Albert Shen is a Senior Mobility Advisor to the Toyota Motor Corporation where he is advising Toyota on next generation Smart City mobility innovation & investment strategies. He is also part of the Toyota Global Mobility Foundation team where he is developing a new U.S. city strategy for the foundation to make impactful mobility investments across the U.S. Previously, he was appointed by President Obama to be the National Deputy Director of the U.S Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. His role was to create U.S. jobs by developing federal polices; new impact investment models and other new business innovation initiatives that promote the growth and global competitiveness of businesses owned and operated by minority and immigrant business owners. Shen leveraged his background as a minority business owner himself for 15 years as CEO of Shen Consulting, Inc., a successful infrastructure engineering consulting firm that developed projects such as the Seattle Tacoma International Airport’s Rental Car Facility Program (a $400 million program) to advance federal & local governmental policy in order for minority businesses to grow. During his time in Seattle he was also appointed by the Washington State Governor to serve as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Community Colleges. In 2013, he took the step to be a political candidate and ran for Seattle City Council in order to advocate for small businesses. His experience in the private, governmental, and political sectors offers a unique look into how business, politics and government can collaborate to strengthen American enterprise and ultimately, our economy future. He is passionate about the power of unlocking the nation’s potential for continued economic strength and success through innovative diverse teams, leveraging diverse talent to conduct business globally and leveraging government resources and programs to help move local communities forward.
Mobility and Smart City Advisor; Entrepreneur; Small Business Innovation Leader; Former Presidential Appointee to the Obama Administration at the United States Department of Commerce
Mr. Shen is a former Presidential Appointee during the Obama Administration in the United States Department of Commerce and is now a Senior Mobility Advisor to the Toyota Motor Corporation where he is advising Toyota on next generation Smart City mobility innovation strategies & investments.
The recent explosion of technology integration with the transportation industry has rapidly disrupted traditional transportation legacy planning methodologies. The number of options and the traveler information available to the everyday citizen has created a new dynamic in which anyone can call a car or request product delivery at the touch of a button. Cities across the nation are developing new smart city initiatives to integrate open data with new transportation systems so that people can move more freely in their communities. New public transportation systems are being thought of as critical foundational systems to the smart city initiatives that will get people out of their cars and into reduced carbon footprint transportation systems. With auto sales peaking in the U.S. market and increased competition from hi-tech companies that are developing autonomous and electric vehicles, legacy automakers are being forced to change their business models in order to maintain their edge on the next generation of mobility. Mr. Shen’s recent senior level experience with the Toyota Motor Corporation along with his past federal government background gives him unique insight on the future of mobility and how U.S. cities and supply chains must rapidly position themselves to plan for future mobility platforms and initiatives. Theme topics:
- What is the new Mobility Revolution and how does public policy need to change?
- New technologies in Mobility and the impact on cities.
- Electric vehicles, Hydrogen fuel cells, autonomous cars and flying cars.
- How is the automobile industry changing to meet the demands of the new-shared economy?
Serving as National Deputy Director of the Minority Business Development Administration (MBDA) under the Obama Administration, Shen not only brings valuable insights regarding the key barriers that minority and immigrant communities face, but also how to uniquely break through them in the current racial climate. He had direct experience working on finding economic solutions in the aftermath of the Ferguson and Baltimore civil unrest. For example, there is clear discrimination in the dollar values and number of contracts available for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) as quantified and reported in a study Shen and his team commissioned in December 2016, “Contracting Barriers and Factors Affecting Minority Business Enterprises”. The highest ratio disparities are in sectors such as construction, professional services, architecture, engineering services and goods and supplies. Shen is passionate about sharing ways that local governments and corporations can systemically change their economic development models that enable minority communities to grow and create jobs.
This last Presidential election changed the political paradigm on how elections are won and exposed how the current political establishment in both major parties failed the everyday middle class American by turning the White House back to the Baby Boomers. The 2008 Great Recession wiped out the most net worth of the Generation X and with the White House now back in the hands of a Baby Boomer, domestic economic and foreign policy have regressed back to old quarrels and grudges of the Baby Boomer generation, leaving the Gen-X and Millennials even further behind. Mr. Shen (a Gen X) has the unique experience of having climbed out of the 2008 recession as a Gen-X small business owner; being a bundler fundraiser for the Obama campaign in 2012; running for a local elected office in 2013 then working in the Obama Administration as a senior executive service appointee in the last two and half years of the Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He offers a unique and engaging dialogue on how a successful small business owner can make major impact on business policy by serving in politics and public service. During his time in the Obama Administration, he applied his entrepreneurial skills and worked on generational transformational policies within the federal government and concurrently witnessed the failings of the Democratic Party establishment on how the direction of a single Presidential election altered the world’s challenges for future generations.