Janette Sadik-Khan

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Janette Sadik-Khan
Janette Sadik-Khan.jpg
Sadik-Khan in 2009
Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation
In office
April 13, 2007 – December 31, 2013
Appointed byMichael Bloomberg
Personal details
Born (1960-04-28) April 28, 1960 (age 62)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMark Geistfeld
EducationOccidental College (BA)
Columbia University (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Janette Sadik-Khan (born April 28, 1961) is a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (2007–2013)[1] and an advisor on transportation and urban issues. She works for Bloomberg Associates, a philanthropic consultancy established by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that advises mayors around the world to improve the quality of life for their residents.[2] She serves as chairperson for the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), a coalition of the transportation departments of 40 large cities nationwide.

Early life and education[edit]

Sadik-Khan was born in San Francisco, California, and moved to New York City as a child. She is the daughter of Orhan Idris Sadik-Khan (1929-2007), managing director of UBS Paine Webber, and his first wife Jane McCarthy, an environmental pioneer, one of the founders of Citizens for Clean Air in NYC, an urban preservationist, Chief Administrator Officer at the Municipal Art Society, and currently an advocate for criminal justice reform. Orhan Sadik-Khan was born in Finland,[3] and grew up in Berlin and Cairo, son of Afghan parents; his father was an imam, and his mother a paediatrician.[4][5][6]

She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.[7]


Sadik-Khan worked in the New York City Department of Transportation during the administration of David Dinkins and became the mayor's transportation advisor. Sadik-Khan subsequently worked as deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration at the United States Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C. under President Bill Clinton,[8] and she was a senior vice president at Parsons Brinckerhoff,[9] an international transportation engineering firm.

NYC DOT[edit]

Sadik-Khan was appointed transportation commissioner by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007 and served in that role until 2013. Her tenure was marked by significant changes to New York City streets and public spaces, including the conversion of road space into bike lanes and into pedestrian plazas, notably along Broadway at Times Square and Herald Square.[10] Called a "bicycle visionary" by the New York Times,[11] "equal parts Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses,"[12] by New York magazine, and one of "The Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time" by Slate,[13] Sadik-Khan oversaw the building of nearly 400 miles of bike lanes[14] and more than 60 pedestrian plazas[15] in New York City,[16] and she worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to create seven rapid bus routes across the city.[17] She led the creation of Citi Bike, a bike share network of 6,000 bikes—the nation's largest—which has since been expanded to 12,000 bikes in three boroughs.[18] Over her six and a half years in office, approximately 180 acres[19] of former New York City road space for motor vehicles was converted to use by bicycles and pedestrians, and another 44 acres designated as bus-only lanes.

Sadik-Khan's time in office was also marked by media controversy over her policies, and encountered sometimes vocal opposition. The transportation department was sued over the placement of bike lanes and bike share racks, and some projects were criticized in the news media. Despite the controversy, the bike lane, plaza and bike share programs that Sadik-Khan introduced were consistently supported in citywide polls[20][21][22][23][24][25][26] by majorities of New Yorkers, and all lawsuits were ultimately dismissed[27] or have yet to lead to the removal of any lane.

Bloomberg Associates[edit]

At Bloomberg Associates, she advises city mayors on transportation practices,[28] including in Los Angeles, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Oakland and Athens, and she speaks at international forums.


She is the author of the book "Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution,"[29] based on her experience as commissioner and her new role as global transportation advisor.

Honors, awards and associations[edit]


  • 2011 Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism, Rockefeller Foundation[30]
  • 2012 Rachel Carson Award, National Audubon Society[31]
  • 2013 Design Patron Award, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum[32]
  • 2012 George S. Lewis Award, American Institute of Architects[33]
  • 2012–2013 Lawrence M. Orton Award, American Planning Association[34]
  • 2011/2012 Edmund N. Bacon Memorial Award, Philadelphia Center for Architecture[35]
  • 2012 Smart Solution Spotlight Award, ITS America[36]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Mark Geistfeld,[37] a professor at New York University School of Law, with whom she has one child.


