Victoria Sheehan Named New TRB Executive Director

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has named Victoria Sheehan (seen above), currently commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, as the new executive director of the Transportation Research Board effective December 5.

[Above photo by the New Hampshire DOT]

Sheehan, New Hampshire DOT’s commissioner for the last seven years, also served as the 2020-2021 president of the American Association of Transportation Officials. She is only the second woman in the association’s 108-year history to hold that position.

Victoria Sheehan. Photo by AASHTO.

A native of Northern Ireland, Sheehan holds a master’s degree in structural engineering and architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Before joining the New Hampshire DOT, she spent 10 years at the Massachusetts Department of Transportation leading strategic planning and highway performance, managing the bridge consulting program, and overseeing an eight-year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program.

Sheehan noted in her acceptance speech to become AASHTO’s 2020-2021 president that, to build a transportation system that “serves all” and “provides access to opportunity for all,” the transportation industry as whole needs to help people better understand the value of transportation and how it impacts quality of life.”

“In the wake of COVID-19, there is also a need to educate individuals on how changes in land use and travel choices will impact [our] current transportation system,” Sheehan explained at the time.

“For this reason, now more than ever, we need to engage all users of our systems, as well as other transportation stakeholders,” she said. “Not just to learn how our systems can best serve those constituents, but to educate the public on how transportation impacts their daily lives, so that they want to be engaged and be part of transportation investment decisions.”

Jim Tymon. Photo by AASHTO.

“Victoria Sheehan is an outstanding choice by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to lead TRB,” emphasized Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director, in a statement.

He noted that, as AASHTO 2020-2021 president, Sheehan navigated the association and its members through the COVID-19 pandemic and all the uncertainly that loomed over state DOTs during that time.

“AASHTO members know first-hand how impactful Victoria is as a leader in transportation, even in the most difficult of circumstances,” Tymon added. “She is a steadfast champion for innovation and collaboration and is a tireless advocate for a safer, multimodal, equitable transportation network for all – all of which she will bring to her new role. AASHTO looks forward to a continued strong partnership with TRB under Victoria’s leadership.”

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