Sharon Z. Roerty, a national expert on bicycling and walking initiatives in cities and suburbs, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2011 as senior program officer. Her work at the Foundation has focused on children and obesity, and making the connections between health and other sectors including: urban design, infrastructure, transportation, housing, and environmental policies and investments.
Previously, Roerty was executive director of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW), an RWJF program, and was director of the Active Living Resource Center (ALRC), which provided resources and tools to make walking and bicycling part of a community’s healthy lifestyle. In these capacities, she was a principal spokesperson on national transportation and related issues. She focused on environmental, transportation, and land use planning, and on building public capacity for change. Roerty viewed changes during her time at NCBW in light of Van Gogh’s saying: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”
For several years, Roerty managed the multibillion dollar capital improvement program for the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the fourth largest metropolitan planning organization in the United States. She also developed and directed New Jersey’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Resource Center at the Voorhees Transportation Center. And as a principal planner and project manager for several environmental management firms, she oversaw regional environmental growth and impact studies for land development projects in New Jersey and New York.
Roerty was appointed to the Federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Task Force by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). She was a member of the America Bikes Board of Directors, SRTS National Review Group, and was a review committee member for the USDOT Pedestrian Safety Program Strategic Plan. She is currently serving on the Regional Plan Association’s Committee to create a long-range strategic plan for the New York metropolitan region. She has been a long-time member of the NJ Council of Physical Fitness and Sports. Roerty earned her BS in environmental science from Stockton State College; a Master's degree in City and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.) from Rutgers University; and was a Leadership NJ Fellow (2004). A member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, she is a Licensed Professional Planner, State of New Jersey.