Ms. Spanhake is currently the Associate Director, Development and Finance, at the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies. In this position, she provides leadership for the Center in identifying program opportunities, securing funding, directing programs, and managing staff; provides strategic direction on financial management, including oversight of all financial and administrative functions for the Center; and leads program development and program delivery activities. As a member of the CTS Leadership Team, Dawn helps guide all aspects of the Center’s operations, including policy development, strategic positioning, resource allocation, and staff development.
Dawn is active in the Transportation Research Board, where she currently serves as chair of the Women's Issues in Transportation and participates on the planning committee for the 6th International Conference on Women’s Issues in Transportation. Dawn is a member of WTS International, where she has chaired national committees and has held several positions on the Minnesota chapter board of directors. Previously she was a member of the Edina Transportation Commission, an advisory committee for the Edina, Minnesota, City Council. Dawn has also served as president of the University's Institute of Technology (now College of Science and Engineering) Alumni Society and was a member of the ITS Minnesota board.
Dawn holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and is a registered professional engineer in Minnesota. Prior to her work with the University, Dawn was a project manager and structural engineer at HNTB, where she participated in the design of bridges and tunnels, performed construction inspection, and provided CADD training throughout the firm.