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NEWS
AASHTO Announces Election Of New President
November 17, 2020 AASHTO Board Elects Second Woman President and First Ever Black Vice President

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing State Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, has announced the election of Victoria Sheehan, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, to serve as its 2020-2021 president. Sheehan is only the second woman to serve as AASHTO president in the association’s 106-year history. The AASHTO board also has announced the election of Shawn Wilson, Ph.D., secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, as the organization’s vice president.

“I am honored to be elected to lead this outstanding organization during an extraordinary time in our history,” Sheehan said. “The COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, as well social unrest in support of racial equality and inclusion are challenging us in many ways. As transportation leaders, we have a role to play and one of my presidential emphasis areas focuses on the need for training, recruiting, and building a diverse state DOT workforce that reflects all of the people we serve.”

Sheehan, AASHTO’s 2019-2020 vice president, has served as the commissioner of the New Hampshire DOT since October 19, 2015, managing an operating budget of $650 million and more than 1,600 full time employees. Originally from Northern Ireland, Sheehan’s career has included time as a resident engineer and as a project manager, with extensive experience in asset and performance management. She earned her master’s degree in structural engineering and architecture from the University of Edinburgh.

Sheehan’s additional emphasis area will highlight the benefits of transportation investment through a national campaign intended to highlight the connection between transportation investment and land use decisions that together support America’s economic vitality and overall quality of life.

Dr. Wilson is in his second term as Louisiana DOTD secretary. His first appointment began on January 11, 2016 following more than 10 years of executive service at the agency. As Secretary Dr. Wilson has been a tireless advocate for new revenue. He has also introduced innovative procurement and project delivery practices and a comprehensive transportation policy agenda that works to promote collaboration on all levels.

“I am filled with both gratitude to the regional board and a keen sense of duty and responsibility for becoming the first black person to serve as AASHTO vice president,” Wilson said. “We’ve made a lot of progress in America, but recent events remind us all just how important diversity and inclusion are to all of our institutions. Being first is significant, even in 2020.”

Wilson has a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Louisiana and holds a master’s degree in public administration, as well as a doctorate in public policy from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Southern University.


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