Principal Technical Advisor for Transportation Technology Policy
Suzanne Sloan is the principal technical advisor for transportation technology policy at the U.S. DOT Volpe Center. She received her bachelor of science in social policy and international economic development from Northwestern University and a master in business from Boston University.
Sloan began her work in transportation and policy at Volpe in 1997. She is recognized for her significant contributions to the adoption of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). This area of research and practice delivers new and innovative technologies to surface transportation to support improvements in safety, system optimization, mobility, and environmental performance.
Sloan’s early work analyzed the institutional and workforce changes necessitated by the introduction of new technologies. Her research led to the development of professional capacity building (PCB) strategies for the transportation workforce. She helped establish the first PCB program for the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), which subsequently launched a range of these programs across the Department to address knowledge and skills in different transportation areas (e.g., planning, safety, or environment).
With the emergence of cooperative and connected technologies, Sloan’s focus has shifted to analysis of policy options that create the foundation for cooperative and trusted transportation environments. She has developed a policy life-cycle analytical process for identifying policy and institutional changes that require examination and deliberation throughout the technology life-cycle. The identification of these needs leads to a process of creating new policy options, adapting existing policy options, or adopting options that exist for other industries. These options further allow for the assessment of trade-offs so that decision makers can understand the impact and opportunities for the institutions and market actors that will deploy, operate, and maintain the technologies. This process has been applied within international harmonization working groups focused on cooperative ITS policy.
Sloan is a co-leader of international working groups that have addressed security and standards policies that support a harmonized global marketplace.
Sloan’s application of policy analysis has not been limited to intelligent transportation technologies. In her career, she has also performed research related to spaceport and transportation policies, transportation planning and equity issues, technology standards, technology transfer methodologies, and spectrum policy. She has developed a range of strategic plans, reports to Congress, and policy reports for U.S. DOT. Her many publications have been distributed worldwide.
Sloan is the recipient of numerous awards for her work. She received U.S. DOT’s Excellence in Public Service Award in 2010 and Volpe’s Director’s Recognition Award in 2011.