New York Board Members 

Kate Speir, ASTM North America Inc., Senior Vice President  

As Senior Vice President, Development of ASTM NA, Ms. Speir focuses on the strategic delivery and execution of large scale transportation P3 projects. Ms. Speir brings over 20 years of experience in the construction services and infrastructure sector having working with major global infrastructure developers and construction companies focusing on transportation, including; highways, bridges, airports and rail. She has successfully led and executed numerous deals in both the US and Canada, collectively valuing over $20 billion. Ms. Speir has a Honors BA from University of Toronto, as well as Negotiations and Project Management credentials from Harvard Business School, and University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, respectively. ​Kate is passionate about the professional empowerment of women and has served as Program Committee Chair for the Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards (3-year term) as well as contributed to numerous mentoring programs. Kate is also a Board Member of the Insurgo Foundation, an organization focusing on bringing food justice to disadvantaged youth. 

Sarah Fitts, Schiff Hardin LLP, Partner
Ms. Fitts is a corporate partner, and a member of the Corporate and Transactional, M& A and Energy Groups at Schiff Hardin LLP. She has extensive experience representing a broad range of clients in the U.S. and globally. Her practice focuses on M&A transactions, projects and restructurings, as well as navigating the unique issues presented by joint ventures and other multi-party governance arrangements. She describes herself as an M&A lawyer who likes electrons, and has led many energy and infrastructure project legal teams over her career, including the development of the Salem Harbor Power Station and recent investments by Japanese utilities in US IPP projects. Prior to joining Schiff Hardin, Ms. Fitts was a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Ms. Fitts earned a BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her JD at Harvard Law School. Ms. Fitts reads and speaks Japanese. Ms. Fitts serves on the board of the Regional Plan Association. Pro Bono efforts have included work for a variety of organizations, including the Global LPG Partnership, an organization dedicated to solving one of the most intractable human health, climate and energy challenges in the developing world, the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy and Scenic Hudson. 

Tatiana Monastyrskaya, Skadden - Energy and Infrastructure Projects Group, Partner 

Tatiana Monastyrskaya is a partner in Skadden's Energy and Infrastructure Projects group. She represents banks and borrowers in project development and finance, with an emphasis on project finance. Ms. Monastyrskaya has handled numerous project financings in the energy and infrastructure sectors, including midstream oil and gas, LNG, petrochemicals, renewables and transportation infrastructure projects. She represents the Department of Energy in connection with its loan guarantee program, the Department of Transportation in connection with the TIFIA credit program, and investors and sponsors in tax equity transactions. She also represents refineries and banks in intermediation transactions, and a leading nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer in connection with finance and new construction matters. Ms. Monastyrskaya is a graduate of Moscow State University, and earned her Ph.D. from City University of Hong Kong and her JD from George Washington University School of Law.

Melissa Richards, Brookfield, Senior Vice President - Head of Infrastructure Project Management 

Melissa Richards is a Senior Vice President and Head of Infrastructure Project Management within the Private Funds Group. Ms. Richards is responsible for the development, structuring and launch of new private funds through the management of fundraising campaigns from concept to close. Prior to joining Brookfield in 2016, Ms. Richards was an Executive Director in Morgan Stanley’s Infrastructure funds, responsible for investor activities globally. As an early member of the infrastructure platform, Melissa played a significant role in fundraising and marketing platform development. She joined Morgan Stanley in 2004 as a senior risk advisor in foreign exchange derivatives, following eight years at BNP Paribas and five years at Credit Suisse in FX Sales and Trading.

Ms. Richards received her BS in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Melissa serves on the Board of Directors for Urban Pathways, a New York City nonprofit serving homeless men and women. 

Yuri Estrada, PE, LEED AP, Vice President, The Carlyle Group

Yuri Estrada is a Vice President in the Infrastructure Fund at The Carlyle Group, which makes investments across multiple infrastructure sectors in OECD markets. She is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Carlyle, Yuri was an Investment Director at Siemens Financial Services where she focused on energy and transportation investments and was responsible for due diligence, deal structuring and leading competitive processes. Prior to that, she was a Director at AECOM Capital, focusing on deal origination, development and execution of greenfield and brownfield transactions across transportation, social, digital, environmental and renewables sectors. Her deal/project experience extends across the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, UK, Qatar, UAE, and Kenya. Yuri is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and received her MBA from and her BE from The City University of New York. Yuri has been a member of the Golden Seeds Angel Investment group, which pursues above market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs. She also belongs to the Women's Association of Venture and Equity (WAVE) and held a board member position on the ACE Mentor Program of America. 

