Robert Hampshire will serve as the U.S. Department of Transportation's chief science officer, a role that has not been filled in more than 40 years. He was appointed assistant secretary for research and technology for the department, and will advise Secretary Pete Buttigieg on science and technology issues.
“The re-introduction of a Chief Science Officer underscores transportation’s key role in addressing the complexity and criticality of our dynamically changing climate. I look forward to working across all modes of transportation to address the immediate concerns, and to ensure our future transportation system is sustainable,” Hampshire said in a statement. “It is important that USDOT incorporate scientific research to advance climate change initiatives that are fair and equitable to all.”
The White House press release adds, "[Hampshire's] unique blend of engineering systems research with public policy has made him a leader in not only transportation research, but also on the disparate impact of policy decisions in transportation systems. This has led to important strides in our understanding of transportation equity."