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About Us

New Volpe Center
The U.S. DOT Volpe Center – A Catalyst for Innovation in the Heart of Kendall Square

Our History in Brief

A former NASA laboratory, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) established the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (U.S. DOT Volpe Center) in 1970 to bring technical capability and a future-oriented outlook to pressing national transportation issues.

Renamed in 1990 in honor of the second U.S. Secretary of Transportation and Governor of Massachusetts John A. Volpe, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center has proudly and professionally served 19 Secretaries of Transportation, their deputies and assistant secretaries, and more than 300 modal administrators.

In 2023, we settled into our new home at 220 Binney Street, a state-of-the art facility located in a globally recognized innovation hub where research, technology, innovation, and ingenuity converge, ideas flourish, and big things get done.

Today, the U.S. DOT Volpe Center serves as a federal resource positioned to provide world-renowned, multidisciplinary, multimodal transportation expertise on behalf of U.S. DOT’s operating administrations, the Office of the Secretary, and other federal agencies, state and local governments, academia, and industry.

Our Mission

Celebrating more than 50 years of federal service to the nation, our mission is to advance transportation innovation for the public good.

The U.S. DOT Volpe Center objectively addresses the most complex transportation challenges facing transportation and the nation, with specific emphasis on safety, security, environment, energy, mobility, global competitiveness, and innovation. Our extensive cross-modal partnerships have led to innovative solutions that advance national and global transportation systems.

We work to anticipate emerging transportation issues and objectively address the nation’s most pressing and complex transportation challenges, particularly those that can be solved with an intermodal, systems perspective.

Through a vibrant culture of thought leadership and meaningful engagement in professional and technical organizations, our team of experts anticipates and addresses challenges, collaborates to drive innovation, and develops solutions that advance the national and global transportation systems.

Our Values

At the U.S. DOT Volpe Center, we are guided by six core values: public service, innovative solutions, professional excellence, collaboration and partnering, employee well-being, and equity. These core values, and the behaviors that support them, are at the heart of our organization and drives our mission.

Public Good logo

We serve the public honestly and objectively.

·       Work for the greater good. Contribute to the betterment of the public, the nation, and the transportation community, aligning with U.S. DOT goals.

·       Be good public stewards. Conduct ourselves with the recognition that we are stewards of public funding, confidence, and trust.

·       Be honest and objective. Provide objective expertise to help others make informed decisions.

·       Be a good neighbor. Look for opportunities to improve and contribute to our local and professional communities.


Global transportation logo

We continually anticipate and respond to global transportation challenges and emerging issues.

·       Embrace a systems perspective. Understand the larger context in which our work fits. Bring a cross-organizational, interdisciplinary perspective to your projects.

·       Take smart risks. Use and foster bold and forward thinking that allows for calculated risks. Look for new ways of approaching issues, and share lessons learned.

·       Make an impact. Be passionate about our work and continually find ways to increase its utility.

·       Be intellectually curious. Grow our knowledge and pursue opportunities to stay at the top of our profession. Explore opportunities outside of our comfort zone.


Deliver products logo

We strive to deliver outstanding products and services that exceed sponsor expectations.

·       Deliver quality. Do our best work in tasks great and small. Take pride in our contribution.

·       Focus on the customers’ needs. Listen carefully to customers’ goals and deliver solutions that address their needs. Be proactive in helping customers manage and solve problems.

·       Be a leader. Lead from whatever role you have in the organization, understanding that strong leaders also know when to follow.

·       Be accountable. Take responsibility for our own actions—including those resulting in both wins and losses.

·       Avoid groupthink. Encourage questions and embrace meaningful debate, understanding that diverse points of view lead to new ideas and innovations.

·       Move Volpe forward. Contribute to improving the organization. Be engaged in making the U.S. DOT Volpe Center a better place.


Collaboration logo

We foster internal and external collaboration and partnerships through teamwork and mutual respect.

·       Build trust—with both colleagues and customers. Set realistic expectations and reliably follow through. Be straightforward about changes in deadlines and deliverables. Address problems early and openly.

·       Look for new opportunities to partner with others. Forge relationships across the transportation industry.

·       Work as one Volpe. Collaborate with our colleagues across organizational and divisional boundaries to fulfill our common purpose of advancing transportation innovation for the public good. We are strongest and at our best when unified in purpose and action.

·       Be transparent. Communicate information in a clear, timely, and appropriate manner. Share resources and information openly.

·       Seek opportunities for mentoring. Invest in ourselves and others through coaching and mentoring—whether you are the mentor or mentee. Step up to share our expertise and help colleagues grow and be successful.


Well-being logo

We support the personal and professional well-being of our staff.

·       Embrace a healthy work-life balance. Try to strike a healthy balance between our personal and professional lives, and help others do the same.

·       Treat everyone fairly. Administer policies consistently and equitably. Offer opportunities based on people’s merits and qualifications—not on personal biases or relationships.

·       Promote diversity and inclusion. Embrace and honor colleagues from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, recognizing that diversity strengthens our organization as a whole.

·       Support one another. Treat each other with dignity and respect. Help each person feel like a valued member of the U.S. DOT Volpe Center community.

·       Have fun. Make time to interact with our colleagues and get to know one another. Enjoy what you do and who you spend time with at work. Bring a healthy sense of fun to the workplace.


Equity logo

We embed equity into all aspects of Volpe and challenge ourselves to continual growth.

·       Recruit, hire, promote, and retain a diverse workforce. Seek to recruit, hire, develop, and retain qualified talent from a broad spectrum of sources. Be an employer of choice. Build a workforce that reflects our customers and the Nation we serve.

·       Build diverse teams. Diverse perspectives and backgrounds on teams foster innovation. Ensure Volpe's solutions meet the Nation's complex transportation challenges.

·       Be a thoughtful leader. Be an advocate or ally for equity. Each employee plays a role in supporting and integrating equity here at Volpe in our work with customers.

·       Dismantle barriers. We stand for inclusion, and we deploy tools and strategies to remove barriers to employment and full participation in the Volpe community.

·       Maintain accountability. Establish, cultivate, and ensure transparency and accountability to advance Volpe's equity goals.

Work with Us

Find out how the U.S. DOT Volpe Center can help you innovate today and tackle tomorrow’s transportation challenges.

Connect with Us

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