The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering has announced that Victoria Sheehan will join the organization as the new executive director of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) on Dec. 5, 2022. Sheehan will succeed Neil Pedersen, who has served as TRB’s executive director for nearly eight years.
Sheehan comes to the National Academies from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT), which she has led as its commissioner for the past seven years. Responsible for an operating budget of over $650 million, she oversees a staff of more than 1,600 employees representing diverse areas such as aeronautics, rail, transit, construction, operations, finance, and administration. Her team led the development of New Hampshire’s Ten-Year Transportation Plan, and Sheehan worked directly with the governor, general court, and executive council to ensure it would address the state’s growing needs.
Before joining the New Hampshire DOT, Sheehan spent 10 years at the Massachusetts DOT leading strategic planning and highway performance, managing the bridge consulting program, and overseeing an eight-year, $3 billion Accelerated Bridge Program. Sheehan served as president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) for 2020-2021 and has been an active board member in a range of other professional organizations. She holds a master’s degree in structural engineering and architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
“We are excited that Victoria will be joining our leadership team,” says Gregory Symmes, chief program officer of the National Academies. “Her experience with complex, multifaceted projects and organizations will bring important skills not only to TRB, but to the important cross-disciplinary work that is necessary to address the implications for transportation of the ongoing challenges of climate change, pandemics, diversity, and economic growth.”
“Through our discussions about industry issues, and her track record at New Hampshire Department of Transportation and AASHTO, I am confident Victoria is an excellent choice to lead TRB in its crucial mission of providing transportation professionals with the research and advice they will need to address our shared challenges,” added Nathaniel P. Ford, chair of the TRB Executive Committee and chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.