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August 17, 2022

Learn how to use Nashville, TN as an example to explore past infrastructure decisions and how they have impacted the lack of transportation choices today in cities across the country. If these decisions were made for by others in the past, then we can start making different decisions for the future. Decisions that give safer streets, more transportation choices, and more equitable cities.

Erin Hafkenschiel is the President of ThinkTennessee, where she leads a powerhouse team working to build a state where all Tennesseans are civically engaged and economically secure. Erin has spent her career in public policy, including roles in higher education, municipal government, and philanthropy. Most recently, she was the Executive Director for Mobility and Transportation at Vanderbilt University. Prior to that, she served as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Sustainability for Nashville Mayors David Briley and Megan Barry. Erin also has significant experience in philanthropy and consulting through her work with CEA Consulting, the Bay Area Council, and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil Infrastructure Systems at Vanderbilt University.

A U.S. Fulbright Scholar to China, Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy of Industrialized Societies from UC Berkeley and a Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University.

Erin lives with her husband and three daughters in Nashville, TN. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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