As the average tenure of chief executives of state transportation agencies has declined in recent years, increasing numbers of CEOs may find themselves newly appointed, with limited experience in dealing with the issues that operating a large public transportation agency entails. Many of these issues are common to all state transportation agencies (that is, DOTs—departments of transportation and the like), but the particular institutional and governance arrangements within states may influence how issues arise and are most effectively addressed. For example, a number of CEOs must work with independently-elected or appointed boards or commissions who have significant roles in policy and budget matters.
Experience has shown that CEOs value and benefit from opportunities to discuss the challenges and experience of DOT leadership with their peers. AASHTO staff and leadership seek to make such opportunities available periodically by organizing one- to three-day peer exchanges and leadership forums highlighting current issues facing the organization’s member agencies. Research under the NCHRP Project 20-24 series of projects over the past two decades has provided intellectual and logistical support for a number of these events.
The objectives of this research were to conduct background analyses, organize, provide intellectual and logistical support, and document a workshop with new and more experienced CEOs to discuss leadership challenges. The workshop, held in Minneapolis in April 2015, was designed to engage AASHTO staff and senior Federal Highway Administration officials as well. A workshop summary report was prepared and may be downloaded by clicking here