New Executive Director for The Active Transportation Alliance

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The Active Transportation Alliance, Chicagoland’s advocate for better biking, walking and transit, announced that Ron Burke has been named its new Executive Director starting Aug. 17.

Burke, who joins the organization with an expertise in environmental policy, has been at the forefront of sustainable and active transportation for years. He most recently worked as the Midwest Office Director at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Prior to his work there, Burke served as the Associate Director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Burke is only the third executive director in Active Trans’ 25-year history.

“We are delighted to welcome Ron to the organization, especially in light of the momentum behind active transportation in Chicagoland,” said Active Trans Board of Directors President Jane Healy. “He has been an advocate for our work for years. Through his work at the American Lung Association in the 1990s, Ron led the effort to direct federal funding to local bicycle and pedestrian projects. He will help grow Active Trans to be an even stronger advocate for bicycling, walking and transit in Chicagoland.”

Burke brings with him vast knowledge of policy development and implementation. His most recent work at the Union of Concerned Scientists included coordinating and implementing policy in the Midwest on climate and energy, clean energy and sustainable agriculture. His time at the Illinois EPA included work on the state’s global warming initiative, and he supervised the areas of policy, outreach, community relations, pollution prevention and small business assistance.

Burke earned a master’s degree in Technology and Human Affairs with an emphasis in Environmental Policy from Washington University and carried out his undergraduate work in life sciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign and Bradley University.

Burke is a long-time supporter of the Active Trans mission, and his lifestyle reflects this. “Biking, walking and transit have been an integral part of my life for years,” Burke said. “I am excited to work for an organization that has been so instrumental in making those choices possible.”

Active Trans, the country’s largest transportation advocacy non-profit organization, has worked to improve biking, walking and transit options for 25 years. The organization has more than 5,000 members and has been behind major strides like Bikes on Metra, legislation that requires drivers to stop for pedestrians, and statewide policies that provide bicycle and pedestrian accommodations on all new state road projects.

Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the organization also produces large-scale events like the MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive and the Boulevard Lakefront Tour.

Burke is an avid runner and outdoors enthusiast. He lives in Oak Park with his two daughters and wife, Pamela Brookstein.

Active Trans’ previous executive director, Rob Sadowsky, relocated to Portland, Ore. in June to serve as the executive director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. Formerly the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, the Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by more than 5,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit or call 312.427.3325.

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