Liisa Ecola

Photo of Liisa Ecola
Senior Policy Analyst
Washington Office

Education

M.C.P. in city planning, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in political science, Emory University; B.A. in international relations, Emory University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

Liisa Ecola is a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation. She is a transportation planner with 20+ years of experience and broad interests in transportation funding, traffic safety, environmental and land use impacts, and long-term mobility trends. She recently led RAND's work on the “Road to Zero,” a long-term vision of eliminating deaths from traffic crashes by 2050. For the CDC, she helped develop and later update a tool to determine the costs and benefits of policies to reduce vehicle crash deaths and injuries. She led RAND's transportation work on the long-term hurricane recovery plan for Puerto Rico, and analyzed the impacts of climate change on transportation for DHS. She is the lead author of two reports about long-term mobility—one on the future of driving in developing countries, and the other on future mobility in China—and coauthor of a third on the potential impacts of technology on transportation demand in the United Kingdom. Other work has included developing a potential trial of mileage fees, analyzing funding and finance issues for airports, and identifying quality-of-life indicators for land use/transportation for Guangdong Province. She has conducted extensive work in smart growth, managing the National Award for Smart Growth Achievement for EPA for five years. Before joining RAND, Ecola worked in transportation, land use, and policy consulting; she also served as a Foreign Service officer for six years, stationed in Warsaw and Taipei. Ecola received her Master of City Planning degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Recent Projects

  • The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050
  • Assessing Risk to the National Critical Functions as a Result of Climate Change
  • Rebuilding Surface, Maritime, and Air Transportation in Puerto Rico After Hurricanes Irma and Maria: Supporting Documentation for the Puerto Rico Recovery Plan
  • Mileage-Based User Fees for Transportation Funding: A Primer for State and Local Decisionmakers
  • U.S. Airport Infrastructure Funding and Financing

Selected Publications

Sorensen, Paul, Liisa Ecola, and Martin Wachs, "Emerging Strategies in Mileage-Based User Fees: Reducing Costs and Increasing Public Acceptance," Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2345, 2013

Ecola, Liisa, Steven W. Popper, Richard Silberglitt, and Laura Fraade-Blanar, The Road to Zero: A Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths by 2050, RAND (RR-2333), 2018

Rohr, Charlene, Liisa Ecola, Johanna Zmud, Fay Dunkerley, James Black, and Eleanor Baker, Travel in Britain in 2035: Future scenarios and their implications for technology innovation, RAND (RR-1377), 2016

Ecola, Liisa, and Thomas Light, "Making Congestion Pricing Equitable," Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2187, 2011

Knopman, Debra, Johanna Zmud, Liisa Ecola, Zhimin Mao, Keith Crane, Quality of Life Indicators and Policy Strategies to Advance Sustainability in the Pearl River Delta, RAND (RR-871), 2015

Ecola, Liisa, Johanna Zmud, Kun Gu, Peter Phleps, and Irene Feige, The Future of Mobility: Scenarios for China in 2030, RAND (RR-991), 2015

Ecola, Liisa, Charlene Rohr, Johanna Zmud, Tobias Kuhnimhof, and Peter Phleps, The Future of Driving in Developing Countries, RAND (RR-636), 2014

Ecola, Liisa, Benjamin Batorsky, Jeanne Ringel, Using Cost-effectiveness Analysis to Prioritize Spending on Traffic Safety, RAND (RR-1224), 2015

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Auto Channel; CNN, Headline News; KCBS-AM; KPCC

Publications