Gloria Shepherd ’92 to run Federal Highway Administration

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Gloria Shepard '92

Gloria Shepherd ’92 is the new Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

Shepherd is 11th person overall and the first Black woman to hold the position. 

She will oversee the implementation of more than $350 billion in improvements as part of President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Law. That includes grant programs with new funding and programs available to a range of recipients, including state departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, tribes, territories, and federal land management agencies.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as the next Executive Director of FHWA.  It does not fall short on me the enormous responsibility that comes with the position. I am grateful that history has allowed me to fulfill the dreams of my parents and relatives who have gone on and bent their shoulders low, so I could stand on them in this position of public service. I am confident with the help of all the talented people in FHWA, we will not only fulfill our mission but reach new horizons,” Shepherd said in a news release.

“From her work at the Maryland and New York Departments of Transportation, to more than two decades at FHWA, Gloria has dedicated her extraordinary career to serving the traveling public,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the Albany Law alumna. “We are lucky to have her expertise, insight, and dedication as we work to modernize our nation’s roads, bridges, and highways to serve the American people now and for generations to come.”

Since 2007, Shepherd has served as the Associate Administrator for Planning, Environment, and Realty, providing strategic oversight and executive leadership that advance national transportation initiatives to accelerate project delivery, promote environmental justice and stewardship, and reduce transportation’s carbon footprint on the national highway system. She has also championed agency workforce development, awards and recognition programs, and work-life balance, the agency said in a news release.

Prior to becoming an Associate Administrator, Shepherd served for eight years as the Director, Office of Planning where she was the principal advocate for metropolitan and statewide planning and programs. Before joining FHWA, she was in executive level positions with the Maryland State Highway Administration and the New York Department of Transportation.

Shepherd earned a Master of Law degree from Georgetown University, a Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School, and her Doctor of Arts from the University at Albany (SUNY). She is a member of the New York State Bar and enjoys hiking and running.

 “Our nation’s street and highway infrastructure is changing in real time and there is no one with more experience and dedication to this work to help guide that transition than Gloria,” said FHWA Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “Her expertise, commitment to mentorship of current and future transportation leaders, and the respect she has built over her long career position her to improve our transportation infrastructure as she leads FHWA as Executive Director. I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes in the years to come.”