Mederos, Carolina L.

Carolina L. Mederos

Principal

Carolina Mederos, co-chair of the firm’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Local Government Practice, counsels corporations, trade associations and local governments on congressional and executive branch policy, legislative and regulatory matters, with an emphasis on creative federal funding and infrastructure development. She has obtained billions of dollars for the firm’s major transportation, water and local government clients through authorizing legislation, appropriations, grants and innovative financing and has expanded market opportunities for private sector clients.

Carolina's substantive, comprehensive and creative strategies have consistently increased federal funding for public agency and local government clients in highways, transit, aviation, water, wastewater, economic development, urban revitalization, housing, law enforcement, health, historic preservation and other areas. To achieve maximum benefit for clients, she has developed and proposed new programs, changes in eligibility requirements and funding formulas and succeeded in getting them enacted into law.

She regularly assists major domestic and international corporations in removing outmoded and costly legislative, regulatory and policy barriers, expanding market access and increasing competition. She secured legislative and policy incentives promoting innovative project delivery and advanced technologies, saving time and money in transportation projects and creating market opportunities. She resolves complex Buy America, hazardous materials, motor carrier, rail, pipeline, maritime and vehicle safety legislative, regulatory and compliance issues in Congress and at the US Department of Transportation (DOT). 

Carolina’s strong knowledge of transportation, infrastructure and federal funding issues is a direct result of having been involved in the development of every surface transportation and aviation reauthorization proposal and DOT appropriations act over the last 30 years. Previously, Carolina served for more than 13 years in senior positions in the Office of the Secretary of DOT, including as deputy assistant secretary for Safety and as deputy assistant secretary for Policy and International Affairs. She also served as director of Programs and Evaluation, where she was responsible for developing and defending the entire Department’s authorizing and appropriations legislation before the Office of Management and Budget and Congress.

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Education

  • Vanderbilt University, B.A.
  • University of Chicago, M.A.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board of Directors, Washington Airports Task Force
  • President of the United States Award for Meritorious Executive
  • Gold Medal Recipient, Secretary of Transportation Award for Outstanding Achievement (the Department’s highest honor)
  • Secretary of Transportation Award for Meritorious Achievement
  • Department of Transportation Award for Superior Achievement



