A Legislative and Regulatory Advocate with Shaw Yoder Antwih Schmelzer & Lange since 2015, Michael Pimentel works on behalf of several of the firm’s transportation clients, particularly on issues related to public transportation and climate change. In 2021, he took the reins as Executive Director of the California Transit Association. He previously served as the Association’s Deputy Executive Director and Legislative & Regulatory Advocate.
Prior to joining SYASL, Michael held various appointed positions in the administration of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., including in the Office of the Governor and at the California High-Speed Rail Authority, focused on policy and budget issues impacting transportation and environmental programs.
Michael was also the Media Monitoring Coordinator for the Brown for Governor 2010 campaign and has held various research positions throughout his career, including for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, the World Resources Institute, and the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.
Michael received a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2023, Michael was recognized for his advocacy on behalf of California’s transit industry in leading industry publications, including Capitol Weekly’s Top 100 and Mass Transit Magazine’s 40 under 40. Also, in 2023, he was named Transportation Advocate of the Year by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials – Northern California.
Michael currently serves on the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit Transformation Task Force, the California Energy Commission’s Advisory Committee for the Clean Transportation Investment Plan, and the Advisory Boards for the multicampus University of California’s Institutes of Transportation Studies, as well as for the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. He was a fellow with the New Leaders Council in 2015 and served on the NLC Sacramento Chapter’s Advisory Board from 2019 to 2021. He was a fellow for the California Association of Councils of Governments’ California Academy for Regional Leaders in 2019.