2017 Research Conference - Opening Session : How We Pay for Transportation Infrastructure: What’s the Value Proposition?

Keynote Speaker:

Joung Lee, Policy Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials


  • Tracy Hatch, Deputy Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • Jeffrey Heilstedt, Vice President, Transportation Regional Business Line Leader, Midwest Region, AECOM
  • Jim McDonough, Commissioner, Ramsey County
  • Jerry Zhao, Associate Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

The public generally support investing in transportation infrastructure, yet they fiercely oppose increases in user fees or taxes to support this investment. The opaqueness of transportation revenue mechanisms like the gas tax makes it difficult for the traveling public to easily discern how much they pay for infrastructure and what value they derive from it.

In the conference opening session, Joung Lee, policy director at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, examined the latest direction in infrastructure funding at the federal level. He also offered examples of innovation happening in states all around the country and discussed policy and political considerations when it comes to transportation revenue and financing tools.

Following Lee’s presentation, a panel of Minnesota leaders and experts shared perspectives on transportation infrastructure funding.

About the Speaker

Joung Lee
Joung Lee

Joung Lee is policy director at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), where he leads the agency's policy efforts across all modes of transportation. Working with Congress, executive branch agencies, and transportation industry stakeholders, Lee represents the policy interests of state departments of transportation as bills and regulations are developed and implemented. In addition, he oversees AASHTO's centers of excellence and fee-for-service programs concerning environment, finance, planning, transit, and rail. 

Lee began his career with the Federal Highway Administration in 2000 and joined AASHTO in 2007. He is the founder of Young Professionals in Transportation, a national networking organization for career development, and has served as chair of the Road Gang, a DC-based highway policy society. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania.