Mary E. Peters, the nation's first woman federal highway chief, has received the National Woman of the Year Award from the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS), a national organization of transportation professionals.
"Mary faces challenges calmly, professionally and effectively, so I'm not surprised that she was chosen for this award," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta said. "Her skill and charisma inspire confidence in her leadership inside and outside of the federal government."
"Administrator Peters exemplifies the true meaning of WTS," said Mary Jane O'Meara, president of WTS. "She is a consummate professional who has achieved great success and yet is extremely gracious and generous with her time."
Peters is at the forefront in finding new ways to invest in road and bridge construction, including innovative public-private partnerships that help build roads faster and at less expense. She is leading a campaign for greater safety in highway construction work zones and is a strong advocate for using new technology to speed road construction and save taxpayer money.
Peters was head of the Arizona Department of Transportation when President Bush nominated her to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Senate confirmed Peters' nomination and she was sworn in as the 15th administrator of the FHWA on Oct. 2, 2001.
In Arizona she earned a reputation as an effective leader while working closely with local governments and other transportation partners. She was recognized as one of the Top 100 Who's Who of Arizona Women in Business. The Arizona Business Journal named her as the Most Influential Person in Arizona Transportation.
Peters is one of four women who are agency chiefs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. President Bush has appointed more women as Transportation Department administrators than any previous president.
Founded in 1977, the WTS was created through the efforts of 40 women involved in transportation in the Washington, D.C., area. WTS is now a national organization of more than 35 chapters and more than 3,500 men and women in transportation.