Oct. 11, 2018


Transportation Research Board Announces 2019 Executive Committee Chair and Vice Chair

WASHINGTON – Victoria A. Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, and Leslie S. Richards, secretary of transportation for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), have been appointed as chair and vice chair, respectively, to the 2019 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee, which provides oversight of TRB activities. Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences and chair of the National Research Council, approved their appointments, and their one-year terms will begin on Jan. 16, 2019.

The TRB Executive Committee is the senior policy body of TRB, composed of approximately 25 members appointed by the chair of the National Research Council. These members are selected to provide balanced representation of transportation modes, academic disciplines, private and public sectors, levels of government, geographical regions, and other relevant factors. Members are appointed for a term of three years and may be reappointed for one term. A list of past chairs of TRB's Executive Committee is available online.

The TRB Executive Committee is officially an advisory group to the chair and the Governing Board of the National Research Council, who look to the Executive Committee to provide oversight of TRB's activities. Such oversight is intended to ensure that TRB's activities are appropriate for the NRC and constructive to the transportation system and the nation. Reports (both written and oral) of ongoing and proposed TRB projects are brought to the Executive Committee at each meeting and are approved, rejected, or accepted after modification. The Governing Board is also expected to note new opportunities for TRB to provide its services and, where appropriate, to find ways to bring such projects into being.

Current vice chair of the TRB Executive Committee and upcoming chair, Victoria A. Arroyo, is the executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center based at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is also assistant dean for Centers and Institutes and a professor from practice.  Arroyo oversees the Climate Center’s work at the nexus of climate and energy policy, supervising staff and student work on climate mitigation and adaptation for nearly 10 years since its launch in early 2009.  Arroyo also served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change as Vice President for Policy Analysis and General Counsel. For more than a decade, she directed the Pew Center’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and domestic policy programs. Previously, Arroyo practiced environmental law with Kilpatrick Stockton and other private firms and served in two offices at U.S. EPA: the Office of Air and Radiation and the Office of Research and Development where she reviewed development of standards under the Clean Air Act. From 1988 to 1991, she created and directed the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s policy office, and served as Governor Buddy Roemer's environmental adviser. She has served on California’s Economics and Allocation Advisory Committee advising the California Air Resources Board on cap-and-trade design, and on the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) external advisory committee. She also served on the Geosciences Advisory Committee to the National Science Foundation and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Name a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) in 2018, Arroyo is associate editor of the Climate Policy Journal and on the editorial board of the Georgetown Environmental Law Review.

For her work with TRB, Arroyo has served on several committees, including on the Executive Committee where she chaired the Resilience and Sustainability Task Force. She has also served on committees studying opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and on a congressionally mandated study of the future of the Interstate Highway System. She has also contributed to TRB’s trans-Atlantic dialogues about resilience and sustainability, and been an active supporter of TRB’s minority student fellows program.

Upcoming vice chair of the TRB Executive Committee, Leslie S. Richards, serves as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and is the first woman and planner to hold this position for Pennsylvania. Richards leads one of the largest transportation agencies in the U.S., overseeing an annual budget of more than $10 billion and 11,500 employees.

In her role, Richards is charged with executing the Transportation Investment Plan, a metric-driven strategic investment approach for Pennsylvania’s 12 Year Capital Program; PennDOT Road MaP, a $2.1 billion maintenance and system preservation initiative; and PennDOT Connects, an approach to build collaboration among local stakeholders to plan and deliver capital and maintenance projects. In addition to her position as secretary, Richards serves as chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and chair of the Public Private Partnership (P3) Board, serving as the first female chair for both entities.  Prior to her work at PennDOT, Richards gained experience in both the private and public sectors. She served as the vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, where she led the transportation and planning initiatives for the third-largest county in Pennsylvania. She served as the chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, as well as on the boards of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA). Before being elected commissioner, she served as the chair and vice chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors. Prior to her role as a public servant, she worked as a senior project manager for environmental and civil engineering firms.

A full listing of all new and reappointed members of the TRB Executive Committee will be released in January 2019.

The mission of TRB is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. Its annual meeting provides an opportunity for transportation professionals from all over the world to exchange information of common interest. More than 13,000 policymakers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions are expected to attend the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 98th Annual Meeting, which takes place Jan. 13 to 17, 2019. The meeting will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., and include more than 5,000 presentations in more than 800 sessions and workshops covering all aspects of transportation.

TRB is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine -- private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit http://national-academies.org.

Lisa Berardi Marflak
Director of Communications/Media
Transportation Research Board
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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