider it a privilege to lead COMTO, an organization recognized as ‘the Voice for Equity in Transportation.’ I look forward to partnering with COMTO Board of Directors Chair, Tanya Adams, to build upon an already impressive 50-year legacy.“
Rai will assume leadership from Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, who has served as Interim President and CEO since June 2021.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t express our gratitude to Dr. Boyd and our national staff who kept the organization moving forward as we searched for a permanent replacement,” said Chair Adams. “We are especially indebted to them for overseeing our 2021 COMTO Board Elections and our 50th Anniversary Virtual National Meeting and Training Conference.”
Prior to joining WTS, Rai 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.
Rai 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, Rai was responsible for managing the State of Maryland, Action Coalition, an initiative of AARP and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Rai resides in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, and will be based out of COMTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA. She can be reached at April.Rai@comtonational.org.
About the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)
Founded in 1971, the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing minorities in the transportation industry. With 35 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, COMTO is driven by a mission to ensure opportunities and participation in transportation for minorities, veterans, people with disabilities and certified minority, women or disadvantaged-owned businesses through leadership training, professional development, scholarship and internship funding, advocacy, partnership building and networking opportunities. In 2021, COMTO celebrates its 50th year of expanding opportunities for minorities in transportation. For more information, please visit www.comtonational.org.
Membership & Communications Manager, COMTO