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  • The December 13, 2016 Infra-Americas article “US Market Continues March to Maturity” reported on the cautious optimism industry experts have for the P3 industry in 2017. President-elect Donald Trump emphasized infrastructure revitalization as a top priority during his campaign. Carolina Mederos expressed optimism for the coming year in large part to due to Trump’s nomination of Elaine Chao for Transportation Secretary. She opined Chao will be “open to private sector investment and creative solutions to transportation financing,” referencing her experience as Deputy Secretary of Transportation under President George H. W. Bush. Additionally, Carolina is optimistic for the WIFIA program, given the US$20 million Congress appropriated for new loans. She noted that EPA, who will administer WIFIA, is “ready to go” in terms of getting the program up and running, and one, she noted, could generate more water and wastewater P3s.
  • The November 16, 2016, Law360 article “4 Transportation Priorities to Watch For Under Trump,” reports that in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election, control of the transportation and infrastructure committees remained largely unchanged, “stoking optimism that President-elect Donald Trump will make good on campaign promises to invest and modernize transportation infrastructure.” Carolina commented that Trump’s proposal could provide significant and long-awaited opportunities for P3s to invest in major, high-cost, revenue-supported projects. “However,” she continued, “the question of how to fund the routine capital improvements needed to maintain and upgrade our transportation and infrastructure systems remains, as does finding sustainable, long-term sources for funding to augment or replace declining Highway Trust Fund revenues.”
  • The May 25, 2016, Savannah Morning News article “Chatham Area Transit Starts Conversation About Regional Transportation,” reports on the presentation FTD Board of Director Chuck Sisk delivered to members of Chatham Area Transit (CAT). Carolina is quoted as saying, “Transit-oriented development like what is happening in Denver is on CAT’s radar for future grant opportunities.”
    The article noted that Squire Patton Boggs is going after funding from the Federal Transit Administration’s Transit-Oriented Development grant program, in addition to grants under the FTA’s Mobility on Demand Sandbox Demonstration Program, and the Federal Highway Administration’s Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment grant program.
    During a presentation to CAT Board of Directors, Carolina said: “The key is, as with everything in life, to be very focused and to identify needs and priorities. The DOT has investment criteria. They have a narrative...They’re looking for transit not just to replace a bus because it’s old, they’re looking for downtown redevelopment, getting folks out of their cars, getting automobiles and trucks out of downtown, having integration between buses and walkability and bicycles, and something they call ladders of opportunity, which is making sure that buses really serve to get people to work...It seems obvious, but not everybody does that.”
    The April 13, 2016, Politico Influence article notes Carolina, along with firm colleagues former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) and Timothy Drake, are lobbying on behalf of Chatham Area Transit for federal grants for modernization of bus systems in the Savannah area.
  • An appropriations bill that would provide funding of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA) has yet to be introduced in the House of Representatives. Carolina told Infra-Americas in a May 6, 2016 article that “the EPA is ready to move ‘full steam ahead’ with the WIFIA program. Ms. Mederos, who helped author the WIFIA provision, added that “the agency wants to get the program up and running in FY2016.”
  • 'Advocates look to push WIFIA program forward' - First published Infra-Americas article, February 9, 2015. 'The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA) has the potential to spur more wastewater P3s but obstacles to implementation remain.' Co-Chair of the Squire Patton Boggs Transportation, Infrastructure & Local Government Public Policy Practice Carolina Mederos tells the publication that the assumption is 'debatable.' She noted that it is more logical to assume that the absence of WIFIA would mean result in a greater use of tax-exempt debt. 'Water infrastructure projects must be done, they are not optional,” Mederos said. “Without WIFIA, more projects would be done through tax exempt financing alone.' 
  • 'Take Me to the River' - First published P3 Bulletin article, September 25, 2014. Co-Chair of the Squire Patton Boggs Transportation, Infrastructure & Local Government Public Policy Practice Carolina Mederos was quoted in the article on replicating TIFIA for water P3s. As co-creator of WIFIA, she said 'we expect WIFIA to be a powerful tool for water P3s…the impact can be very significant.'
  • 'WIFIA backed despite funding concerns'  - First published P3 Bulletin article, August 7, 2014. Co-Chair of the Squire Patton Boggs Transportation, Infrastructure & Local Government Public Policy Practice Carolina Mederos was quoted discussing the recently passed Water Infrastructure, Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and the 'significant impact' on future water P3 projects. In the article, Carolina said 'there is already strong and growing interest in water P3s, and now WIFIA offers a financing mechanism that can help unleash more private sector investment and innovation…We expect WIFIA to be a powerful tool for water P3s.'
  • 'Squire Patton hires transport policy expert' - First published Infra-Americas article.  The announcement of Patricia Doersch, former Legislative Counsel for the American Public Transportation Association, joining the Squire Patton Boggs Transportation, Infrastructure and Local Government Public Policy Practice included a quote from Carolina Mederos. 'Her [Patty] time on the Hill and with DOT will be an asset for clients, who will benefit from an 'insider's' perspective, and we are thrilled to have her on board, especially as Congress commences to write a new surface transportation bill.'
  • 'Squire Patton hires transport policy expert' - first published in Infrastructure Investor. The announcement of Patricia Doersch, former Legislative Counsel for the American Public Transportation Association, joining the Squire Patton Boggs Transportation, Infrastructure and Local Government Public Policy Practice included a quote from Carolina Mederos. 'Her [Patty] time on the Hill and with DOT will be an asset for clients, who will benefit from an 'insider's' perspective, and we are thrilled to have her on board, especially as Congress commences to write a new surface transportation bill.'
  • 'Firm Announces Transportation, Infrastructure and Local Government Practice Leadership.' First published Private Funds Management article, July 29, 2014. News that Squire Patton Boggs Washington DC Principals Vicki Cram and Carolina Mederos are leading the firm’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Local Government Public Policy practice. 
  • 'Obama signs water resources litigation' - First published Infra-Americas article, June 11, 2014.  On June 10, President Barack Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. In the article, Carolina Mederos says 'While these amounts are much less than allocated to the TIFIA loan program, on which WIFIA is modeled, that is not the whole story.'

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, 'WIFIA: Innovative Financing to Address Water Infrastructure Needs and Accelerate Investment in Major Water Projects,' Squire Patton Boggs Panel/Webinar, Washington DC, September 17, 2014.
  • Speaker, 'Infrastructure Development in the United States, WIFIA,' Public Works Financing Briefing with Congressman John K. Delaney, New York, June 17, 2014.
  • Guest, 'The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority Provision of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act,' Capital Thinking Radio Show, May 29, 2014.
  • Guest, 'The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act,' Capital Thinking Radio Show, April 11, 2013.
  • Presenter, 'Elections 2012: What it Means for the Water Community,' American Waterworks Association (AMWA) Webcast, November 8, 2012.
  • Guest, 'Transportation Report,' Capital Thinking Podcast, November 8, 2010.
  • Guest, 'Surface Transportation and Reauthorization ,' Capital Thinking Radio Show, September 23, 2010.