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Office of Policy & Governmental Affairs

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Office of International Programs

Recent Highlights


Successful Participation in the Prague World Road Congress

Over 30 representatives from the United States’ Federal and State governments and academia attended PIARC’s XXVIIth World Road Congress. The event was held in Prague, Czechia, from October 2-6, 2023. The delegation, led by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Executive Director, Gloria Shepherd, in her role as the United States (U.S.) First Delegate to the World Road Association (PIARC), delivered over 40 presentations on topics of interest to the international road sector. At the Congress, Ms. Shepherd presented the PIARC Prize for the winner of the best paper in the category of Road Safety, sponsored by FHWA, to Laura Rey Ramos from Spain. Ms. Shepherd also delivered important presentations on topics related to road safety and equity in the road sector.

Hari Kalla, Associate Administrator for Infrastructure, was among the delegation members actively engaged throughout the Congress. Mr. Kalla was recently elected as PIARC’s Strategic Theme Coordinator for Theme 4 - Resilient Infrastructure in the Association’s 2024-2027 work cycle, which was announced during the Congress. Infrastructure resilience is becoming an increasingly critical consideration for highway and transportation organizations in the United States and globally. In addition, Mr. Kalla delivered presentations on topics related to electric vehicles, cycling infrastructure, effective use of data, and connected vehicles.

Other officials from FHWA in attendance included those who hold leadership positions in PIARC’s Technical Committees on pavements, bridges, freight, and performance of road administrations. In this capacity, Gina Ahlstrom, Joseph Hartmann, Tiffany Julien, and Karen Bobo delivered presentations in their areas of expertise, moderated sessions, and facilitated discussions in workshops and meetings covered by their technical committees. In addition, on behalf of Jeffrey Zaharewicz, Leslie Wright, Director of the Office of International Programs, presented about Accelerating Deployment of Transportation Innovations in the U.S.

The United States delegation also included important representation by executives from the American Association of State and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), including its President, Roger Millar, and the Executive Director, Jim Tymon. In addition to the state representatives to the PIARC Technical Committees, CEOs from Florida, Minnesota, Washington, Missouri, and Utah were actively engaged in the Congress sessions, providing a state perspective to the implementation of important programs related to electric vehicles, infrastructure resilience, decarbonization, active transportation, and road safety, among many others. The Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Executive Director, Victoria Sheehan, also attended the Congress, where she presented several initiatives related to gender equity in transportation.

As in the past, FHWA, AASHTO, and TRB worked together in designing, setting up, and staffing the U.S. Pavilion at the World Road Congress’ exhibition hall. The Congress’ state-of-art exhibition provided an ideal space for the United States to present achievements, innovative technologies, and solutions to an international audience in an informal setting. This setting also allowed the U.S. delegation members to hone in on discussions specifically related to FHWA’s strategic priorities and objectives.

Presentations and other material delivered at the Congress by U.S. officials are posted in the Congress' proceedings available here: https://proceedings-prague2023.piarc.org/en/.

Page last modified on March 21, 2024
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