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American ShipperShipping

AASHTO leader retiring at end of year

Bud Wright says the time is right to step down as executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

   Frederick G. “Bud” Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), has announced his intention to retire at the end of 2018.
   Appointed in November 2012, Wright is credited with leading AASHTO through the development of a new strategic plan that broadened the organization’s focus to include all transportation modes, as opposed to just trucking. The association said in a statement it “also is implementing a complete overhaul of its committee structure designed to help it be a more nimble and responsive to emerging technologies and transportation policies.”
   In announcing his retirement last week at the AASHTO Spring Meeting in Franklin, Tenn., Wright said he felt the time was right to step down.
   “In my experience — and that experience working in transportation now spans more than 43 years — you will at some point feel the moment,” he said. “And I am feeling that moment. … This is very bittersweet for me, but I am proud of where we are as an association and I prefer the idea of leaving maybe too soon rather than too late.”
   Wright, who began his career in 1975 as an economist in the Federal Highway Administration Office of Planning, served as executive director of the FHWA from 2001 to 2008, assisting the administrator in establishing policies, programs and priorities for the $40 billion annual federal-aid highway program.
   He has received the Secretary of Transportation’s Team Award for his work on the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) as director of the Office of Budget and Finance, as well as the Presidential Rank Award for federal government executives, the Secretary of Transportation’s Special Achievement Award, and the Federal Highway Administrator’s Superior Achievement Award.
   Immediately prior to joining AASHTO, Wright had been working as a consultant in the Alexandria, Va., area.
   According to AASHTO President and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, the association’s executive committee will begin a search for a new executive director as soon as possible.