Staff and members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials this week mourned the passing of their former colleague, Director of Engineering and Technical Services Dr. Anthony R. (Tony) Kane. A highly distinguished administrator and national transportation safety advocate, Kane died this week after battling a long-standing illness. He was 72.
Kane served as AASHTO's Director of Engineering and Technical Services from 2001 to 2013. His tenure at AASHTO followed a highly distinguished career with the Federal Highway Administration where he served as executive director from 1994 to 2001, after having filled many other key agency positions over more than thirty years. In 1989, Kane was appointed by US DOT Secretary Samuel K. Skinner to lead the team that developed the George H. W. Bush Administration's National Transportation Policy, a precursor to the landmark Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.
"Tony Kane was an extraordinary leader," said Bud Wright, AASHTO executive director. "He far exceeded most of us intellectually and he brought great energy to life, whether at work or play. At AASHTO he was responsible for the development of hundreds of technical publications and standards, software product licensing and representing AASHTO internationally through the World Road Association-PIARC. Yet, somehow Tony always found time to help so many as they made their way through careers and life, offering guidance and advice whenever it was needed or might help."
As FHWA's Executive Director, Kane had day-to-day management responsibility for the $31 billion-per-year agency and its 2,700 employees. During his career with FHWA, Kane restructured the organization around core business areas and he was instrumental in the enactment and implementation of many surface transportation acts and funding increases that took place during his tenure.
Kane received many honors in his career including the AASHTO President's Special Award of Merit and the U.S. Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Service in 1996 and Presidential Rank Awards for Meritorious Service in 1985 and 1990. The National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and The Road Gang have also honored him.
Kane was well-known for his philanthropy, helping to establish an annual Road Gang-sponsored golf tournament that now bears his name and raises thousands of dollars annually for local charities.
Kane earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University, with emphasis on Transportation Planning; and a Doctorate of Business Administration from the George Washington University.
Kane is survived by his wife Jackie, his children Megan and Sean, and his grandchild.