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Fresno State Transportation Institute

Advisory Board

Fresno State Transportation Institute Advisory Board

The FSTI Advisory Board provides advice and counsel as the Institute pursues its goals in the areas of Education, Research, Technical Service and Outreach. 

picture of Mohammad Alimi

Mohammad Alimi is a professional engineer with over 33 years of teaching, research, and practical experience in civil engineering and applied mechanics. He brings a wealth of expertise with strengths in project management, transportation engineering and structural engineering. Mohammad joined the Fresno County Department of Public Works and Planning in 2002 and currently serves as Design Division Manager where his team is responsible for the preparation of plans, specifications, and contract documents for various Public Works projects, traffic and transportation programs and studies, bidding of construction contracts and consultant oversight, administration of transportation grants, and handling of the County's real property transactions.

picture of lynne ashbeck

A respected civic leader, Lynne is serving in her sixth term on the Clovis City Council and is currently the Mayor. She was first elected in 2001, served as Mayor from 2003 – 2005 and again from 2013 – 2015, only the third woman to serve as Clovis Mayor in the City’s 111-year history and currently the third longest serving Councilmember since the City’s founding. Known for her ability to find common ground among divergent views and the ability to engage citizens in the city’s work, she founded the Clovis Citizen’s Academy, a five-week training program to help Clovis residents learn more about local government as well as the newly established Clovis Youth Commission to engage the next generation in the City’s plans, activities, and vision for the future. Prior to her election to the City Council, Lynne served on the City’s Personnel Commission (1987 – 89) and Planning Commission (1989 – 2000).

Lynne Ashbeck is the Senior Vice President and Chief Community Impact Officer for Valley Children’s Healthcare, one of the nation’s best pediatric hospital and healthcare system. In her role, Lynne works with physicians, hospital staff and community leaders to formulate strategies designed to improve the health outcomes of children and their families in their neighborhoods, schools and community health settings. Lynne’s work at Valley Children’s---including the establishment of the Center for Community Health---reflects her career-long efforts to improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us, with children leading the list of her passions.

Lynne completed both her bachelor's degree (1976) and master's degree in Home Economics/Nutrition (1977) at Fresno State and is a Registered Dietitian. She completed a master's degree in Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking from Fresno Pacific University in May 2012.

Lynne has a long track record of leadership and involvement in many community and regional organizations. She has been recognized for that work by a number of organizations, including Fresno Pacific’s Distinguished Alumni (2019); Fresno State’s “Top Dog” alumna of the year award from the Jordan College of Agriculture (2017); “Healthcare Hero” from Fresno State’s College of Health and Human Services (2017); the Fresno County Department of Public Health’s Champion for Public Health (2015); Women’s Equality Day Award, League of Women Voters; Fresno State’s Phi Kappa Phi’s Alumni Recognition Award (2012); Marjaree Mason’s Top 10 Professional Women of the Year (2007); and the Clovis Soroptimist's Woman of the Year (2010).


picture of Keith Bergthold,

Keith Bergthold is the founder and CEO of Regenerate California Innovation (RCI). Keith has 49 years of experience in urban and regional planning and land development in California and New Mexico, and more than 28 years as a community organizer/community developer in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley. Keith was the Executive Director of Fresno Metro Ministry from 2014 through 2022, where he launched and grew the Better Blackstone and Food to Share initiatives. He was also the City of Fresno Assistant Director of Planning from 2006 through 2013, leading the team developing the city’s revitalization oriented 2035 General Plan update, adopted in 2014, and the related new Development Code, adopted in 2015. Concurrent with his City and Fresno Metro Ministry employment, Keith served as the volunteer part-time CEO of RCI, which he returned to as full-time paid staff in January 2023. RCI is a San Joaquin Valley focused 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1993 that is now in its 21 st  year of a workforce development and employment readiness partnership with the Fresno, Madera, Tulare, and Kings Counties Central Labor Council. RCI is also involved in a number of local-regional community economic development and clean energy deployment initiatives aimed at creating inclusive health, environmental quality, economic opportunity with permanent high road jobs, and community benefits framed by the Social Determinants of Health for under resourced rural and urban communities. RCI serves as the fiscal agent for the Better Blackstone CDC and the Greenfield Coalition, facilitates the Fresno Region Taskforce for Affordable Housing, and is a champion for implementation of the DRIVE Fresno Opportunity Corridor initiative. Keith holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Behavior from the California School of Professional Psychology and a BA Degree in Sociology from California State University, Fresno. Keith was born in Fresno and raised his two grown sons here with his wife, Debbie.

