The American Road & Transportation Builders Association has named Paula Hammond, former head of the Washington State Dept. of Transportation and now a senior official with WSP USA, to be ARTBA's chair for 2022-2023.

Hammond, whose election was announced on Sept. 28 at ARTBA’s national convention in Nashville, is the first woman to chair the association in its 120-year history. She was ARTBA’s senior vice chair at-large from 2019 to 2021 and earlier this year became senior vice chair.

Hammond has a long background in transportation. She joined WSP USA in 2013 as a senior vice president and is also the firm’s multimodal national market leader.

Before that, Hammond spent 34 years with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation, including more than five years as the state’s secretary of transportation. She was the first woman to lead the agency.. 

In 2020-2021, she was chair of WTS, formerly the Women’s Transportation Seminar, which has about 8,000 members. It says in its mission statement that it “attracts, sustains, connects and advances women’s careers to strengthen the transportation industry."

Hammond’s priorities as ARTBA chair include being “laser-focused on implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funding levels and policy reforms, with the aim to deliver the transportation improvements necessary for the nation’s economic stability and growth,” the group said. 

In addition, Hammond said ARTBA would work with other groups on goals, such as “protecting and enhancing transportation investment, promoting the value of infrastructure improvements and sharing best practices on workforce development issues,” according to an association statement.