Meet the Joint Venture Team

Karen Trapenberg Frick

Distinguished Fellow at Joint Venture’s Institute for Regional Studies

Karen Trapenberg Frick headshot Karen Trapenberg Frick, Ph.D., is an associate professor of city & regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an expert on sustainable transport, community-based planning and major transportation infrastructure projects. Dr. Frick is the Assistant Director of the University of California Transportation Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT).

As a Distinguished Fellow for Joint Venture’s Institute for Regional Studies, Dr. Frick collaborates with staff to incubate ideas and to publish papers. Institute Fellows have the opportunity to engage with Silicon Valley leaders, practitioners and decision-makers through the Institute’s sponsoring organization, Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Dr. Frick’s current research focuses on the politics and implementation of transportation infrastructure. This includes a book published on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s planning and development: Remaking the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge: A Case of Shadowboxing with Nature (2015). She has also published award-winning journal articles on the United States political Tea Party, and property rights activists' perspectives on planning and planners' responses. Dr. Frick is also affiliated with the Berkeley Infrastructure Initiative and Global Metropolitan Studies project. 

Prior to her university career, Dr. Frick was a transportation planner and project manager at the San Francisco Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission for nine years. She worked on a wide range of activities including the agency's Transportation for Livable Communities program, congestion pricing, transport funding and policy, and legislative analysis.

Her Doctoral degree in planning is from U.C. Berkeley. She received a Master's degree in planning and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is the recipient of a 2016 Award for Outstanding Faculty Advising from U.C. Berkeley’s Excellence in Advising Awards Program; and the 2019 STEM Partner Award with the College of Environmental Design Students of Color (CED-SOC) and “Low Income First Generation” (known as LIFgen) groups from Self-eSTEM.