Jeffrey F. Paniati has been appointed the Federal Highway Administration’s new executive director. This position is one of the few civil service positions that is established in law and requires the approval of the president. This week, following the recommendation of Secretary Mary E. Peters, President Bush gave his final approval of Paniati’s appointment.
Paniati has long been a national champion for congestion relief and improved reliability through more efficient operation of the nation’s existing transportation system. He has played a leadership role in the U.S. DOT’s Congestion Initiative, particularly the $850 million Urban Partnership effort, which advances the use of pricing to reduce congestion in major metropolitan areas.
Since beginning his career with the FHWA in 1983, Paniati has played a key role in leading change within the agency to focus on making America’s transportation systems work safely and efficiently. He has led efforts to use technology to reduce crashes, to enhance mobility in metropolitan corridors, to improve transit service for the disadvantaged and to enhance the efficiency of freight movement. He was instrumental in shaping the direction of the DOT’s ITS program and fostered the nationwide deployment of 5-1-1, and he also was responsible for initiating a partnership between the FHWA and the automotive industry to improve safety and mobility by connecting vehicles and the infrastructure.
Previously, Paniati was the FHWA’s associate administrator for operations. He also served as the acting director and deputy director of the ITS Joint Program Office, as program manager for intelligent transportation systems and division chief for safety design research & development.