Picture of Jim Boren

Award-winning journalist Jim Boren is the executive director of the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Fresno State and teaches advanced news reporting in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. He retired in 2018 as Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of The Fresno Bee. Jim is considered a national news industry leader and is widely recognized for his expertise in newsroom management, and has consulted on newsroom organizational issues, including start-up news sites. He founded the Media Institute at Fresno State and the Journalists of Color student training program. He serves on several national news industry boards.

picture of tony boren

Tony Boren is the Executive Director of the Fresno Council of Governments, where he is responsible for the administration and management of agency budget and staff as well as program and policy development, intergovernmental relations, supervision and control of all work activities at Fresno COG, such as those related to Measure C implementation, and the California Transportation Commission. Prior to tenure with COG, Tony worked for the City of Fresno for eight years in Land use Planning, Development Services and Annexations.


Melissa Cregan was appointed as the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner in 2019, after serving over 17 years with the Ag Commissioners’ offices in Fresno and Madera Counties. She graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. She serves as the public member on the Citrus Research Board, and as a member for the Fresno State Transportation Institute Advisory Board. She is the current Vice President of Agriculture for the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association.


Fresno County Measure C

Chair, Citizens Oversight Committee

Picture of Edward D. Dunkel

Edward D. Dunkel, Jr. is the founder and president of Precision Civil Engineering, Inc. (PCE) and has a diverse background in civil engineering, land surveying, construction, and land development; having worked on thousands of both private and public sector projects throughout his career. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from California State University, Fresno. A fifth generation Fresno County resident, Mr. Dunkel is part of a family that has provided engineering services to the Central Valley for a combined 65 years.

Mr. Dunkel is also actively involved in many community and professional organizations, including Board of the Building and Industry Association (BIA); Board of the Bulldog Foundation for California State University; member of the Board of Directors for the Fresno Chamber of Commerce; Past-President for the Fresno County Economic Commission; and an active member in the Presidents Club for Community Health Systems.

picture of Diana Gomez

Ms. Diana Gomez currently serves as the Central Valley Regional Director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, working to bring the first high-speed electric passenger operations to California.

With more than 25 years of experience with Caltrans, Ms. Gomez has held various positions, including Senior Transportation Electrical Engineer and Chief for the offices of Traffic Management and Systems Management Operations. In 2011, Ms. Gomez was appointed as the Deputy District Director of Operations in Los Angeles, making her the highest-ranking Latina engineer with the state Department of Transportation.

She is also an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In 2005, she was named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in Hispanic Business magazine for her role as National President of SHPE. Ms. Gomez graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Fresno State.

picture of Frank Gonzalez

Mr. Gonzalez was born and raised in Sanger, California. He attended Sanger schools and is a graduate of the Sanger High School Class of 1984. After high school, Mr. Gonzalez attended Reedley College but ultimately found a career with the United States Air Force. He enlisted in the Air Force in December 1990 and retired from active duty as a Master Sergeant after 22 years of service. Mr. Gonzalez returned to college and earned a Bachelor's Degree in business management with an emphasis in human resources management, and has successfully completed his MBA.

