Release date: November 16, 2023
Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary Craig Thompson takes the lead this week as president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The national organization elevated Secretary Thompson to president on Thursday. He served as vice president from 2022-2023.
As president, Secretary Thompson will work with other leaders across the country to shape the future of transportation policy in the U.S.
“As transportation needs continue to evolve, I am honored to serve as AASHTO’s president as we navigate the future together,” Secretary Thompson said. “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.”
Secretary Thompson will focus on three, main priorities during his time as president:
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 is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association that represents departments of transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The organization’s goal is to foster the development, operation and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.
Governor Tony Evers appointed Secretary Thompson to lead WisDOT in 2019. Secretary Thompson has more than 28 years of experience working with Wisconsin businesses, communities, legislators and units of government.
During his tenure, Secretary Thompson has driven the effort to prioritize the state’s transportation system, which led to three consecutive state budgets that increased transportation revenues after years of underinvestment. Those investments have allowed the state to improve more than 5,800 miles of road and more than 1,600 bridges in Wisconsin. Under Secretary Thompson’s leadership, WisDOT has also worked to focus on innovative safety initiatives and diverse transportation options, including harbors, rail and transit.
Secretary Thompson previously led the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin and served as the legislative director for the Wisconsin Counties Association. He was 2020-2021 president of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO), collaborating with MAASTO member states to learn together about topics like Connected and Automated Vehicles, equity and inclusion, and public engagement on transportation issues.
For more information, contact:
WisDOT Office of Public Affairs