  1. ^ NBCNews.com Video Player, retrieved 2016-09-06
  2. ^ Barbaro, Michael (2013-12-14). "Bloomberg Focuses on Rest (as in Rest of the World)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  3. ^ Some sources state Laghman, Afghanistan
  4. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths SADIK, KHAN, ORHAN". The New York Times. 2007-08-07. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  5. ^ Who Was Who in America 2006-2007 With World Notables, ed. Kerry N. Morrison, Marquis Who's Who, 2007, p. 208
  6. ^ Who's Who in Finance and Industry, Marquis Who's Who, 1971, p. 776
  7. ^ "Janette Sadik-Khan biography". Bloomberg Associates. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  8. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (2011-03-04). "Janette Sadik-Khan, Lionized and Criticized". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  9. ^ Neuman, William (2007-04-28). "New Transportation Commissioner Is Named". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  10. ^ "NYC DOT – Facts on the Green Light for Midtown project and Broadway north of 47th Street". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  11. ^ Bruni, Frank (2011-09-10). "Janette Sadik-Khan, Bicycle Visionary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  12. ^ "Honk, Honk, Aaah". NYMag.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  13. ^ Oremus, Will (2011-08-09). "Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Transportation Commissioner". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  14. ^ "NYC DOT – Bicyclists – Past Bicycle Projects". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  15. ^ "NYC DOT – NYC Plaza Program Sites". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  16. ^ "The Bike Wars Are Over, and the Bikes Won". Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Bus Rapid Transit – Routes". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  18. ^ "About Citi Bike: Company, History, Motivate | Citi Bike NYC". Citi Bike NYC. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  19. ^ "NYC DOT Press Releases – Mayor Bloomberg, NYC DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan Release Report on Six Years of Building the Safest Streets in City History, Implementing Innovative Roadway Redesigns That Have Expanded Travel Options, Saved Lives and Enhanced Economic Vitality". www.nyc.gov. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  20. ^ University, Quinnipiac. "QU Poll Release Detail". QU Poll. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  21. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (18 March 2011). "New Yorkers Support Bicycle Lanes, Poll Finds". Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  22. ^ University, Quinnipiac. "QU Poll Release Detail". QU Poll. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  23. ^ University, Quinnipiac. "QU Poll Release Detail". QU Poll. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  24. ^ University, Quinnipiac. "QU Poll Release Detail". QU Poll. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  25. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M.; Connelly, Marjorie (2012-08-21). "Most New Yorkers Say Bike Lanes Are a Good Idea". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  26. ^ Barbaro, Michael; Thee-brenan, Megan (2013-08-16). "Poll Shows New Yorkers Are Deeply Conflicted Over Bloomberg's Legacy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  27. ^ "Judge Rejects Plaza Hotel's Citi Bike Lawsuit | Streetsblog New York City". Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  28. ^ "Transportation | Bloomberg Associates". www.bloombergassociates.org. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  29. ^ Sadik-Khan, Janette; Solomonow, Seth (2016-03-08). Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. Viking. ASIN B00ZQH30TU.
  30. ^ "2011 Jane Jacobs Medalists Champion City Life". Archpaper.com. 2011-10-07. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  31. ^ "The Rachel Carson Award Honorees". 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  32. ^ "NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan Selected as Design Patron of 2013 National Design AwardsCooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum | Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum". Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. 2013-09-19. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  33. ^ "AIA New York Chapter : Press Releases". aiany.aiany.org. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  34. ^ "American Planning Association, NY Chapter, 2012–2013 Annual Report" (PDF).
  35. ^ "Award Recipients | Center / Architecture + Design". philadelphiacfa.org. Retrieved 2016-09-06.[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "NYC's Midtown in Motion Receives National Transportation Award". www.itsa.org. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  37. ^ "Ms. Sadik-Kahn Weds Mark Geistfeld". The New York Times. 1990-07-15. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-06.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Transportation Commissioner of New York City
Succeeded by