The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has named its top officers for the 2019-2020 term. AASHTO has elected Patrick McKenna, Director of the Missouri DOT, as President and New Hampshire DOT Commissioner Victoria Sheehan as Vice President. Commissioner Sheehan becomes the second woman in AASHTO’s 105-year history to serve in that role.
McKenna says he plans to focus on surface transportation funding reauthorization and transportation safety.
“We need to make clear the public benefit of federal surface transportation investment and its impact on the safety, mobility, health, and economic well-being of all Americans,” he explained in his emphasis areas paper released at the meeting.
Launching a national campaign focused on how “transportation is personal” that explains the many benefits transportation investment provides to all Americans is one tactic McKenna plans to spearhead during his term as AASHTO’s 2019-2020 president as part of the organization’s effort to get surface transportation funding legislation reauthorized. He also plans to place renewed focus on reducing transportation fatalities, which McKenna described as a “national public health crisis” in his remarks.
To help reduce the estimated 36,700 highway fatalities, McKenna said AASHTO will continue its role in the Towards Zero Deaths and Vision Zero national coalitions while facilitating discussions with state DOTs and local communities to consider ways to deploy “innovative infrastructure designs and technologies” to more safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter users.
McKenna was appointed as Missouri DOT’s director in 2015. He previously served as MAASTO President and is a member of the TRB executive committee. He earned an undergraduate degree in finance from Bentley College and an MS in management and finance from the University of Maryland.
Sheehan was appointed New Hampshire DOT Commissioner in 2015. She previously served with the Massachusetts DOT’s highway division, where she served in a number of roles, including her most recent post as Manager of Strategic Planning and Highway performance. Originally from Northern Ireland, Sheehan holds a Master’s in Structural Engineering and Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Photo: AASHTO 2019/20 President Patrick McKenna and Vice President Victoria Sheehan. (Credit: AASHTO)