Serena Alexander

Associate Professor,  School for Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Associate Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering


Research Focus

Climate change, sustainable and resilient transportation systems, environmental policy


Dr. Serena Alexander joins CEE as an Associate Professor, jointly appointed with her home department in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. She received her PhD in Urban Studies and Public Affairs from Cleveland State University and has focused her studies on urban policy and development. Prior to joining Northeastern, she was a Visiting Scholar of Climate Policy and Resilience at the US Department of Transportation and a professor at San Jose State University. Her expertise in public and climate policy of the built and natural environment are a critical perspective for engineers to understand urban spaces and the effects of their work.


  • PhD, Urban Studies & Public Affairs, Cleveland State University, 2016

Research Overview

Climate change, sustainable and resilient transportation systems, environmental policy

Selected Publications

  • Salter, Benjamin, and Serena Alexander. “Getting There: The Effect of First and Last Mile Infrastructure and Services on Rail Ridership.” Transportation Research Record (2022).
  • Alexander, Serena, Asha Weinstein Agrawal, and Benjamin Clark. “Local Climate Action Planning as a Tool to Harness Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mitigation and the Equity Potential of Autonomous Vehicles and On-demand Mobility.” Transportation Research Record 2676, 3 (2022): 521-534.
  • Liu, Bernice, Amirarsalan Mehrara Molan, Anurag Pande, Jonathan Howard, Serena Alexander, and Zhiliang Luo. 2021. “Microscopic Traffic Simulation as a Decision Support System for Road Diet and Tactical Urbanism Strategies.” Sustainability 13, 14 (2021): 8076.
  • Voulgaris, Carole T., Reyhane Hosseinzade, Anurag Pande, and Serena E. Alexander. “Neighborhood Effects of Safe Routes to School Programs on the Likelihood of Active Travel to School.” Transportation Research Record 2675, 8 (2021): 10-21.
  • Alexander, Serena E. “Harnessing the Opportunities and Understanding the Limits of State-level Climate Action Plans in the United States.” Cities Journal, 99 (2020): 102622.


Jan 23, 2024

Shifting to High-Speed Rail in the US for a Decarbonized Future

CSSH/CEE Associate Professor Serena Alexander explains the necessary efforts and investments in rail infrastructure to introduce eco-friendly high-speed rail in the U.S.

Serena Alexander


Dec 19, 2023

New Faculty Spotlight: Serena Alexander

Serena Alexander joins the Civil and Environmental Engineering department in January 2024 as an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

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