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MoDOT’s McKenna elected to lead national transportation group


Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Director Patrick McKenna has been elevated to lead the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

McKenna has served as the group’s vice president since 2018 and was elected by its board to serve as the president for the 2019-2020 term.  

“I am thrilled and honored to be elected AASHTO’s president at a critical time for transportation investment and innovation in America,” McKenna said in a statement. “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,” he said. 

AASHTO is a nonprofit group representing the nation, including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, for all transportation needs. Its mission is “to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system,” according to its website. 

McKenna said he planned to “focus on the safety and mobility of Americans” as president of AASHTO. He also said he wants to push for a “long-term transportation bill” before the FAST Act, which authorizes federal spending on highways and public transit, expires in 2020. 

McKenna is the former president of the Mid American Association of Transportation Officials and is an executive committee member of the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board. 

Before joining MoDOT in 2015, McKenna served as the deputy commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. He has a background in finance, having worked more than a dozen years for the U.S. Senate and eventually becoming its chief financial officer. 

AASHTO held its annual meeting in St. Louis this week. It also selected New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Victoria Sheehan as its vice president.