Anita Draa, Ph.D., PMP
“My colleagues and I feel like we’re an extension of each client’s team rather than a consultant.”
Celebrating her 1-year “Ganniversary” this August 2021, Anita Draa reflects on a year marked by a variety of projects, new business pursuits, and valuable insight gained from a deeper look at industry trends. “It’s been a good balance,” she said. “My consultant role at Gannett Fleming continues to satisfy my desire for diversity in my work, allowing me to not only support client projects but also explore innovations and other aspects of the industry.”
With a Ph.D. from Stanford University and more than two decades of experience in tolling, transit, and intelligent transportation systems in the public sector, Anita has overseen multi-million-dollar development efforts for enterprise back-office systems for electronic payments and associated service capabilities. When she’s not busy advancing our tolling services in the West, you can find her traveling for pleasure or spending quality time with her 17-year-old daughter, Alina. Both Finnish and American, Anita and Alina enjoy playing video games and watching anime together.
We asked Anita a few questions to get to know her:
What could you give a 30-minute presentation about with no preparation?
Technology trends across transportation modes, from tolling to traffic management to transit and data analytics. In fact, I’ll be speaking on this subject at the IBTTA Annual Meeting in October!
What skill do you most attribute your professional success to and why?
I would say my ability to effectively manage several different projects and teams simultaneously has certainly contributed to my professional success. I’m in my element when I’ve got multiple balls in the air, and so I thrive in situations that might typically cause others stress.
What’s your favorite hobby?
I’m a cat lover (with a furry son named Mochi) and enjoy volunteering at a local cat rescue. I also used to do karate and became a black belt in my early 30s. Another old hobby of mine was playing the clarinet. I was an All-American in high school and am hoping to get back into it and play in a local band at some point.
What does an average day look like for you?
An average day is a balancing act of work and family life, but I enjoy working from home and having the flexibility to dedicate time to both. I typically wake up and start working early in the morning but then take a short break to attend to my daughter when she gets home from school.
What makes you proud to work at Gannett Fleming?
The authentic, quality people. Everyone I’ve worked with at this firm genuinely wants to do well by their clients and has their best interest at heart. My colleagues and I feel like we’re an extension of each client’s team rather than a consultant. Plus, it’s exciting to be a part of so much progress in California.