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Timely Industry Topics and Unprecedented Panel Wow at Policy Symposium


U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a panel of former U.S. Transportation Secretaries, and a host of high-profile thought leaders from both the public and private sectors came together to participate in the 2014 WTS Policy Symposium on October 1. The symposium, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, gathered this leadership from across all modes to discuss topics including technology and connected vehicles, the outcomes of the National Freight Advisory Committee, the next generation of aviation, and defining the federal role in transportation in the post-interstate era.


Sen. Carper, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on TranspWTS-CapHill2014-1145ortation, served as the keynote luncheon speaker at the event, which was planned by a committee including Mort Downey, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Senior Advisor at Parsons Brinckerhoff, Norma Krayem, Principal at Squire Patton Boggs and former Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Mary Peters, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and member of the Board of Directors at HDR, Inc.  Carper spoke about his support for transportation and infrastructure and about his time as the Governor of Delaware in the 1990s, when he supported innovative transportation policies carried out by his transportation secretary, WTS pioneer Anne Canby, and served for many years as a member of the Amtrak Board of Directors.

The opening panel session, National Freight Advisory Committee WTS-CapHill2014-1077_-_CopyOutcomes, was a discussion among a diverse group of participants in the NFAC effort, describing its key recommendations and what the implications are for their various industries. The panelists included Leslie Blakey, Principal, Blakey & Agnew, LLC, and  Executive Director, The Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC); Anne Canby, Director, OneRail Coalition; Kristin Decas, CEO & Port Director, Port of Hueneme  and 2014-15 AAPA Chairman of the Board; Richard A. "Rick" Inclima, Director, Safety, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division [BMWED], International Brotherhood of Teamsters [IBT]; Fran Inman, Senior Vice President, Majestic Realty Co. and California Transportation Commission Member; and, serving as moderator, Ann Schneider, Former Chair of the National Freight Advisory Committee and Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation.


The second panel session, ITS, Technology, and Connected Vehicles, explored today’s use of technology in our WTS-CapHill2014-1115transportation systems, making our infrastructure more efficient, safer, and “smarter.” The advent of autonomous vehicles was also covered by the panel, which included Nat Beuse, Associate Administrator for Vehicle Safety, NHTSA; Steve Boyd, Co-Founder and Vice President, Peloton Technology; Markus Hess, Senior Manager, Safety, Fuels and Regulatory Affairs, Mercedes-Benz; John Williams, General Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Paul Feenstra, Senior Vice President for Government and External Affairs, ITS America, who served as moderator.

After the keynote address by Senator Carper, the symposium reconvened for the third panel of the day, Aviation, NextGen, ATC.Aviation’s achievements were discussed, as technology has advanced to enable the next generation of air traffic coWTS-CapHill2014-1229ntrol by satellite systems instead of location-specific ground-based radar. Discussion led to how or who should advance the next generation systems and how to pay for it. The panel included Rich Casey, National Vice President, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS); Mark Gale, CEO, Philadelphia International Airport; Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President, Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Airlines for America; and Rich Swayze, Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs and Environment, Federal Aviation Administration. Dorothy Robyn, Former commissioner, GSA Public Buildings Service, and author of Braking the Special Interests: Trucking Deregulation and the Politics of Policy Reform, moderated.



The final panel discussion, Defining the Federal Role in Transportation, Post-Interstate Era, was a unique conversation among former National Transportation Secretaries James H. Burnley, IV, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 1987 – 1989 and Partner, Venable LLP; Andrew Card, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 1992-1993, Norman Mineta, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 2001 – 20006 and President and CEO, Mineta & Associates, LLC; Rodney Slater, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 1997 – 2001 and Partner, Squire Patton Boggs; and Mary Peters, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, 2006 – 2009 and member of the Board of Directors at HDR. Serving as moderator, Mort Downey, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportationand Senior Advisor at Parsons Brinckerhoff, set the tone and led the discussion with compelling questions. Points covered included the prime achievements of the USDOT over its nearly 50 year history, reasons for success, what efforts the former secretaries wished could have accomplished in their terms, and what each felt will be the challenges for the DOT over the next 50 years.

WTS-CapHill2014-1258Therese McMillan, acting administrator of the FTA, closed out the WTS Policy Symposium with a compelling and inspiring message for today’s transportation leaders and the industry’s future innovators. Her message was clear—it is imperative to invest now in the U.S.’s tranportation systems, including investments in closing the workforce gap, or a higher price will be paid in the not too distant future. The full content of McMillan’s closing remarks can be found at the FTA web site.

At the conclusion of the day’s events, Symposium attendees were invite to a cocktail reception to continue the compelling discussions and network across modes, sectors and professional disciplines.

2014 Policy Symposium Photos






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