The National Academies

NCHRP 20-24(51) [Completed]

State DOT Leadership Forum--2006
[ NCHRP 20-24 (Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $145,000
Research Agency: University of Minnesota, Center for Transportation Studies
Principal Investigator: Robert C. Johns
Effective Date: 12/27/2006
Completion Date: 3/26/2007

In June 2000, TRB sponsored a workshop for state DOT CEOs on strategic management issues facing their organizations. Since this workshop, many CEOs have commented on the positive experience they had in being able to learn about national trends and exchange ideas with their peers on changes affecting and being initiated in their organizations. A product of the workshop, TRB Circular 501, identified research needs.

The popularity of this event generated discussion about the possibility of repeating it, and perhaps instituting it on a regular basis. Three primary forces driving this interest were: 1) the environment of change impacting state DOT organizations continues to create challenges in how DOTs define their missions and align their organizations to deliver services that meet public needs; 2) the leaders of state DOTs, key beneficiaries of this event, are changing more rapidly than ever, with the average term of a CEO now less than two years; and 3) there is a perception by CEOs and the sponsoring organizations that valuable information and experiences are not being shared.

Consequently, a "CEO Leadership Forum" was held on May 4 - 6, 2003 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Resulting products include a summary report with recommended action items and a compilation of individual state initiatives addressing strategic leadership, program delivery and operations. Products of the Forum are available on the AASHTO Standing Committee on Quality's website.

Follow-on research under NCHRP Project 20-24(38) investigated institutionalizing the Forum concept and other options for facilitating the exchange of ideas and information among state DOT CEOs. Continuation of the forums on a regular basis was recommended. Consequently, this project calls for the holding of a conference/workshop in 2006 following, in general, the format and venue of the conferences in 2000 and 2003. With CEO turnover being so rapid, a three year cycle for the conference will bring in a whole new mix of CEOs.

The objective of this project was to conduct the third in a series of State DOT CEO Leadership Forums. The Forum was structured around 3 theme areas. For each theme area, case studies/syntheses were conducted of states representing good to great practice.   The Forum, subtitled Advancing Practice in State DOTs from Good to Great, was held on September 24-26, 2006 on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Papers were commissioned on the 3 selected themes of the Forum to help initiate discussions. The theme papers were as follows:

  • Changes in Roles and Partnerships: Towards the 21st Century State DOT, Steve Lockwood, PB Consult.
  • Building Credibility with Customers and Stakeholders, Marcy Schwartz, CH2M Hill.
  • Funding and Finance, Lance Grenzeback, Cambridge Systematics.
The proceedings and final versions of the theme papers are availabe on the AASHTO website at < www.transportation.org/meetings/CEOLeadership/>.

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