picture of luz gonzalez

Dr. Luz Gonzalez is Dean, Chair, and Professor Emerita of the College of Social Sciences at California State University, Fresno. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Fresno State South Valley Campus (FSSVC), Fresno State’s first Satellite Campus in Visalia, California. Over the last 36 years, Dr. Gonzalez served as Dean of the College of Social Sciences (COSS), Chair and Professor of the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies, and Executive Director of the Center for the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented University Personnel. She also worked as Director of Fresno State’s Faculty Mentoring Program, and spent a year shadowing the leadership at San Diego State University as a Fellow through the American Council on Education. Her contributions to the Latino community include dedicating 21 years of volunteer work serving as coordinator of Fresno State’s Latino Commencement Celebration. She grew this event from a modest celebration to the largest event of its kind in the country boasting 16,000 family members and friends in attendance at the Bulldog Stadium, and later the Save Mart Center. The gratitude and respect that Dr. Gonzalez had for the good work of the co-founder and President of the United Farm Workers labor union, Cesar E. Chavez, inspired her to make sure that Fresno State had the distinction of being the first university in the country to unveil the first life-size monument of the late leader in the Peace Garden in March of 1995.”


picture of David Horn

David Horn is the Principal at Yamabe & Horn Engineering in the Central Valley, where he leads a 45-person consulting firm. As a licensed Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor, David brings a unique blend of expertise to his role. He manages all aspects of engineering design and land surveying for diverse land development projects, including grading, drainage, sewer, water, storm drain, and street improvements for residential, commercial, and educational ventures. David's responsibilities also encompass subdivision maps, ALTA/ACSM surveys, and effective survey crew management.  David currently serves as the City Engineer for the City of Selma, contributing to the city's infrastructure and development. He excels in representing clients before public governing bodies, navigating project approvals, and ensuring compliance. As a California Certified Access Specialist (CASp), he offers municipalities, businesses, and property owners’ invaluable guidance on Accessibility Compliance.  David Horn's dual licensure and multidimensional expertise drive engineering excellence and foster community growth.

Picture of Brad Hyatt
Dr. Brad Hyatt is the Associate Dean of the Lyles College of Engineering at Fresno State. Dr. Hyatt has nearly 30 years of academic and professional experience in construction management, civil engineering, and capital program management. He previously served as the Chair of the Department of Construction Management. Dr. Hyatt’s professional experience includes time as a project management consultant and a US Navy Civil Engineer Corps Officer. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in Calfornia and a LEED Accredited Professional. In addition to his administrative roles in the Lyles College of Engineering, Dr. Hyatt also conducts research and advises on the integration of data analytics and generative AI into their organizations.

picture of mike Leonardo

Mike Leonardo is the Executive Director of the Fresno County
Transportation Authority, (FCTA) and is responsible for implementing the
programs and projects funded by the 20-year, “Measure C” half-cent
transportation sales tax, in Fresno County.

Leonardo has over 40-years of public and private sector experience.

He spent 23-years with Caltrans, beginning as an Assistant Transportation
Engineer and ending as the District 6 Director of the Fresno Regional
Office. These were productive times; the Fresno-Clovis Freeway System
was constructed which includes the first multiple level interchange in the
Central Valley. Leonardo also worked as the Department’s Chief Engineer
in Sacramento where he provided leadership to 2,500 employees as well
as implemented a $1.4 billion annual budget.

Leonardo enjoyed living and working in the Central Valley, and left Caltrans
to become the Public Utilities Director with the City of Clovis, to be part of
the team constructing the new waste-water treatment re-use facility.
Immediately, prior to joining the FCTA, Leonardo was the Senior
Engineering Manager for WSP-Parsons-Brinckerhoff, working on the
California High Speed Rail Project, where he was responsible for delivery
of the $3+ billion Central Valley High Speed Train infrastructure projects.

Leonardo earned his Civil Engineering degree in 1981, and has been a
registered Professional Engineer in the State of California since 1984.

picture of john liu

John Liu is the Deputy District Director of Maintenance and Operations for Caltrans District 6, which is headquartered in Fresno.  He is responsible for the maintenance and traffic operations of about 2,000 centerline-miles of highway in five counties.  John has over 30 years of professional engineering experience at multiple Caltrans districts, Caltrans Headquarters, and local agencies.  He is a champion for traffic safety, work zone safety, and active transportation.   He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley and is a registered Civil Engineer and Traffic Engineer.

