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UCLA's Kidada Malloy Joins ICF

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

by Josie Liu, USC, B.A. Environmental Studies and B.S. Public Policy, Spring 2022

Environmental planning is a multidisciplinary field that involves developing plans for land use while balancing trade-offs between different sectors, including the natural environment, politics, and economics. Kidada Malloy, who graduated from UCLA in 2019 with her Master’s degree in Urban Planning, is familiar with this delicate balance and encounters it on a daily basis in her work. She began her career at ICF, an international consulting firm, in August of 2019 where she works as an Environmental Planner, specializing in transportation and energy development projects in California. Her work calls for a careful understanding of the holistic natures of transportation and environmental planning – both of which Malloy has directly and indirectly engaged with since her childhood.

 

Growing up in Los Angeles, Malloy heavily relied on alternative modes of transportation, namely public transit, biking, and walking. Malloy’s years of personal experience with LA’s public transport allowed her to develop intuitive and unique perspectives of the intersection of urban planning, transportation, and the natural world. Mobility and planning played such a big role in Malloy’s life that she decided to complete an advanced degree in Urban Planning at UCLA, along with several valuable internships.

 

While at UCLA, Malloy interned in the Mobility Corridors Department at LA Metro, working on  light rail transit corridor projects. Malloy noted that this internship afforded her numerous opportunities to work with planning professionals and learn more about collaborative planning projects. In fact, some of the professionals she met during her internship turned out to be the very planning experts that she interacts with regularly at her current job. Additionally, Malloy gained crucial perspectives into collaborating with parties other than planning professionals, including policy makers, business owners, and community members and officials. Her past experience has enabled her to connect with a variety of interest groups and create solutions that respond to and balance different priorities and needs.

 

 

At ICF Malloy is responsible for conducting California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance for numerous projects. Although at ICF for less than a year, she has already engaged with a wide range of clients. These clients include her previous employer, LA Metro, CalTrans, the California High Speed Rail Authority, the City of Irvine, Riverside County, and SoCal Edison. Malloy has been recognized for her ability to coordinate with both the public sector and private companies and she appreciates the chance to work on varied projects, which she noted as an advantage of taking initiative and working in a company with a welcoming culture. ICF’s flexible working hours and multiple locations are another part of the company culture that Malloy is particularly fond of.

 

Reflecting on her involvement in planning and mobility within the city, Malloy highlights the present and future of LA as being “in the midst of a transportation revolution.” She perceives the significant changes that mobility in LA is encountering and identifies this as a time with both challenges and opportunities. She plans to continue with her current position and direct her efforts towards expanding non-vehicle transportation options. Malloy leaves us with some food for thought, encouraging continuing students to be confident and courageous in reaching out to more professionals in their academic fields. “It is important to know professionals who can advocate for you and connect you to opportunities relevant to your interests,” said Malloy.

 

We are thrilled that we have change-makers like Kidada Malloy in the planning realm, and we can’t wait to see what more she accomplishes at ICF.

 

About the Author:

Josie Liu is a rising junior at USC double majoring in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. She is an international student from Shenzhen, China. At METRANS, Josie works as the communication coordinator and a newsletter writer. She is responsible for creating and publishing social media posts on Facebook and Instagram. Josie collaborates with the event team and assists with METRANS event setup and operation.