Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, will retire at the end of the year.
According to a press release issued May 17, Wright informed AASHTO’s board of directors that he plans to leave office at the end of 2018. He made the announcement while participating in the group’s spring meeting in Franklin, Tenn. Wright has served as executive director since 2012.
“AASHTO is a wonderful place to work,” Wright said in announcing his retirement. “In my experience, and that experience working in transportation now spans more than 43 years, you will at some point feel the moment. And I am feeling that moment. This is very bittersweet for me, but I am proud of where we are as an association and I prefer the idea of leaving maybe too soon rather than too late.”
During his tenure at AASHTO, Wright oversaw the development of a new strategic plan and led the organization to overhaul its committee structure.
Before joining AASHTO, Wright worked as a consultant. He also has held various positions within the Federal Highway Administration. Starting in 1975, Wright worked his way up through FHWA, serving as an economist, a special assistant, a program manager, chief operating officer and, ultimately, executive director. He served as executive director of FHWA from 2001 to 2008 and shaped the policies and programs associated with the federal aid highway program.
Over the course of his career, Wright has garnered several awards, including the Presidential Rank Award for federal government executives, the Secretary of Transportation’s Special Achievement Award and Team Award and FHWA’s Superior Achievement Award.
AASHTO President John Schroer, who also serves as the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, said the group’s executive committee would begin a search for a new director.