Six Former U.S. Transportation Secretaries to Take Part in Miller Center Conference on Monday

Six former U.S. transportation secretaries will be among the participants in a conference being held Monday in Washington, D.C. by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. The 2013 David R. Goode National Transportation Policy Conference will examine the role of the president in articulating and advocating a national transportation vision.  

At 1:30 p.m. at the National Press Club, the secretaries – who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – will take part in a group interview during which they will discuss how past presidents developed and sold their transportation policies. Secretaries taking part are scheduled to include James Burnley, who served under Reagan; Samuel Skinner and Andrew Card, who served under George H.W. Bush; Rodney Slater, who served under Clinton; and Norman Mineta and Mary Peters, who served under George W. Bush.

They will be interviewed by a team that includes scholars who are part of the Miller Center’s acclaimed Presidential Oral History Program. The center has conducted, or is conducting, the oral histories of the administrations of every president from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush.

The group interview will be followed by a conversation about presidential leadership between Jim Oberstar, former chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and former Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles, director and CEO of the Miller Center. Baliles served as Virginia’s 65th governor and is credited with greatly improving the state’s transportation infrastructure in 1986, the last time the commonwealth had made any significant transportation improvements until the 2013 session of the General Assembly.

The National Press Club events are open to the public. Members of the public who are interested in attending those sessions should contact Juliana Bush at

Earlier in the day, two panel discussions, featuring transportation policymakers, industry officials and scholars, will take place in the Miller Center’s Washington office. The first panel starts at 9:30 a.m. and will focus on the president’s role in developing, funding and implementing transportation policy. The second begins at 11 a.m. and will examine the political realities of the president’s involvement. Participants are scheduled to include Polly Trottenberg, undersecretary of transportation for policy, and Marcia Hale, former White House director of intergovernmental affairs.

The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St. NW. The Miller Center’s Washington office is located at 801 17th St. N.W., Suite 202.