is the President/CEO of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials
(COMTO). Since her 2001 appointment to this position, she has effectively led
this national trade association in unprecedented growth – moving from a single
focus of public transit to a focus of multi-modalism, now including aviation,
port authorities and state departments of transportation. She continues to work with COMTO national
leadership to develop and strengthen strategic partnerships with industry,
private, and government stakeholders.
Cunningham served on President-Elect Barack Obama’s Transition Team at the
U.S. Department of Transportation and has provided expert testimony before the
U.S. Congress, including the House Transportation & Infrastructure
Committee, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Senate Democratic Caucus.
is considered a visionary in diverse/group alignment and is nationally known
for her talent in building healthy, effective partnerships across diverse
government and corporate cultures as well as her strong advocacy for a level
playing field and maximum employment and contract participation for minorities,
women, and economically disadvantaged persons.
Under her direction, COMTO has become a recognized resource as a result
of the organization’s advocacy relative to workforce diversity and inclusion,
and participation by Historically Underutilized Businesses (minority, women and
veteran owned businesses) in the transportation industry. COMTO was awarded the 2005 Disadvantaged
Business Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
skilled negotiator, Ms. Cunningham is credited with being the catalyst for the
success of the Missouri Model – which is The
New Interstate 64 (a heavy highway construction project) in which the
Missouri Department Of Transportation exceeded all of the agency’s federal
goals for employment of minorities and women and for DBE participation.
to joining COMTO, she held positions in the energy and construction industries.
She was previously employed as a Senior Consultant at a Nuclear Power Plant and
was credited for developing critical strategic and internal communication
plans for a struggling power plant. She
led the plant’s senior management team in implementing programs to improve
employee morale and to win the stakeholder community as ambassadors of nuclear
power. She is also known for her ability
to implement grassroots programs, and facilitate work process improvements
for nuclear power plants.
Cunningham is a member of the Mineta Transportation Institute Board of
Directors, the Eno Foundation Board of Advisors and the National Transit
Institute Advisory Council. She is also
a member of the American Society of Association
Executives (ASAE), and the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). She is a veteran of the U.S. Army.
native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Cunningham graduated from Hiram College with a
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management and has continued her education with
ongoing professional workshops and seminars, including courses sponsored by the
American Management Association and several intensive Capitol Hill Workshops.