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The Importance of Technology and Innovation in Transportation and Its Impacts on Communities

Kristin White will discuss the importance of technology and innovation in transportation and its impacts on the research community as well as communities across the country that use transportation to access critical services. Additionally, Ms. White will also discuss the United States Department of Transportation’s strategic goals, how they approach transportation research innovation and technology transformation, how to weigh risk and ethical considerations, and how everyone can all be responsible stewards of the transportation system that look to the future.

Attendees will:

  • Learn how transportation research adjusts to constantly changing technologies
  • Discuss how to effectively communicate technology and innovation in transportation to the general public
  • Understand how public servants balance the risks of innovation with opportunity in the public sector
  • Examine how government can disseminate research and technology innovations through sharing best practices

The Importance of Technology and Innovation in Transportation
and Its Impacts on Communities

Nov. 29 | 2 p.m.

Steger Hall Auditorium, Virginia Tech
1015 Life Science Circle
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Kristin White portrait.

Kristin White

Chief Counsel,
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
United States Department of Transportation

Kristin White was named chief counsel of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) in July 2023. In this role, Ms. White oversees all aspects of FHWA’s legislative, regulatory, and other programs to advise the federal-aid highway program and the secretary on matters relating to the 2,700-person agency and $59 billion Federal-aid highway program. Ms. White serves as part of the FHWA senior leadership team and manages 60 professionals in four offices across the country to advance the FHWA mission to deliver a world-class system that advances safe, efficient, equitable, and sustainable mobility voices for all while strengthening the Nation’s economy.

Before joining USDOT, she served as the chief operating officer of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), a nonprofit founded by Congress to advance safety and mobility through transportation technology and innovation. In this position Kristin promoted policies to advance the strategic direction of future transportation policy, developing a cohesive national vision for digital infrastructure, connected technologies, and automation, and developed public-private partnerships to empower local communities, states, and regions to develop innovative transportation solutions. In this work, Kristin championed MobilityXX and the Gender Equity in Transportation (GET) Collaborative – nonprofits to advance gender equity in transportation.

Previously, Kristin was the founder and executive director of Minnesota's Office of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV-X), one of the nation’s leading tech startups and idea incubators within government that researches and deploys transformational technology and policy. The CAV-X program’s innovations have garnered national attention, including winning the National Cronin Award, WTS Innovative Solutions Award, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/AASHTO America’s Transportation Award.

Kristin has a B.A. from St. Olaf College, a law degree from Hamline University School of Law and global arbitration certification from Queen Mary University of London. She began her career as a Fulbright Fellow with the U.S. State Department and has since represented Fortune 500 companies, cities, and states to advance future transportation needs. She lives in Washington D.C. with her West Highland terrier, Teddy.

About the Series

Each semester, the Division of Scholarly Integrity and Research Compliance invites a notable scholar or subject matter expert to share their ideas on ethical issues that are shaping the future of scholarship and the research enterprise. The goal of the Research Integrity and Scholarly Excellence (RISE) Lecture Series is to foster ethical scholarship, explore a diversity of perspectives about the roles and responsibilities of scholars and researchers, and reflect on the ethical impact of our work in the modern world.