Frederick “Bud” Wright spent the past six years as executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group working on behalf of transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
In a three-part series of candid conversations, Wright talks about his early vision for AASHTO and the reasons behind his determination to give the organization a strategic direction. Wright also reflects on his 40-year career in transportation and his time as executive director of the Federal Highway Administration, where he led thousands of employees and managed the $40 billion Annual Federal-aid Highway Program. Other topics of discussion in the series of video interviews include the issue of highway traffic safety and the importance of thinking about transportation in new ways.
“I mean, frankly, most of our state DOTs at one time were state highway departments,” said Wright. “Today, what we see are DOTs looking for transportation solutions – really societal solutions – and that means that they are thinking about transportation holistically.” Wright goes on to say that, “many states are involved in both urban and rural public transportation services. We have 28 states that are providing passenger rail service. Transportation departments are multimodal enterprises and our membership wants AASHTO to more directly reflect that.”
Watch the other two parts of our conversation with retiring executive director Frederick “Bud” Wright.