AASHTO's board elects new officers, executive director

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WASHINGTON – Carlos Braceras, elected as the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ new president on Monday, said one of his goals will be to persuade Congress to include more funding and policy reforms in surface transportation reauthorization legislation.

“It’s … 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,” said Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation.

“Funding and policy reforms will also be needed because the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act expires in 2020,” he added in a release.

AASHTO’s board of directors elected Braceras for the post at its annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga. Prior to his election as president, Braceras, a New Jersey native, was AASHTO’s vice president and secretary-treasurer. He began his career at UDOT in 1986, becoming its executive director in 2013.

The AASHTO board also elected Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, as its new vice president. He has been director of the state DOT since December 2015 and previously was deputy commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

The board chose James J. Tymon to become AASHTO’s sixth executive director, following a multi-month search for someone to replace Frederick “Bud” Wright, who plans to retire on Dec. 31.

Tymon previously was staff director of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittee on highways and transit and a senior advisor to committee chair Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa.

As staff director, Tymon managed the subcommittee responsible for writing authorizing legislation for the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Tymon also was the committee’s lead staffer for the development of MAP-21, the surface transportation bill signed into law in 2012, as well as for the Highway and Highway Safety titles in SAFETEA LU, the surface transportation bill signed into law in 2005.

Prior to joining the committee, Tymon spent three years with the Office of Management and Budget, where he worked as the program examiner responsible for overseeing the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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Transportation industry Infrastructure State regulators AASHTO Washington DC