RODNEY E. SLATER
1993 — 1997
Federal Highway Administrator
Attorney — Arkansas Assistant Attorney General — State Highway Commissioner — Federal Highway Commissioner — Secretary of Transportation
Rodney E. Slater, a scholar-athlete at Eastern Michigan University, received a law degree from the University of Arkansas in 1980. From 1987 to 1992, Mr. Slater was a member of the Arkansas State Highway Commission, serving as Chairman in 1992.
As FHWA Administrator from 1993 to 1997, Mr. Slater strongly supported the National Highway System-160, 000 miles of road and intermodal connectors that will be the backbone of America's intermodal transportation system in the 21st century. He also coordinated the FHWA's acclaimed responses to numerous natural disasters, including the 1993 Midwest flooding and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake in California. During his tenure, the FHWA strengthened its commitment to Intelligent Transportation Systems, intermodal transportation, effective emergency response, innovative financing and contracting, and environmental enhancement, and made significant improvements in motor carrier and highway safety.
The common themes throughout Mr. Slater's tenure were an emphasis on putting people first by helping them not only to meet their transportation goals, but also to achieve the American Dream, and the need for the FHWA to remain a visionary and vigilant Agency as it faces the challenges of the 21st century. He worked continuously to demonstrate, in words and actions, that transportation is about providing all Americans with access to opportunities. Mr. Slater led the FHWA in the most extensive outreach effort in its history by touring America to look, listen, and learn from people who use, build, and maintain our roads and bridges.
Mr. Slater was named Secretary of Transportation directly following his tenure as Federal Highway Administrator-only the second FHWA Administrator to be appointed Secretary. President Clinton said in nominating Mr. Slater, "He has built bridges both of steel and of goodwill to bring people closer together."