Urban Movement Labs announces new Interim Executive Director and kickstarts national search for next Executive Director

LOS ANGELES, CA. – July 14, 2022 – Urban Movement Labs announced today that Sam Morrissey is stepping down as Executive Director. Launched in Fall 2019 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Urban Movement Labs (UML) is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between local government and innovators to make Los Angeles the transportation innovation capital of the world. This public-private partnership is where new transportation technologies are tested, proven, and brought to life, with and for L.A.’s diverse communities. UML continues to expand efforts across several disruptive and impactful platforms, including mobility data, safety technologies, zero-emissions delivery, advanced air mobility, and accessible and affordable transportation services. 

Since joining Urban Movement Labs in March 2021, Morrissey led the organization as it transitioned from a rapidly scaling start-up to a fully staffed operation, growing the portfolio of partners and pilot projects across multiple modes of transportation. Over the past year, Urban Movement Labs has partnered with the City of L.A.’s largest transportation departments, more than two dozen industry leaders, and community organizations and advocates to facilitate policy development for new technology, expand mobility solutions in disadvantaged communities, establish new data collection practices to digitize curbs, and establish best practices for the equitable and safe integration of sustainable electric aviation in cities. Urban Movement Labs’ work has been featured in more than 40 publications in the past year, including the New York Times, the L.A. Times, and The Guardian.  

“Leading Urban Movement Labs as its first permanent Executive Director has truly been a privilege” Morrissey said. “Together we’ve produced impactful work across multiple transportation modes addressing mobility challenges from the curb to the sky. Urban Movement Labs has more work and success ahead of it, and I am excited to see the essential work continue with our capable team.”

Morrissey will be joining LA28, the Los Angeles Organizing Committee for the 2028 Olympic & Paralympic Games, as Vice President of Transport. In this capacity, he will continue to work with public agency partners across Southern California. UML remains committed to its mission and looks forward to working alongside its public agency partners to support large-scale events in Los Angeles. 

The Board has appointed current Executive Chair Justine Johnson to lead an established Interim Office of the Executive Director and provide seamless leadership, continuity of operations, and overall management of the organization while the Board conducts a nationwide search for an Executive Director. The Interim Office of the Executive Director will include Francis Pollara, Director of Strategy & Development, and Rogelio Pardo, who serves as Program Director. Both will remain in their current positions while carrying out new responsibilities as part of the transition. 

“We thank Sam for his contributions to Urban Movement Labs and wish him the best in the future,” Johnson said. “We are thrilled to see one of our own go on to lead transportation in preparation for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We remain committed to our mission and the creation of long-term and scalable impact – making cities become more livable, inclusive, and resilient with people-centered transportation technology solutions. We’re fortunate to have an experienced and highly capable team and Board of Directors to continue leading the organization. I look forward to continuing to work closely with them as we recruit a new Executive Director.”

UML will conduct a nationwide search process to find its next leader, which will be led by the Executive Search Committee of the Board of Directors. “UML is one of the rare community-based organizations that has both global recognition and local impact,” said Executive Search Committee Chair and UML co-Founder Julia Thayne DeMordaunt. “We hope to find an experienced leader to take this rapidly growing organization to the next level by working with our dedicated partners and amazingly talented staff to accelerate equitable, sustainable, and community-first mobility solutions in L.A.” 

Qualified candidates should contact jobs@urbanmovementlabs.com regarding this opportunity

About Urban Movement Labs

Urban Movement Labs (UML) is a first-of-its-kind mobility-innovation organization that links government, businesses, and community members to innovative technology solutions to help solve transportation challenges in the City of Los Angeles and beyond. UML is committed to a community-first approach and ensuring that mobility innovations help build safe, equitable, and sustainable cities. 

For more information, visit: https://urbanmovementlabs.org / Twitter: @UrbanMvmtLab