AASHTO’s new President to emphasize workforce, safety and implementing the IIJA
The board of directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have elected Craig Thompson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, as its 2023-2024 president. The board also selected Garrett Eucalitto, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), as its 2023-2024 vice president.
“As transportation needs continue to evolve, I am honored to serve as AASHTO’s president as we navigate the future together,” Thompson said upon stepping into the role. “This is a very exciting and challenging time for transportation, but I see great opportunity for those of us in the industry to make a real impact for our communities. During my tenure, I will focus on taking advantage of the opportunities offered through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), working with any and all partners to move the needle on roadway safety, and recruiting and retaining top talent for the transportation workforce.”
In January 2019, Governor Tony Evers appointed Thompson as secretary of the Wisconsin DOT, one of the largest state agencies in Wisconsin. The department supports all modes of transportation, including state highways, local roads, railroads, public transit systems, airports, and harbors. Thompson carries more than 28 years of experience working with Wisconsin businesses, communities, legislators and units of government, He previously led the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin and served as the legislative director for the Wisconsin Counties Association.
As AASHTO president, Thompson will prioritize three major areas of emphasis as he assumes his new role:
- Realizing the Promise of the IIJA: As we reach the mid-point of the five-year authorization of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), it is imperative that state DOTs work with federal partners to ensure that the promise of IIJA is fully realized. AASHTO and state DOTs need to demonstrate to all communities that government at all levels can work efficiently to apply these historic investments in a way that will positively impact their lives.
- Bolstering Safety: Despite enhanced efforts by state DOTs across the country, too many lives are still being lost on our nation’s roadways. Thompson will build upon the safety initiatives of Immediate Past President Roger Millar to ensure that state DOTs continue to make progress. It is imperative that AASHTO and all partners address this crisis using all means and methods at our disposal. Providing all users with safe multi-modal transportation options is the foremost priority.
- Reinvigorating the Workforce: As demographic trends continue to place significant strains on the labor pool across all sectors of the U.S. economy, state DOTs are seeking new ways to attract and maintain robust talent. Thompson will collaborate with state DOTs to establish effective practices for building a transportation workforce that meets the needs of today and tomorrow.
AASHTO 2023-2024 Vice President Eucalitto was nominated by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and confirmed by the legislature as commissioner of the CTDOT in January 2023. From January 2020 until January 2023, Eucalitto served as the Deputy Commissioner of CTDOT. Prior to his time at CTDOT, Eucalitto served as the transportation program director for the National Governors Association, Undersecretary for the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, and as a legislative assistant in the United States Senate. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree from Boston University.
“We are ecstatic to welcome incoming AASHTO President Thompson and Vice President Eucalitto as they step into important leadership roles within our organization,” said AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon. “These accomplished leaders bring a wealth of knowledge that will benefit state DOTs across the nation and help AASHTO deliver safety, mobility, and access for everyone.”
The full safety resolution is available here.