Developing Transportation Agency Leaders



This report examines leadership development programs in 25 states and seven private-sector firms to address succession management among transportation agency leaders at a time when many experienced leaders are retiring or moving on to other opportunities. Today, technical skills are not sufficient in potential leaders who must also address policy, procedural, operational, and legal issues. Critical to developing capable leaders is workforce development and training. The most successful succession management programs include the personal interest and role of a CEO, which is also a hallmark of successful private sector programs, along with development of nontraditional skills. The report states that its findings and examples of private sector programs have much to offer in application to public sector transportation agencies. The report also contains a current examination of state DOT workforce challenges, a literature review synthesis of successful practices in developing agency leaders, and existing state practices on recruitment and retention of current and future leaders.

Source Organization Location

Washignton, DC

Operations Area of Practice

  • Leadership
  • Organizational Models
  • Position Descriptions, Recruitment and Retention
  • Tools for Small Agencies
  • Training and Profesional Development

Organizational Capability Element

  • Leadership/Championship
  • Education, Training & Professional Activities
  • Organizational Structure/Staffing
  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Staff Development

Content Type

  • Research

Role in Organization

  • CEO / GM / Commissioner
  • Director / Program Manager
  • Manager / First Line Supervisor
  • Principal Engineer
  • Senior Engineer
  • Senior Manager

Publishing Organization


Maturity Level of Program

  • Assessment (L1)
  • Deployment (L3)
  • Development (L2)
  • Monitoring (L4)


  • Available Tools
  • Learning

Project Website

Developing Transportation Agency Leaders

Prime Contractor
Tom Warne and Associates
Issue Date
January 1st, 2005
Publication Number
NCHRP Synthesis 349
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