Women for Road Safety: GRSF Transport Specialists Leading the Work to Save Lives on the Road

Women for Road Safety: GRSF Transport Specialists Leading the Work to Save Lives on the Road

As part of International Women’s Month, the World Bank and GRSF published two blogs on women and road safety considering how road safety impacts women differently from men, and how road safety is impacted differently by women from men. Additionally, GRSF produced this piece highlighting how the women leadership in our team has been fundamental for the global impact of GRSF.

Meet Sudeshna Mitra (India), Alina F. Burlacu (Romania), and Marisela Ponce de León Valdés (Mexico) 👋 They are transport specialists leading GRSF's work creating effective delivery of global road safety solutions.

Their mission is to drive innovation with purpose.

Sudeshna is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the GRSF Research program. She is an experienced transport professional with a Ph.D. in Transportation from Arizona State University. Her expertise is in the areas of road safety with skills in crash data modeling, transport planning, design, and operation. She has conducted original research in road safety in the US and India and published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, Safety Science, Transportation Research Records, Transport Policy, ASCE Journal of Transportation Engineering, Transportation, etc. She is a recipient of the Endeavour Executive Fellowship by the Australian Government Department of Education for her leadership in road safety. For Sudeshna, “road safety is science; practice it with data and evidence, and invest in it to preserve human capital.”

Sudeshna Mitra at 2020 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting
Sudeshna Mitra at 2020 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

Alina manages the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) from the World Bank GRSF side. She is a road engineer from Romania, PhD in road safety and Road Safety Auditor trainer, with an academic background as an assistant professor at Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest and research assistant at Stuttgart University, Germany. In her previous role as Personal Advisor to the Prime Minister of Romania, Alina led the preparation of the National Road Safety Strategy and Road Safety Law. For Alina, road safety is all about saving lives from brutal road crashes, by simply implementing globally recognized solutions and advocating to fight this silent pandemic which has claimed over 60 million lives in the past 150 years”.

Alina Burlacu ar 2020 Leaders in Urban Transport Planning
Alina Burlacu at the 2020 Leaders in Urban Transport Planning Course in Singapore

Sudeshna’s and Alina’s leadership in GRSF research and operations has been fundamental for the global impact of the Facility.

Welcoming new road safety perspectives ⌵

MariselaMarisela recently joined GRSF as a focal point for East Asia Pacific for the BIGRS program. She has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Liverpool and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Monterrey. "We must be proactive when working on road safety, aiming to prevent risk exposure, and as a consequence, road traffic injuries from happening. Safe infrastructure for all road users is a great way of doing so! Remember that the so-called "vulnerable users" are not really vulnerable in themselves, but rather due to the unsafe environment that surrounds them" says Marisela.

Now more than ever, it is essential to recognize women as a key to enhancing road safety globally and having a global perspective in leading this important agenda. Their expertise, innovation and determination have a prominent role to address the road safety crisis.

Learn more about the GRSF team here.