Avital Barnea, Deputy Secretary for Transportation Planning

Avital Barnea was appointed Deputy Secretary for Transportation Planning at the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) by Governor Gavin Newsom in July 2019. At CalSTA, Avital serves in a key advisory role to the Secretary on transportation planning including sustainability programs, mass transit, rail, ports, and freight for the state.

Prior to her appointment, Avital most recently served as Program Manager for Freight at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Before joining AASHTO, Avital worked as a Policy Analyst & Grants Manager in the Office of the Secretary at the US Department of Transportation and as a Community Planner with the Federal Transit Administration, first joining the federal workforce as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). On behalf of the PMF program, she also served on Capitol Hill in the US Senate Committee on Finance, where she worked on and witnessed the passage of MAP-21. Avital began her career in transportation working in bus operations for Metro Transit in Minneapolis.

Avital holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Minnesota.