Dr. Richard R. John, Director Emeritus
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, RITA/USDOT
617/494-3333 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Richard John joined the Volpe Center in 1970. During the course of his early career, he initiated and led the development of Volpe's world class capabilities in understanding and advancing all aspects of the nation's ground transportation enterprise at the local, regional and national level. He was a leader in the nation's early efforts in transportation energy conservation and the development of the initial motor vehicle fuel economy standards.
He served as the Director of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1989 -2004. Prior to becoming Director, he held a number of management roles, including that of Chief Scientist. During his entire Center career he has stressed the need for a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach, including consideration of the hard and soft sciences, if the transportation enterprise is to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
In 2004 he became Volpe's Director Emeritus and continued his role as an active participant in the organization's thought leadership and strategic planning activities. As Director Emeritus he has shared and encouraged the sense of pride that all members of Volpe's staff can take through their participation in regional, national, and global transportation initiatives that enhance, and will continue to enhance the public good.
His contributions to the U.S. Department of Transportation have been recognized by Secretarial Awards from Secretaries William Coleman in 1976, Neil Goldschmidt in 1980, and Drew Lewis in 1981. He received a Presidential Rank Meritorious Executive Award from Ronald Reagan in 1987, and Distinguished Presidential Rank Awards from George Bush in 1990 and William Clinton in 2000. The Distinguished Presidential Rank Award is the federal government's highest civil service award "for sustained extraordinary accomplishments in management of programs for the United States and for leadership exemplifying the highest standards of service to the public reflecting credit on the career civil service."
In 2011 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presented Dr. John the annual AIAA 2011 Public Service Award, "for excellence in national leadership and lifelong contributions to the nation's aviation and aerospace enterprise." This award is presented annually to honor an individual outside the aerospace community who has shown consistent and visible support for national and aviation space goals.
Prior to his more than 40 years of federal government service, Dr. John was a leader in applied research in the private sector and was an active participant in the development and flight demonstration of manned and unmanned re-entry vehicles, including the Apollo spacecraft.
He received his undergraduate and graduate education at Princeton University in Engineering Physics, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. He has published extensively in the fields of combustion, and most recently on industrial competitiveness and innovation.