The American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township announced Reuben Sarkar has been named president and CEO following a national executive search. Mark Chaput, interim CEO, will transition oversight of the company to Sarkar effective May 4 and retain his role as COO.
Sarkar will oversee strategic direction of the smart city test center; work with the board of directors to accelerate the center’s development in mobility technology testing, standards, research, and education; and engage with government and mobility industry stakeholders.
“The board has full confidence that Reuben is the ideal leader for ACM as it continues to build strong partnerships and expand its capabilities and utilization,” says Cynthia Wilbanks, vice president of government relations at the University of Michigan and chair of the center’s board of directors. “Reuben brings proven leadership and experience in business growth, coupled with technical and innovative capabilities, and a passion for the mobility industry that ACM is designed to serve and partner with as we look to the future.”
Sarkar was most recently chief product officer of Forge Nano, a corporate venture-backed startup in Colorado for particle atomic layer deposition. He also worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, where he served as deputy assistant secretary for transportation. Earlier in his career, he worked at the former General Motors plant that previously stood on the center’s historic site in Willow Run.
“It is without a doubt ACM is positioned to make great strides for the mobility industry, and having worked at a variety of organizations at all levels of the industry, I believe I have the experience to help align the organization in a way that further propels ACM as the catalyst of mobility evolution and innovation,” says Sarkar.
A University of Michigan graduate, Sarkar has a degree in chemical engineering and a Master of Business Administration.
The center has gained year-over-year increases and continues to be recognized globally as a leading connected and autonomous vehicle technology test center. New developments include the groundbreaking of the center’s technology park and planned construction of an event product showcase venue, giving vehicle and technology companies new ways to integrate into the mobility ecosystem and demonstrate the capabilities of their innovations.
Earlier this year, AT&T renewed its investment and commitment as a technology partner to the center by signing an additional three-year agreement through 2023 and committing to add into the center infrastructure as a dedicated 5G Sub-6Ghz network for advanced research and testing capabilities at the facility.
“The American Center for Mobility contributes tremendously to our mobility ecosystem here in Michigan,” says Mark A. Burton, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “Reuben’s experience working with startups and navigating public policy serves as a strong foundation for his leadership at ACM as we make every effort to ensure Michigan remains the go-to state to build, test, and deploy the vehicles and transportation systems of the future.”
The center is an effort comprised of government, industry, and academic organizations focused on accelerating the mobility industry through research, testing, standards development, and educational programming. It is located on more than 500 acres at the historic Willow Run site.