Sharon Leader was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana . She has been involved with the transportation industry for over 38 years and has been a professional consultant for three decades. Through her years of experience in the fields of urban planning and transportation, she has proven to be adept at taking projects from “idea to implementation” and has earned the respect of many experts in the field.

With a reputation as a problem-solver, Sharon has consulted on projects for parishes statewide including the Tammany Trace master plan, the Gulf Coast Maglev (a proposed magnetic levitation project), and the Pontchartrain Trace multi-parish bike path around Lake Pontchartrain. Some of her clients have included the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, the Regional Planning Commission, the City of Kenner and the Louisiana Steam Train Association.


Sharon Leader is skilled in transportation issues & logistics, strategic planning, contract management, coordinating with business and governmental officials to expedite projects, executing operations, negotiating difficult issues, meeting with community groups and boards, as well as defining and developing standards. Experienced in civic engagement, scheduling, coordinating projects, and organizing resources, she has extensive knowledge of complex policy issues.

Experienced in:

  • executing contracts and ensuring timely completion of deliverables
  • providing logistical analysis
  • collaborating with affected agencies and stakeholders
  • scheduling, training, and monitoring staff
  • administration and monitoring of contract requirements
  • working effectively within difficult deadlines.

Leader is knowledgeable in governmental compliance, DOT regulations. Knowledgeable of governmental and regulatory rules and guidelines.  She has conducted in-depth transportation research, prepared detailed reports, attended various transportation-related meetings and conferences, and coordinated directly with government and agency officials, civic and business leaders, academic researchers, and community groups.


  • Masters of Social Work (M.S.W.) Degree – Tulane University; New Orleans, LA 
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Psychology  – Newcomb College; New Orleans, LA
  • High School Diploma – Isidore Newman High School; New Orleans, LA

Work History

  • Founder / Transportation Consultant; 1991 to Present
    S. W. LEADER Inc. / Leader & Oiler, Inc.; New Orleans, LouisianaFounder and Transportation Consultant for S. W. LEADER Inc.,  a Louisiana Certified, Woman-Owned business entity and corporation recognized as a DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) by the Regional Transit Authority, the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development, and the Regional Planning Commission.Regarded as a subject matter expert, she maintains a deep knowledge of mass transit systems, bikeways and pedestrian paths, maglev and light rail technologies, transportation and parking issues and trends, water and land transportation, public participation in proposed projects, and the use of focus groups.  Check out our Projects

    Director of Marketing; 1987 to 1991
    JoEllen Smith Psychiatric Hospital; New Orleans, Louisiana
    Director of Special Programs, Marketing, & Intergovernmental Relations; 1983 to 1987

    New Orleans Regional Transit Authority; New Orleans, Louisiana

    Executive Director; 1975 to 1982
    Big Brothers; New Orleans, Louisiana


  • Professional Women’s Council (PWC), Board Member
  • World Trade Center (WTC), Board Member
  • Advocacy Center of LA (ACLA), Board Member
  • Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO), Board Member
  • New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI), Alumna
  • Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum (BBMLF), Alumna
  • Institute of Politics (IOP), Fellow
  • Committee of 21, Board Member