AASHTO board elects new president and vice president

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Board of Directors today voted at its annual meeting to elect Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Mike Hancock as the association’s president. John Cox, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), was elected AASHTO vice president.

As president, Hancock will emphasize three areas: Updating the AASHTO Strategic Plan; promoting innovation as it relates to State DOT and industry practices; and participating directly in AASHTO’s effort to pass the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.

“This is a critical time for transportation agencies across the country as we grapple with uncertain Federal funding in the face of ever-increasing transportation needs,” said Hancock. “AASHTO member transportation departments which are located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, rely on the Federal government to provide sustainable levels of annual transportation funding today and into the future.”

Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Secretary Hancock to lead the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in July 2010. The Secretary is a career KYTC employee who has served as assistant state highway engineer for program management, deputy state highway engineer for planning, state highway engineer, KYTC chief of staff and Acting Secretary.

Hancock recently served as president of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) and currently serves as Chairman of the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board, a national panel that guides transportation research in the United States.

Having been responsible for preparation of the Kentucky Highway Plan for many years, Hancock has worked closely with local, state and national leaders in the areas of project needs prioritization and transportation program funding.

“A top priority for our nation must be to achieve economic stability through a strong and sustainable level of transportation investment,” said Hancock.  “As President of AASHTO, I look forward to continuing discussions with lawmakers as Congress works to reauthorize federal transportation programs before they expire on Oct. 1, 2014.”

Hancock is a native of Princeton, Ky., and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Engineering. Mike and his wife, Marla, have three adult children and a grandson.

AASHTO Vice President John Cox has served as WYDOT director since January 2005. He was appointed to the position by former Gov. Dave Freudenthal and he was reappointed in February 2011 by current Gov. Matt Mead. As WYDOT Director, Cox is responsible for Wyoming’s largest and most diverse state agency with more than 2,000 employees based in 60 locations.

Cox joined WYDOT following a distinguished, 28-year career in law enforcement. For approximately seven years he served as the administrator of the Wyoming Highway Patrol. His career also included 11 years as chief of police in Powell, five years as a division supervisor in the Douglas Police Department, and positions with the Converse County Sheriff’s Department and the Chadron (Neb.) Police Department.

Cox has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the International University of Missouri and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI’s law enforcement executive development course.