Mariana Torres Montoya, Vice President, John Laing

Mariana Torres is an Associate Director at John Laing, an international developer and investor in infrastructure. Ms. Torres specializes in originating, evaluating, and structuring investment opportunities of large-scale public-private partnership (P3) projects in the transportation, utilities, and social infrastructure sector in the Americas.  Ms. Torres has transaction experience with focus on commercial negotiations and technical due diligence including demand risk on greenfield and brownfield assets on behalf of public and private sector clients. Projects closed include Hurontario LRT, ($1.9B, AP DBFOM, Ontario, Canada, 2019); Ruta del Cacao ($490M, AP DBFOM. Colombia 2019); and I-77 Additional Equity ($450M, Revenue Risk DBFOM, North Carolina USA, 2020). Prior to John Laing, Ms. Torres was Director of Infrastructure Economics at Louis Berger (now WSP).  She holds a Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, with published research in parking planning and fare subsidies; urban emissions indicators; and management of public transit agencies. Ms. Torres also serves as Manager for the I-77 Express Lanes SPV Board of Directors and is Co-President of Young Professionals in Infrastructure (YPI). 

Cate Singer, Director, KPMG  

Cate Singer is a Director in KPMG’s Infrastructure Advisory Practice, a leading advisory firm providing financial, strategic and commercial consulting services to clients in both the public and private sectors. At KPMG, Cate’s experience in infrastructure has focused on strategic, financial, and commercial work in the transportation and social sectors. Her work is focused on engagement delivery and client service on key issues related to major capital programs including project/program strategy, funding and financing, project screening, feasibility, procurement, and commercial structuring and negotiation. Cate joined KPMG in 2010 from the State of New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury, Office of Public Finance where she provided transaction services and portfolio management in governmental municipal finance. Cate is a graduate of Rutgers University. Cate enjoys volunteering and participating in industry mentoring.

Claire Watson, Senior Associate, White & Case  

Claire Watson is a senior associate in the Energy, Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance practice at the New York office of White & Case. Claire’s practice focuses on the development and financing of infrastructure assets. She represents sponsors, funds, lenders and public authorities on a range of large-scale infrastructure projects. Claire joined White & Case from Allen & Overy’s Projects department where she advised on public private partnerships in the transportation, water and airport sectors and on the sale and acquisition of various types of infrastructure assets. Prior to moving to New York in 2011, Claire spent 4 years in London with Norton Rose Fulbright in their Project Finance team advising sponsors and lenders on infrastructure transactions across Europe and Africa, including toll roads, airports, power plants and wind farms. Claire’s financing experience includes commercial bank debt, private placements and private activity bonds. Claire is a member of the New York State Bar, the Law Society of Scotland and the Law Society of England and Wales.

Shesi Xie, SXM Strategies LLC, Owner and Managing Partner  

Shesi Xie has over 14 years of experience in financial services and infrastructure finance. She has extensive experience in project finance, asset privatizations, infrastructure commercial strategy, and public-private partnerships. She founded SXM Strategies in 2018, a financial and strategic advisory firm that specializes in programmatic advice for public and private sector entities on infrastructure projects considering alternative delivery methods. She most recently closed the Prince George’s County Public Schools $1.3bn K-12 Alternative Construction Financing Project, winner of the 2021 IJournal Infrastructure Deal of the Year and continues to serve as financial advisor for PGCPS’ Phase 2 P3 Project. She is also the Chief Financial Officer of LA SkyRail Express, a consortium under a Predevelopment Agreement with LA Metro for the Sepulveda Pass P3 Project. Prior to founding SXM Strategies, she was a Vice President in KPMG’s Infrastructure Advisory Practice and advised on financial and commercial elements of various P3 Programs in North America. Ms. Xie earned a BS in finance from Carnegie Mellon University. ​Shesi is passionate about innovative financial solutions which incorporates local community participation when structuring marketable infrastructure transactions and teaches project finance bootcamp classes at various universities and business schools.