WASHINGTON — Gloria Shepherd is set to become the 11th executive director of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced.
She will be the first woman and the first African American in FHWA’s history to do so.
“In her role leading the delivery of world-class highway and street programs that advance safe, efficient, equitable and sustainable mobility choices for all while strengthening the nation’s economy, Ms. Shepherd will guide FHWA as it administers more than $350 billion as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” a USDOT news release stated. “That includes formula and competitive grant programs with new funding and programs available to a range of grant recipients, including state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, tribes, territories, and federal land management agencies.”
Shepherd said she is humbled by the opportunity.
“It does not fall short on me the enormous responsibility that comes with the position,” she said. “I am grateful that history has allowed me to fulfill the dreams of my parents and relatives who have gone on and bent their shoulders low, so I could stand on them in this position of public service. I am confident with the help of all the talented people in FHWA, we will not only fulfill our mission but reach new horizons,”
Shepherd brings more than 23 years of extensive and varied experience with FHWA.
FHWA officials say she has “produced a track record of success and a proven ability to produce results, develop effective national partnerships and coalitions, and open doors through her mentorship for future leaders within DOT.”
“From her work at the Maryland and New York Departments of Transportation, to more than two decades at FHWA, Gloria has dedicated her extraordinary career to serving the traveling public,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “We are lucky to have her expertise, insight, and dedication as we work to modernize our nation’s roads, bridges, and highways to serve the American people now and for generations to come.”
Since 2007, Shepherd has served as the associate administrator for planning, environment and realty at FHWA.
“In this position, she provides oversight and executive leadership that advance national transportation initiatives to accelerate project delivery, promote environmental justice and stewardship and reduce transportation’s carbon footprint on the national highway system,” the news release stated. “In addition, Ms. Shepherd has tirelessly championed agency workforce development, awards and recognition programs, and work life balance.”
Prior to becoming an associate administrator, Shepherd served for eight years as the director of office of planning, where she was the principal advocate for metropolitan and statewide planning and programs. Before joining FHWA, she served in executive level positions with the Maryland State Highway Administration and the New York Department of Transportation.
Shepherd earned a Master of Law degree from Georgetown University, Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Albany Law School and her Doctor of Arts from the University at Albany (SUNY). She is a member of the New York State Bar and enjoys hiking and running.
“Our nation’s street and highway infrastructure is changing in real time and there is no one with more experience and dedication to this work to help guide that transition than Gloria,” FHWA Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. “Her expertise, commitment to mentorship of current and future transportation leaders, and the respect she has built over her long career position her to improve our transportation infrastructure as she leads FHWA as Executive Director. I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the years to come.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.