Robert Johns, Former Director, Center for Transportation Studies
In June 2000, TRB sponsored a workshop for state DOT CEOs on strategic management issues facing their organizations. Since this workshop, many CEOs have commented on the positive experience they had in being able to learn about national trends and exchange ideas with their peers on changes affecting and being initiated in their organizations. A product of the workshop, TRB Circular 501, identified research needs. The popularity of this event generated discussion about the possibility of repeating it, and perhaps instituting it on a regular basis. Consequently, a "CEO Leadership Forum" was held on May 4 - 6, 2003 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Resulting products included a summary report with recommended action items and a compilation of individual state initiatives addressing strategic leadership, program delivery, and operations. Continuation of the forums on a regular basis was recommended. This project called for the holding of a conference/workshop in 2006 generally following the format and venue of the conferences in 2000 and 2003. With CEO turnover being so rapid, a three-year cycle for the conference was expected bring in an entire new mix of CEOs. The staff at the Center for Transportation Studies coordinated the event planning, delivery, and dissemination of products for the 2003 forum, and brought to bear the lessons learned from that event, in addition to knowledge about state DOT strategic issues.