The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has appointed Jennifer Toth – director of the Arizona Department of Transportation – to a two-year term as chair of its Committee on Planning.
AASHTO’s Committee on Planning addresses all aspects of the transportation planning process, including federal regulations, current industry practices, and emerging approaches and concepts. The planning committee is also dedicated to providing state departments of transportation the expertise, resources and tools they need to implement a robust planning process within their agencies that is multimodal, multidisciplinary, innovative and consensus-oriented.
A 25-year veteran of the public works sector, Toth most recently served as director for the Maricopa County Department of Transportation as well as the county’s engineer before being appointed director of the Arizona DOT on January 6 by Governor Katie Hobbs (D). Toth, who also previously served as Arizona DOT’s state engineer and deputy director, holds a bachelor’s degree and Master of Science in Civil Engineering.
AASHTO has also appointed Lauren Eichenfels – communication and public involvement planner for the Rail, Transit & Planning Division of the Montana Department of Transportation – as vice-chair of its Committee on Transportation Communications, known as TransComm.
Eichenfels has over a decade of public relations experience, including work for nonprofits, government agencies, and consumer industries. She began her career at Montana DOT in 2014 as a public relations specialist in the director’s office. She briefly left the agency for a few years to lead an earned media effort with the agency of record for the state’s tourism office, Visit Montana, then returned to take on her current role in 2020.
Eichenfels is most proud of her involvement in the department’s goal of Vision Zero; particularly the privilege of sharing the stories of Montana residents who lost loved ones tragically to fatal crashes to drive change and end serious injuries and deaths on state roadways. She is an alumnus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where she received a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism with a specialty in PR/advertising. Information courtesy of AASHTO.