The US Department of Transportation named Gloria Shephard as the new executive director of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Oct. 20. Shepherd will be the first woman and African-American to hold that post. The executive director is the ranking career position in the agency, appointed by the president but with no Senate confirmation required. In this role, Shepherd will oversee a variety of FHWA operations as it administers more than $350 billion of funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), including formula and competitive grant programs. The previous executive director, Tom Everett, retired this year.
Prior to her appointment, Shepherd was the agency’s associate administrator for planning, environment and realty. Shepherd has served at FHWA since 1999, and previously held senior positions with the Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland State Highway Administration and New York State Department of Transportation. She holds degrees from the University at Albany (SUNY), Albany Law School and Georgetown University.