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AASHTO Announces New President and Vice President
September 26, 2018

The board of directors of 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 Carlos Braceras P.E., executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation, to serve as its new president and Missouri DOT Director Patrick McKenna as its new vice president.

“I’m honored and inspired to accept the role of AASHTO president during one of the most extraordinary times in transportation history,” said Mr. Braceras. “State DOTs are facing new challenges on several fronts. Attracting and keeping a highly-skilled workforce is critical. It’s also imperative that we find ways to educate lawmakers and members of the general public about the irrefutable connection between long-term investment and safer, smarter, and more reliable transportation systems.”

Prior to his election as the association’s new president, Mr. Braceras served as AASHTO’s vice president and secretary-treasurer. As president he will focus on three emphasis areas: workforce development, funding, and policy reform, all while “communicating transportation’s vital role” in American life.

In terms of workforce development, Mr. Braceras said the current robust economy and low unemployment rate are making it difficult for state agencies to compete with the private sector for engineers, technicians, and information technology professionals.

“State DOTs must attract and keep these workers to build, maintain and manage America’s increasingly sophisticated transportation networks,” said Mr. Braceras, who added: “Funding and policy reforms will also be needed because the current federal surface transportation authorization expires in 2020.”

Mr. Braceras earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Utah.

Newly-elected AASHTO Vice President McKenna has served as director of the Missouri Department of Transportation since December of 2015. He previously was the deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

Mr. McKenna, who is also president of the Mid America Association of Transportation Officials for 2017-2018, is a member of the executive committee for the National Academy of Science’s Transportation Research Board. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Bentley College and a Master of Science in Management and Finance from the University of Maryland University College.

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