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Learn More

View Full Profile


Explore some of Jeff's latest developments.

Tracking Tracks

Check Jeff's progress on riding every route mile of every major rail-based transportation system.

Speaking Engagements

Find some of Jeff's latest talks.


Get in touch.

Jeff Kessler

For more than a decade, Jeff Kessler has led organizations to adopt technological changes and implement process improvements to advance their businesses and delight their customers… even in highly-regulated sectors. As a systems optimizer with a passion for the transportation industry, his unparalleled work and board experience spans the public and private sides of every major transit network in the Northeast (Amtrak, WMATA, SEPTA, MTA NYCT, MBTA CR).

Jeff currently serves as the Director of Innovation at Keolis Commuter Services — the “catalyst of change” (as coined by his boss) for the Boston-based subsidiary of global mobility provider Keolis — where he’s charged with leading the Innovation Office to solicit ideas, deliver process improvements, implement best practices, and benchmark operations across the MBTA Commuter Rail’s nearly 400-mile network throughout the Boston region.

His work has been recognized numerous times, including having been named to MassTransit Magazine’s signature 40 Under 40 list in 2023 and having earned the Jack R. Gilstrap Award from the American Public Transit Foundation in 2017, two of the industry’s highest honors.

Jeff holds four degrees from the University of Pennsylvania: a BSE and MSE in Systems Engineering, a BS Economics from The Wharton School’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology (M&T), and a Regulatory & Technology Law Master in Law from Penn Law. He is the Founder and Principal of KASDAT Consulting, an Emeritus Member of the Delaware River Port Authority Citizens Advisory Committee, a founding co-chair of the annual TransportationCamp PHL conference, and organizer of the TransportationCamp New England conference. Jeff also served as the the longest-tenured chair of the SEPTA Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and inaugural Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT).

Current Endeavors

Keolis Commuter Services

Director of Service Delivery Innovation

Leading the organization’s innovation initiatives by leveraging technology and adopting best practices to deliver process and customer experience enhancements across the railroad.

KASDAT Consulting

Founder and Principal

Provide independent strategic and implementation guidance to firms and private individuals looking to leverage data, automate processes, and train their workforce to do the same.

Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT)

Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Leading the new Mid-Atlantic regional board of Young Professionals in Transportation, accounting for more than 1/3 of the organization’s international membership.

Responsible for the existing NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC chapter areas, plus supporting the states of NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, and WV. Establishing inter-chapter partnerships, supporting new chapter formation, and creating programming for those outside of existing chapter catchment areas.


TransportationCamp PHL


Hosted the world’s first virtual transportation conference, having led the pivot to a virtual event a mere four weeks prior to the conference (in response to the COVID-19 pandemic). Subsequently consulted with six other organizations on conference virtualization techniques & strategies.

Since bringing the transportation industry’s most dynamic conference format to the City of Brotherly Love in 2018, TransportationCamp PHL has enabled industry professionals and passionate hobbyists to connect over transportation, technology, and urbanism in partnership with YPT and WTS.

Visit http://transportationcamp.org/ for details.

Delaware River Port Authority CAC

Emeritus Member

Provide industry knowledge and expertise to the official independent advisory board of the Delaware River Port Authority. Served as Transit Committee Co-Chair and Recording Secretary during prior 3-year appointment (confirmed by DRPA Board and Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor).


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Experience Across the Corridor

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SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority)

✔ Functioned as an internal consultant identifying and evaluating potential customer service initiatives.
✔ Authored report and developed LINDO optimization model proposing 35 initiatives designed through field work, observation, market research, social media, historical records, and external agency collaboration.
✔ Oversaw multiple focus groups, analyzed results, and evaluated surveys to assess initiative performance.
✔ Administered and hosted more than 15 SEPTA Customer Connection events at various area destinations.

Keolis Commuter Services (Operator of the MBTA Commuter Rail)


✔ 4th Term Chairing Organization Charged with Representing Interests of Youth in the Greater Philadelphia Region
✔ Analyze $1.36B Operating Budget, $534.5M Capital Budget, $6.8B Capital Program, and Annual Service Plan
✔ Formulate Reports on Operational Improvements and Present Findings to Board of Directors and Executive Staff
✔ Responsible for bringing a “U-Pass” Discounted Student Fare Program to students in the Greater Philadelphia Region

MTA New York City Transit

✔ Formed and directed “ORCA Select” team as Project Manager to establish platform for improving Operations Research Computation Analysis (ORCA) tool’s ease-of-use and agency adoption.
✔ Assembled Plus/Delta evaluation through field surveys and 7 self-conducted interdepartmental focus groups
✔ Restructured training model, leading to a unitary increase in both training and platform satisfaction

WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority)

✔ Automated Daily Service Reports (freeing 3.25 wks/yr), coded tool to restore archive of 26k photos, built ridership metric tool
✔ Created WiFi Portal, built App Gallery, helped transition Metro to new website, led two developer events
✔ Analyzed and proposed improvements to rail/bus operating centers, next train prediction algorithms, incident monitoring/response, service disruption operational regularity, and customer experience/communication


✔ Advised CETC (Train Management) Quality Control Team, Dispatch, and assisted in NE Corridor Routing.
✔ Supported designing of track structures and curve layouts; tracked Acela train on-time-performance.

