Anne Aylward is Volpe’s New Director and the First Woman to Hold the Position
Anne Aylward, a proven senior leader and results-driven executive with more than 30 years in the transportation field, has been selected as Volpe’s new director. She is the organization’s seventh permanent director, and the first woman to hold the position.
Aylward’s new role builds on her 20 years of service at Volpe, during which time she has made substantial contributions to U.S. DOT priorities, leading a research and technology staff of 490 analysts, economists, engineers, planners, scientists, and system developers.
Aylward has also co-led Volpe efforts on numerous high-visibility priorities, including Beyond Traffic, NextGen, and the first National Freight Strategic Plan. Under her guidance, Volpe has hired hundreds of energetic and talented professionals. New hires have increased from 32 percent female in 2011 to 57 percent in 2015, and more women have been promoted into leadership roles. Aylward has also strengthened relationships with U.S. DOT and other partners, helping increase the value of Volpe’s research portfolio by nearly 20 percent over the past 5 years.
Assuming the Helm of a Dedicated Staff
“The reason Volpe has been so consistent for over 45 years as a leading global transportation research center is the quality of our people,” Aylward said. “Our extraordinary work, across modes and on behalf of the entire transportation community, comes back to the dedication of our staff. It is an honor for me to now have the opportunity to lead them, and to craft a 21st century vision for Volpe.”
As Volpe director, Aylward will continue to develop business opportunities; sustain relationships with key transportation stakeholders within government, industry and academia; and ensure that Volpe staff deliver innovative solutions to challenging transportation problems.
A Groundbreaking Career in Transportation
Before joining Volpe, Aylward worked for the Massachusetts Port Authority from 1976 to 1993, including 10 years as director of the Port of Boston. She was also the first woman elected to chair the American Association of Port Authorities. Aylward served two terms as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Marine Board and as a member of several Transportation Research Board freight and intermodal committees.
Aylward has been honored with major transportation awards several times throughout her career. Most recently, the Boston chapter of WTS International honored her at its 20th Annual Leadership Forum with the 2016 Leadership Award.
Aylward takes over from acting director David Ishihara. She is now working with senior leadership to frame Volpe priorities for the next five years.