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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Volpe Says Goodbye to Robert Johns and Begins National Search for New Director

Monday, October 26, 2015

Volpe Director Robert Johns will leave Volpe at the end of December to return to his home state of Minnesota. After six years leading Volpe’s suite of multimodal research and innovation programs that address America’s most pressing transportation challenges, Johns will rejoin the University of Minnesota (UMN) as a senior fellow in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He previously directed the UMN Center for Transportation Studies.

In his new position, Johns will support transportation-related research in regional policy and planning, and will teach graduate courses in leadership and management.

“I have been fortunate to work with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of public servants committed to advancing innovation that secures a safe and efficient transportation future for America,” said Johns. “I’m incredibly proud of what we have accomplished in the past six years, and I am looking forward to returning to my roots in Minnesota.”

As Volpe director, Johns led several high-priority projects for the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Secretary and Deputy Secretary. During Johns’ tenure, Volpe has been instrumental in developing Beyond Traffic: 2045, Secretary Anthony Foxx’s 30-year draft framework envisioning America’s transportation future. Volpe also provided research and analysis support to the Obama Administration's fuel economy standards, which will result in improved fleet-level fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Also under Johns’ leadership, Volpe has advanced connected vehicle research to improve the safety and efficiency of emerging transportation technologies, provided oversight and technical support for the implementation of high-speed rail projects, and supported NextGen programs that reduce flight delays and aircraft emissions.

Johns received the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board’s Distinguished Federal Executive of the Year Award in 2015 and the U.S. DOT Secretary’s Partnership in Excellence Award in 2012 and 2015.

“We’re looking for the next great leader to carry the torch at Volpe,” said U.S. DOT Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Gregory Winfree. “Volpe’s multimodal research and innovative program delivery is at the center of U.S. DOT’s transportation research. We rely on Volpe to help us solve some of our toughest challenges and provide transformative solutions.”

A national search has been initiated for a new Volpe director. Applications for this Senior Executive Service position can be submitted through USAjobs.

Robert Johns.