Special Committee on Research and Innovation

AASHTO Liaison
Glenn Page, Associate Program Director, Project Delivery

Straining the Alphabet Soup — Who Are All These Guys?

​Some of the most common entities you’ll be dealing with are as follows:
American Association of State Highway and Transportation​ (AASHTO)

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AA​SHTO​) is the parent organization of RAC. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the United States. Its primary goal is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated national transportation system.

T​ransportation Research Board (TRB)

The Transportation Research Board (TRB​), like AASHTO, is a not-for-profit association, not a government branch. Mo​re


​The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA​) is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (US​D​OT​). FHWA is charged with the broad responsibility of ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically up-to-date. Although State, local, and tribal governments own most of the Nation’s highways, FHWA provides financial and technical support to them for constructing, improving, and preserving America’s highway system.

OST-R (formerly RITA)
  • The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) is part of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST). It comprises all of the program offices, statistics, and research activities previously administered by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).
  • More than 60 U​niversity Transportation Centers (UT​Cs) improve transportation research and education in the US and to strengthen the country’s competitiveness in the global transportation industry.
  • National Transportation Library (NTLmaintains and facilitates access to information necessary for transportation decision-making in government and coordinates with public and private transportation libraries and information providers to improve information sharing among the transportation community.​
​​​Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) Program

The TPF Program allows state DOTs, FHWA, and others to combine their resources and achieve common research goals in solving transportation-related problems, including research, planning, and technology transfer activities. Pooling resources reduces marginal costs, provides efficient use of taxpayer dollars, and delivers greater benefits to participants than they might otherwise be able to achieve by performing the work on their own.