Experts With Business Acumen
At Acumen, our experienced consultants have the brain power and technical skills to improve transportation infrastructure and mobility throughout the world. We have pooled our talent and moxie to build a diverse, inclusive organization that inspires our employees, partners and clients to develop sustainable transportation solutions that will help save the planet for future generations.
Meet Our Leadership Team
Walter E. Allen
CEO & Citizen of the World
Former U.S. Navy officer, Walter E. Allen is chief executive officer and principal-in-charge for numerous project management and project controls, systems engineering and technological innovation projects. He is an active California High Speed Rail Business Advisory Council Member and a Brandywine Workshop Board Member. For over 25 years, since founding Acumen, some of his greatest achievements have been to oversee the development of contactless fare collection technology solutions in use by major transit agencies and to create jobs for young engineers fresh out of college. Walter is passionate about green transportation, models the core values he instills in his staff and steers the ship with gratitude, respect and a penchant for adventure (and art!).
Human Resources Manager
From the very first phone call or email, Marlene Barrett makes it a point to advocate for the well-being of potential candidates and employees. As human resources manager for over two decades, she works closely with management and leads the search for and onboarding of experts and support personnel to ensure that departments are staffed to match anticipated business demands. Some of her professional achievements include supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace and going to bat for employees to ensure they have a competitive benefits package. Marlene values a strong work ethic and is renowned for her attention to detail and excellent communications, problem solving, interpersonal and organizational skills.
Financial manager and controller, Elizabeth Chege adeptly manages the accounting department and staff and multimillion-dollar budgets — and is responsible for accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, month-end close and financial reports and statements. She has cultivated her accounting, analysis and supervision skills for over 30 years, and has achieved a new level of accounting excellence for Acumen. Whether she works closely with an auditor, client or Acumen’s CEO, her priority is to fight for and protect Acumen’s fiscal health.
Director of Workforce Development
Acumen’s Workforce Development Program was conceived by Gian Fiero, who oversees the program and is in contact with Acumen employees to ensure they have a clear path to career advancement and the training they need. An excellent communicator with a background in social sciences, Gian embodies Acumen’s core values and assists the business development team in fostering partner and client relationships. He also supports diversity in the workplace and developed the video, Acumen: A truly diverse company.
On a daily basis, Tamara Halbritter uses her background in communications and expertise as a project manager and professional writer to lead Acumen’s business development team and oversee project controls teams for clients. She enjoys collaborating to produce winning proposals — especially those that contribute to more sustainable transportation — and is proud of her work to oversee the redesign of Acumen’s website. Tamara is trying to bring back the use of good grammar and supports diversity and women in transportation.
Program and Project Manager
A professional engineer registered in the states of California and Washington and licensed in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, Robert Pilgrim provides program and/or project oversight of planning, design and construction on complex, multidisciplinary infrastructure projects including urban public transit, light rail transit, high-speed rail and freight rail. His many successful international assignments — from the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia and Iraq to South Korea — give him a unique world view, which informs his leadership. Robert values putting clear plans in place and regular communication between all parties involved to reduce project risk.