The board of directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) elected Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna as its 2019-2020 president and New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan as its vice president.
“I am thrilled and honored to be elected AASHTO’s president at a critical time for transportation investment and innovation in America,” McKenna says, according to The Rolla Daily News. “Transportation technologies — such as drones, smart cars, and autonomous vehicles — are evolving fast, and our member departments of transportation are playing a critical role in the development of those life-changing innovations. Success will depend on a strong state and federal partnership that includes the creation of sensible transportation policies, plus robust federal funding that allows states to maintain the highways and bridges of today as we design the transportation infrastructure of tomorrow.”
As president, McKenna plans to focus on the need for surface transportation reauthorization and transportation safety.
“AASHTO and its members must fully embrace the challenge of passing a long-term transportation bill before the FAST Act expires in September 2020,” he said, according to the news agency. “Short-term extensions cause unnecessary disruptions and delays to critical projects that impact the safety and mobility of Americans. As AASHTO’s president, I will also focus on safety, because I find it unacceptable that more than 34,000 lives are lost each year due to traffic crashes.”
McKenna received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Bentley College and a Master of Science degree in management and finance from the University of Maryland University College.
Sheehan, originally from Ireland, has a Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering and Architecture from the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland.