Nixon, Hilary

Nixon, Hilary

Deputy Executive Director
Mineta Transportation Institute




Preferred: (408) 924-7564


  • Ph.D., Planning, Policy & Design, University of California Irvine, July 2006
  • M.A., International Business, National University, San Diego, CA, May 1996
  • B.A., Environmental Management, University of Rochester, NY, May 1993



Dr. Hilary Nixon is Deputy Executive Director for the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University (SJSU) where she oversees MTI’s research program and teaches in the Master of Science in Transportation Management program. Dr. Nixon is an active researcher and educator specializing in transportation and environmental planning and policy. Her research focuses primarily on the factors that influence pro-environmental behavior, transportation finance, and the relationship between transportation and the environment.

Dr. Nixon has conducted research and published on a wide variety of critical transportation issues, including sustainability, livability, public transit, women’s representation in the field, and more. In addition, she has presented at scores of academic and professional conferences, and her individual research has been published in peer-reviewed transportation and environment journals such as the Journal of Sustainability Education, the Journal of Public Transportation, the Journal of Environmental Management, the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Sustainability, Transportation, Transport Policy, Transportation Research Record, and many others. Her research has also been extensively covered in a wide range of popular media including: CityLab, Politico, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, among others. 

Prior to joining MTI, Dr. Nixon spent 12 years as full-time faculty in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning at San José State University (SJSU), where she held positions as Graduate Advisor, Associate Chair, and Department Chair, where she was responsible for long-term strategic and financial planning, accreditation, and teaching appointments for graduate and undergraduate programs. For her outstanding contributions and commitment to students, Dr. Nixon has been recognized with numerous awards and commendations, including Advisor of the Year in 2015, Outstanding Advisor Award in 2009, and both the Award for Academic Excellence and the Award for Planning Achievement by the American Planning Association, California Chapter. Dr. Nixon also served on many departmental and university committees, including those for research, assessment, and retention/tenure/promotion.

In her commitment to advancing transportation issues and supporting her community, Dr. Nixon has served a variety of roles at professional associations. She has served as an appointed member of NCHRP and TCRP research review panels, is an elected member of the California Planning Foundation, and serves as Secretary of the California Planning Roundation. Since 2017, she has served as co-chair of the Council of University Transportation Centers Student Awards Committee and also serve as a Director with ARTBA’s Research and Education Division. A strong proponent of advancing women in academia, research, and transportation, Dr. Nixon regularly advocates for women’s interests in her professional service roles. She served as Vice President of the Faculty Women’s Interest Group (FWIG) of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning from 2013-2015 and currently serves as chair of the Transportation Research Board AME20 Standing Committee on Women and Gender in Transportation.