PennDOT Secretary Richards Named Vice Chair of TRB Board

Mon February 04, 2019 - Northeast Edition #3

Leslie S. Richards
(PennDOT photo)
Leslie S. Richards (PennDOT photo)

Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie S. Richards has been named vice chairman of the 2019 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Executive Committee, effective Jan. 16.

"I am honored and excited to be named to this prestigious national position," Richards said. "My goal is to bring the lessons learned in my role as a Pennsylvania transportation executive and advocate to enhance the important mission of the TRB."

The TRB Executive Committee is the senior policy body of TRB, composed of approximately 25 members appointed by the chair of the National Research Council. These members are selected to provide balanced representation of transportation modes, academic disciplines, private and public sectors, levels of government, geographical regions, and other relevant factors. Members are appointed for a term of three years and may be reappointed for one term.

The TRB Executive Committee is officially an advisory group to the chair and the Governing Board of the National Research Council, who look to the Executive Committee to provide oversight of TRB's activities. Such oversight is intended to ensure that TRB's activities are appropriate for the NRC and constructive to the transportation system and the nation. Reports (both written and oral) of ongoing and proposed TRB projects are brought to the Executive Committee at each meeting and are approved, rejected, or accepted after modification. The Governing Board also is expected to note new opportunities for TRB to provide its services and, where appropriate, to find ways to bring such projects into being.

The mission of TRB is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. Its 98th annual meeting in Washington, D.C., provided an opportunity for transportation professionals from all over the world to exchange information of common interest.

More than 13,000 policymakers, administrators, practitioners, researchers, and representatives of government, industry, and academic institutions attended the meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, which included more than 5,000 presentations in more than 800 sessions and workshops covering all aspects of transportation.

TRB is a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine — private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.

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