Delaware River Port Authority

✔ Review Board Financials to ensure DRPA operations serve the best interests of PATCO riders
✔ Youngest member by more than 10 years; Appointment Overseen by Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley

Keolis Commuter Services (MBTA Commuter Rail Operator)

Director of Innovation, Since February 2024

Keolis Commuter Services

Director of Service Delivery Innovation, 5/21-2/24

Keolis Commuter Services

Sr. Application Specialist – Service Delivery, 1/19-5/21

Keolis Commuter Services

Application Specialist – Service Delivery, 6/18-12/18

Keolis Commuter Services

Application Specialist – Passenger Services, 9/17-6/18

SEPTA Youth Advisory Council

Four Terms as Executive Chairperson (2013-2017); Member 3/13-9/17

Delaware River Port Authority

Citizens Advisory Committee Emeritus Member (Fmr. Appointment 12/14-8/17; Transit Co-Chair, Recording Secretary)


Digital Customer Experience Initiatives, Summer 2016

MTA New York City Transit

System Data & Research (SDR), Summer 2015


Customer Development & Improvement Special Projects, Summer 2014

The Transit Navigator

Founded 2012


Engineering Department, September 2010 – May 2011


Systems Engineering

Nothing we encounter functions in isolation; rather, everything is a set of components with complex interdependencies. Systems engineering utilizes engineering methodologies, optimization techniques, and sensitivity analyses to improve these systems.

Behavioral Economics

Why do optimized systems often fail? They regularly make incorrect assumptions about human behavior and rationality. Behavioral Economics provides a toolkit for analyzing decisions, optimizing systems, and developing creative solutions in light of known behavioral biases and decision processing.

Business & Finances

Virtually every system we encounter is governed by money and finances. Acting as the life-blood behind many systems, quite simply, solid financial understanding is critical to robust decision-making.

Policy & Law

Sometimes the most critically-overlooked component of decision making is that of policy and legal implications. Knowing how to design and build systems within a complex regulatory environment along with an understanding of effective policy crafting is required for modern success.

Graduate & Undergraduate Education

Undergrad — Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology

Concurrently pursued degrees from Wharton and Penn Engineering in UPenn’s oldest coordinated dual degree program.

Positions: M&T Program Student Board, Penn Transit Advisory Board, Robotics Program Teaching Assistant

Class of 2016

Masters — University of Pennsylvania

First student to pursue an interdisciplinary program in Engineering and Law / Technology Policy.

Positions: Penn Transit Advisory Board, Electrical & Systems Engineering Senior Design

Class of 2017

The Wharton School

Bachelor of Science in Economics, 2016

Concentration in Behavioral Economics

Penn Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, 2016

Major in Systems Science & Engineering

Penn Law

Master in Law, 2017

Regulatory & Technology Law Track

Penn Engineering

Master of Science in Engineering, 2017

Major in Systems Engineering

Select Recognitions

Mass Transit 40 Under 40 Honoree, 2023

Named to Mass Transit’s 2023 40 Under 40 list, honoring professionals who have made significant contributions to the public transit industry.

American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Jack R. Gilstrap Scholarship, 2016

APTF’s Highest Award in Public Transportation

Richard K. Dentel Award

for Excellence in Urban Transportation

Norman Gross Award, 2016

for Excellence in Systems Design

American Mensa

Mensa Member

Johns Hopkins CTY

Visual-Spatial Ability National High Honors Award

Davidson Institute for Talent Development

Davidson Young Scholar

Additional Information & Endeavors

Technical Skills


Extensive Knowledge

Excel (w/ Optimization Tools)

Extensive Knowledge


Working Knowledge


Working Knowledge

Project Management

Trained in Best Practice Project Management

Cognitive Task Analysis / Human Factors

Trained in Usability Testing, Task Analysis / CTA, System Evaluation, and Automation


Extensive Knowledge; 9+ Successful Deployments

Volunteer Organizations

Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver Field Safety Volunteer

Fantastic Friends Social Group

Former Volunteer Staff Member & Web Integration Director

Penn For Youth Debate

Former Tournament Director, Website Manager, Executive Board Member, & Coach

M&T Student Board

Former Webmaster, Communications Chair, & Alumni Advisor

Conference Organization

TransportationCamp Philadelphia

Co-Founding Event Chair (2018-Present)

EduCon Conference

“EduConcierge” Founder | Chief Process Engineer | Alumni Consultant

The Franklin Institute

Galileo Conference | Workshop Design

Philly Tech Week

“School 2.0“ Co-Chair, 2011

Philadelphia Science Festival

Organizer & Exhibit Leader, 2011

Teaching & Speaking

Electrical & Systems Engineering Senior Design

TA, Penn Engineering, University of Pennsylvania

Robotics in The Classroom

TA, Teachers Institute of Philadelphia

Previous Education & Specialized Programs

Science Leadership Academy, Class of 2012

Long Island School for the Gifted, Class of 2008

Rail Transportation Program

Michigan Technological University

Dolan DNA Learning Center

DNA Restriction Analysis