I’m Sirinya Matute (ser-rin-ya mah-too-tay) and I am a UCLA-trained transportation planner with experience in community organizing, multi-channel marketing and institutional fundraising. My areas of expertise include transportation demand management, transit technology, and public affairs on the Westside.
My professional work experience has been primarily in local government and higher education. In September 2013, I returned to the transportation sector after a two year stint in fundraising. I was a planner and marketing analyst for UCLA’s transportation department and interned with Montgomery County, MD’s Department of Housing and Community Development, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, CBRE Investors, and the Thai Community Development Center in Hollywood.
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On livable cities and sustainable transportation
While living in DC after my graduation from Smith College, where I earned my BA in Economics and minored in Education, I became interested in housing policy and decided to pursue graduate study in urban planning. After returning to Los Angeles to start my MA in urban planning at UCLA, I decided instead to focus on transportation policy and planning. In particular, I explored the use of social marketing as a scientifically-back framework to reinforce or change travel behavior.
While in graduate school, I worked for UCLA Transportation as a transportation planning intern and came on full-time to develop new TDM initiatives and launch its social media marketing efforts. UCLA operates one of the nation’s most comprehensive transportation demand management programs to manage peak-hour vehicle trips and curtail parking demand. I built their social media strategy from the ground up and advocated for using social media as a way to provide customer service. During that time, I briefly freelanced as a blogger for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where I wrote about data visualizations and other topics.
While working in fundraising, I remained engaged on topics related to transportation, land use, and housing in the Los Angeles area. I joined the board of the Southern California Streets Initiative in 2012 and served a term as the vice-chair. Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Westside Urban Forum, where I help bring together leaders and subject matter experts to discuss timely land use and planning issues through monthly panels that also act as networking events.
I currently live in Santa Monica, Calif. with my husband Juan and our family.