RAY A. BARNHART
1981 — 1987
Federal Highway Administrator
Eagle Scout — State Legislator — State Highway Commissioner — Articulate Advocate
Ray A. Barnhart came to the Federal Highway Administration from Pasadena, Texas, where he was a member of the State Highway Commission and led a successful career in the utilities construction and insurance business. He also served as a city councilman, a State legislator, and State Republican chairman.
Following his appointment as Administrator in January 1981, he became noted for his strong leadership, his easy manner, and his extraordinary communication skills. In 1982 he helped lead the drive to increase highway user fees for the first time in 23 years. His tenure was marked by strong efforts to protect the integrity of the Highway Trust Fund, streamline procedures, shorten delays, and return management authority to the States.
Mr. Barnhart worked to establish 42 technology transfer centers at U.S. colleges and universities, and restructured and strengthened the Agency's motor carrier and international highway programs. He was a leading spokesman to the philosophy of the Reagan Administration and the importance of highway transportation to the social and economic well-being of the Nation.