TransForm Announces new Executive Director

For Immediate Release: October 19, 2020
Contact: Edie Irons, 510-334-1344, [email protected]

(Oakland, CA) - TransForm, a leading California advocacy nonprofit addressing climate change and social inequity through transportation and housing solutions, announced today that Darnell Grisby will be its new Executive Director, starting October 26.

Grisby spent the last nine years as Director of Policy Development and Research at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), where he has become a national thought leader pushing for more equitable and innovative transportation policy.

“After a thorough and competitive search, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Darnell to TransForm,” said Alice Chen, a co-chair of TransForm’s Board of Directors. “Staff and board alike are looking forward to having Darnell’s leadership and experience help power our work.”

Grisby’s career and his lived experience have prepared him well for this opportunity. He grew up in Southern California, where limited transportation options, under-investment, and over-policing of Black and brown communities shaped his perspectives and set him on a path to public service. Grisby earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at UCLA, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He served as a legislative director in California’s legislature and a lobbyist in Sacramento, before working at Reconnecting America, a think tank devoted to smart growth. Nine years ago Grisby joined APTA, where he has become a leading transportation industry expert.

“This is a huge moment for TransForm,” said Board Co-Chair, Paolo Coslich-Schwartz. “We were looking for a leader who could help us meet the urgent transit and housing challenges we face with a strong anti-racist policy agenda. With his deep policy knowledge and bold vision for TransForm’s role in making change, Darnell is that leader.”

Grisby will be moving from Washington, D.C. to the Bay Area soon after he begins the job on October 26. He will be addressing the TransForm community virtually during the organization’s fundraiser this Wednesday, October 21, All Aboard at Home.

“TransForm is well-positioned to chart a path towards anti-racist transportation, housing, and land use policies,” Grisby said. “Together, we can remake our built environment, protect our health, and confront the climate crisis before us. I can’t wait to get to work.”

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TransForm’s blog post about the announcement

Darnell Grisby’s LinkedIn profile

Grisby's Bloomberg CityLab article, "To Fight Racism, Transit has a Key Role."