Picture of Michael Lukens

Michael Lukens has served as Executive Director of Government Relations at Fresno State since July 2021.  Prior to taking the position, Lukens served as chief of staff to the president at California State University, Bakersfield, and also director of public affairs at CSUB.  In addition, he has served as press secretary for Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, communications director for California Congressman George Radanovich, and a full-time political science lecturer at Fresno State. Before moving to California in 2004, Lukens served as a deputy press secretary for four Pennsylvania governors and as press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.   Lukens received a bachelor's degree in public policy from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from California State University, Fresno.

picture of joseph oldham

EV Aviation Ground Innovations Facilitato, Fresno Metro Ministry

CALSTART Clean Transportation Center

photo of will oliver

Will Oliver is a third generation Central Valley resident who brings over a decade of multidisciplinary experience involving business services, economic development, and public policy. Will attended the London School of Economics and Political Science and earned an Executive Master of Science in Social Business and Entrepreneurship, a flagship program dedicated to channeling private action to create public benefit. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the Sid Craig School of Business at California State University, Fresno.

Will currently serves as the President & CEO for the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and leads a talented team committed to providing advocacy, outreach, and support services to prospective and existing businesses to foster job creation and investment in Fresno County. He works closely with private industry, civic organizations, and public agencies, and oversees the EDC’s programs and special initiatives, which include High-Speed Rail development, applied economics research, foreign direct investment, and capital recruitment.

Will spearheaded the EDC’s $23M Good Jobs Challenge grant application, uniting community-based organizations, multi-sector employers, national experts, and workforce boards to eliminate barriers and provide training pathways for 2,500 participants in high-demand industries in Fresno, Madera, Tulare, and Kings Counties.

He has fostered collaborative partnerships with local stakeholders and national experts. In 2022 and 2023, he organized community summits to highlight the perspectives and priorities of underserved and underrepresented residents in economic development decision-making. He has also worked with national thought leaders at the Brookings Institution, U.S. Economic Development Administration, and Harvard Business School, to elevate Fresno County EDC’s and the region’s influence and reach nationally.

In addition to the EDC, will previously served on the Madera City Council and Madera Housing Authority.


Senior Associate Planner, Quad Knopf


Board of Directors, CA High-Speed Rail 

Former Fresno County Supervisor

picture of pererz flip

My name is Felipe De Jesus Perez and I am 50 years old. I am happily married with 3 wonderful kids. I Have 2 Part time jobs: one as the Biola CSD General Manager and the second as a Coalinga Family Preservation Services Network where I work as the supervisor/ Program Coordinator. I was the Mayor for the City of Firebaugh in 2018 and I am still an active council member. I also serve my community as a Eucharistic minister/lector at Saint Joseph’s Church. Currently, I am serving as an EOC Board member.

I enjoy serving others as I believe it is my calling in this world.  I love interacting with all kinds of people and learning from them. I am friendly and open minded and I am not afraid of making mistakes. I am never content with letting things be, but instead open to accepting challenges. My hobbies include gardening and repairing automobiles. I enjoy eating fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. My favorite foods are all kinds of Sea Food. On my free time, I like watching and playing soccer. I believe that every human being is equal and we are born to be happy.   

picture of moses stites

Moses Stites is the General Manager of the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA).  He oversees the administration and operations of both fixed route and demand response services for 13 incorporated cities and 29 unincorporated communities in Fresno County with a fleet of 115 vehicles and an annual budget of $9-$10 million.  Since his time with FCRTA, he and his staff have succeeded in replacing over 50% of the fleet with alternative fuel vehicles with a goal of 100% ZEV fleet by 2025.

picture of Henry Thompson
Director of Aviation, Fresno Yosemite International Airport