Humphrey School News

Robert Johns Joins Humphrey School as Senior Fellow

March 29, 2016
Robert Johns

Leading transportation expert Robert Johns has joined the faculty as a senior fellow at the Humphrey School. He will conduct and support transportation-related research in the urban and regional planning area and will teach in the leadership and management area.

Prior to joining the University, Johns served as director of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a fee-for-service organization of 570 federal employees that conducts approximately $300 million in annual research for its clients, including DOT modal administrations and other federal agencies.

 As director of the Volpe Center, Johns worked with clients to expand sponsored research and innovation programs, including technical assistance and oversight for high speed rail projects, highway research on connected and automated vehicles, and aviation research for the NextGen air traffic control system. He led the research and writing of Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices 2045, a 30-year transportation framework for U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

 Prior to joining the Volpe Center, he served as director of the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota, leading interdisciplinary research programs on transportation and community design, access to destinations and regional growth.

 “We are delighted that Bob is returning to the University and joining both our urban and regional planning and our leadership and management teams at the Humphrey School,” said Dean Eric Schwartz. “He brings with him significant experience plus keen insights gleaned from his nationwide work—and students are always enthusiastic about having opportunities to learn from practitioners in their field of interest.”

 Johns also has held research and management positions with the Santa Fe Railway, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities. He currently is an active leader of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies. He holds a bachelor of science in engineering operations from Iowa State University, and MBA and MA degrees from the University of Iowa.

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