NYC mayor names Trottenberg to run transport agency
Bill de Blasio, who was sworn in as mayor of New York City on Wednesday, is readying Polly Trottenberg to run the city's transportation department. Trottenberg was the third-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Transportation, where she served as under secretary of policy and was the primary adviser to the secretary of transportation.
Trottenberg replaces Janette Sadik-Kahn, who served six years as DOT Commissioner under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Transportation groups have been heralding the appointment, none of them more than WTS International, an association that focuses on women in the transportation field.
"Appointments such as these impact the future of the industry as they help
attract more women to the transportation field and leadership roles in
the public sector. It’s important for young women and men in the field
to be able to look up and see women in leadership roles," Marcia Ferranto, WTS International's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Workforce
development strategies that advance women help grow a more
gender-diverse industry and close the growing gap between the thousands
of jobs that will be open in transportation over the next several years
and the number of qualified professionals to fill them.”
Prior to being confirmed a year ago as under secretary of policy, Trottenberg served as assistant secretary for transportation policy for three years. She played a key role in the Obama administration's implementation of the popular multi-modal TIGER grant program that has included aid for ports and railroads, helped to shape and implement the two-year MAP-21 surface transportation bill passed by Congress in 2012, and has been an advocate for greater integration of freight during transportation planning.
Earlier in her career, Trottenberg served as legislative director for Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and as legislative assistant to New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. After her appointment was announced, Schumer tweeted that Trottenberg "has all the traits needed to be an A+
transportation commissioner." Among the places she worked before Capitol Hill was the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
She is the second cabinet member with prior experience at the port authority. Last month, de Blasio named Anthony Shorris, 56, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, to become deputy mayor.
The U.S. DOT is in a state of transition. Last month, deputy secretary John Porcari resigned to take a job in the private sector after 4.5 years. In the summer, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood was replaced by former Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to lead the DOT through the Obama administration's second term.
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