Robert Hampshire joins Biden administration to work in transportation research and technology

January 21, 2021

Robert Hampshire, associate professor at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, whose research and policy engagement focuses on understanding the societal, climate and equity implications of autonomous and connected vehicles and other innovative mobility services, has joined the Biden administration to work in the U.S. Transportation Department.

Hampshire was appointed principal deputy assistant secretary for research and technology within the department. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology coordinates research and technology programs stemming from $1 billion in annual investment in transportation research, development and technology activities.

In this role, Hampshire is responsible for research, development and technology activities across the department and the 40 University Transportation Centers. He will oversee the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Hampshire was a research associate professor in both the U-M Transportation Research Institute's Human Factors group and Michigan Institute for Data Science. Additionally, he has been an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering. In his role at U-M, Hampshire developed and applied operations research, data science and systems approaches to public and private service industries to address structural inequalities.  

"The Ford School community is very proud of Robert and the values and skills he’s bringing to his important new role with the Biden administration," said Dean Michael Barr. "Robert's expertise and his deep commitment to equity, access and justice will improve transportation policy for all Americans."

Jim Sayer, director of the U-M Transportation Research Institute, said Hampshire's technical expertise, transportation policy experience and commitment to equity "will serve our nation well."

"He understands that communities with inadequate access to transportation results in negative impacts on peoples' lives in terms of employment, their access to medical care and healthy foods, and overall quality of life," Sayer said.

Hampshire's appointment was announced Thursday. He is retaining his tenure and professor titles with the University. The Ford School is working with him to ensure all of his grant funded projects continue during his absence. 


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This release was originally published by Michigan News here. Download and use this high-res headshot with credit to "Peter Smith / Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy."