The AASHTO Journal announced Sept. 28, 2017, that the board of directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) elected Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner John Schroer as president for the coming year; Schroer served as vice president during the past year.
The board—made up of the heads of 50 state departments of transportation, plus those of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia—chose as vice president Carlos Braceras, the Utah DOT executive director, who was previously AASHTO’s secretary-treasurer. It also tapped Arkansas DOT director Scott Bennett to be secretary-treasurer.
Schroer has also filled several of the association’s top committee positions, among them chairing the AASHTO Standing Committee on Finance and Administration and the Strategic Management Committee.
“It is an honor to be elected by the AASHTO board to serve as president of our association,” Schroer told the AASHTO Journal. “One of my goals will be to make sure that AASHTO is on the cutting edge of innovation, to ensure states are ready to meet the many challenges that new transportation technologies will bring.”
Schroer said he wants to focus during his presidential year on the issue of achieving sustainable funding at the federal level for the Highway Trust Fund’s highway and transit programs, and that he will encourage Congress to explore all available revenue options toward reaching that goal.
He also said he hopes to lead the efforts of AASHTO and state DOTs to work with Congress and the Trump administration to enact an additional infrastructure investment package, plus a new long-term surface transportation reauthorization bill before the current five-year authorization expires in 2020.
Schroer has headed the Tennessee DOT since January 2011, when incoming Gov. Bill Haslam appointed him to that position. From 2007 until his DOT appointment, Schroer had been mayor of Franklin, Tenn.
Braceras began his career with the Utah DOT in 1986, and became deputy director and chief engineer in 2001. Gov. Gary Herbert named him as the department’s chief executive in May 2013.
The Arkansas Highway Commission chose Bennett to lead the state agency—then called the Highway and Transportation Department—in September 2011. He had first worked at the agency as a summer employee before he joined in 1989 as an engineer in the Planning and Research Division. He held various positions before becoming assistant chief engineer in 2004.
The AASHTO board elected the officers at its meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., this week.