University of Iowa.  Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Certificate in Transportation Planning.  Thesis:  “Citizen Participation in the Urban Transportation Planning Process:  A Program Proposal,” 1973.

                University of Wisconsin.  Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, 1969.

 Professional Experience

                Government Relations Consultant (1983-present).  Vierra Associates, Inc., Washington, D.C.  President of a Washington-based firm providing government relations and strategic planning services to public and private sector clients to represent their interests with the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Federal Government.

                Congressional Fellow (1981-1983).  United States Senate, Washington, D.C.  Served as a Congressional Fellow with the office of Senator Alfonse D’Amato while on a sabbatical from the Urban Mass Transportation Administration.  Duties as Special Advisor to the Senator included:  legislative activities on transportation issues with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and the Senate Appropriations Committee; fielding transportation-related constituent issues with federal agencies and appropriate Congressional offices and committees; representing the office of the Senator at public functions; and preparing speeches and testimony on the Senator’s behalf.  Major pieces of transportation-related legislation included the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982; appropriations measures for FY 1981-1984; and the 1983 Jobs Bill.

                Transportation Representative (1980-1981), Community Planner (1979-1980), Planning Representative (1977-1979). Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Washington, D.C.  Headquarters’ liaison for the development, coordination, management and evaluation of grants assistance activities for rapid rail, light rail, major bus and commuter rail projects.  Information source to Congress, regional UMTA staffs, and transit properties relating to UMTA grants assistance programs. Manager for assigned case load of cities performing UMTA Alternatives Analysis studies.  Provided technical support to study agencies (MPOs, states and transit operators); evaluated planning and technical methodologies, reports and processes; briefed UMTA, U.S. DOT personnel and Congressional officials on status and findings of studies; and reviewed local/state planning efforts for with UMTA and U.S. DOT policies, procedures and regulations.

                Public Transportation Planner (1975-1977).  Wisconsin Department of Transportation,  Madison, Wisconsin.  Coordinator of statewide study of transportation for the elderly and the handicapped.  Provided technical assistance/liaison throughout the state on general transportation and elderly/handicapped issues to metropolitan planning organizations, transit planning/operating agencies, citizens groups, local governments and the Wisconsin State Legislature.  Developed legislation creating two state transportation assistance programs for the elderly and the handicapped.

                 Transportation Coordinator (1974-1975).  Indian Nations Council of Governments, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Directed transportation planning element of the metropolitan planning organization, including the multimodal plan update of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.  Provided MPO liaison with local and state planning, transportation, legislative and citizen groups.

             Planner (1973-1974).  Indian Nations Council of Governments, Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Directed mass transportation planning element of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.  Served on technical committees advising the governor on air pollution and energy issues.