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FHWA Works: Careers in Motion

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Welcome to the "FHWA Works: Careers in Motion Employee Spotlight" series, a look into the careers and lives of Federal Highway Administration employees. Each month, we will introduce you to one of nearly 3,000 FHWA colleagues and highlight the important work they do. Our employees come from all corners of the agency but all offer the same, yet unique sense of dedication and professionalism, all while keeping America's roads and bridges safe.

Check out whose career is in motion and how #FHWAWorks! Discover exactly why our agency is celebrating being ranked in the Top 10 percent of "Best Places to Work in Federal Government!"

To learn more about how FHWA Works, explore the video series on YouTube or FHWA's LinkedIn page.

FHWA Works: Employee Spotlight - Christopher Douwes

Photo of Christopher Douwes

Full Name: Christopher Douwes
Title: Community Planner; commonly known as the Transportation Alternatives and Recreational Trails Program Manager
Division/Department: Office of Human Environment
Location: Washington, DC

  1. What is your typical workday like?
    A typical workday involves receiving and replying to inquiries about the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Alternatives, and pedestrian and bicycle issues from the public, States, FHWA Divisions, and other Headquarters offices, pointing people to the right place to get the information they need. I am usually juggling multiple topics at once, such as accessibility, project eligibility, FHWA funding, and national pedestrian and bicycle and trail policy. I am the FHWA Trails Guy, so just anything that has to do with recreational trails comes to me. I also coordinate with Federal Land Management Agency trail administrators.

  2. What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
    FHWA has published more than a dozen documents in the past 2 years related to pedestrian and bicycle planning, design, and safety. I wasn’t the lead person developing those documents, but my work over the past 25 years helped lay the foundation to support those documents. FHWA’s Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation states: The USDOT is committed to making all travel modes, including walking and bicycling, safe, accessible, comfortable, and convenient for everyone. My work helps to make that happen.

  3. Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
    I was part of an interdenominational mission organization for a 3 years; I lived in Mexico, Honduras, and Peru. Lessons that I learned then still help sustain me today. I still use my Spanish daily. I also saw the importance of an integrated, multimodal transportation system for all users that is efficient, equitable, safe, and environmentally sustainable. I learned from both good and bad examples: I was a transportation geek even then!

  4. What are your hobbies in your spare time?
    Walking, gardening, teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, helping with our church International program, and singing in the choir.

  5. What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
    Every organization needs people who do the everyday background activities, every organization needs people who keep a corporate memory, and every accomplishment depends on many team members. New and innovative initiatives are nice and glitzy, but we must continue to do the routine maintenance jobs to sustain them.

  6. Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
    I have donated more than 13 gallons of blood through the DOT/FHWA blood donation program. If you can give, give it try!

Other Employee Spotlights

Photo of Mohammed Yousuf Full Name: Mohammed Yousuf
Title: Program Manager, ATTRI/Transportation Research Specialist
Division/Department: FHWA Office of Operations R&D
Location: McLean, Virginia
Photo of Rebecca T. Crowe Full Name: Rebecca T. Crowe (Becky)
Title: Transportation Specialist
Division/Department: Office of Safety
Location: ADL- Virginia Division; Richmond, VA
Photo of Jihan Kamel Noizet Full Name: Jihan Kamel Noizet
Title: Transportation Specialist
Division/Department: Office of International Programs
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Todd Kohr Full Name: Todd Kohr
Title: Legislative Analysis Team Leader
Division/Department: Office of Policy and Governmental Affairs
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Kirsten Poston Full Name: Kirsten Poston
Title: Disability Policy Analyst
Division/Department: Office of Civil Rights
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Agnes Vélez Full Name: Agnes R. Vélez
Title: Transportation Specialist
Division/Department: Office of International Programs
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Joey Hartmann Full Name: Joey Hartmann
Title: Director of the Office of Bridges and Structures
Division/Department: Office of Infrastructure
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of  Marissa Romero Full Name: Marissa Romero
Title: Division Bridge Engineer
Division/Department: Arizona Division Office
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Photo of Doug Hecox Full Name: Doug Hecox
Title: Spokesman
Division/Department: Federal Highway Administration
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Tome White Full Name: Tom White
Title: Social Media Coordinator
Division/Department: Office of Public Affairs
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Ralph M. Davis Full Name: Ralph M. Davis
Title: Supervisory Transportation Specialist
Division/Department: Office of Government and Policy Affairs, Office of Highway Policy Information
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Doug Atkin Full Name: Doug Atkin
Title: Assistant Division Administrator Nebraska Division
Division/Department: Nebraska Division
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Photo of Norah Ocel Full Name: Norah M. Ocel, P.E.
Title: Transportation Operations Team Leader/Highway Safety Engineer
Division/Department: Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division
Location: Sterling, Virginia
Photo of LaToya Hines Full Name: LaToya Hines
Title: Staff Assistant to the FHWA Administrator
Division/Department: Office of the Administrator
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Travis Thomas Full Name: Travis Thomas
Title: Lead IT Specialist
Division/Department: Office of Information Technology Service/Office of Administration (HAD)
Location: Washington, DC
Photo of Brittany Broussard Full Name: Brittany Broussard
Title: Human Resources Specialist
Division/Department: FHWA/Office of Human Resources
Location: Washington, DC
Roger Ryder Full Name: Roger Ryder
Title: Senior Stewardship Advisor/Director of Operations
Division/Department: FHWA Pennsylvania Division
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Jennifer Nicks Full Name: Jennifer Nicks, PhD, PE
Title: Research Geotechnical Engineer
Division/Department: Office of Infrastructure Research & Development (R&D)
Location: Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center,
McLean, Virginia
Trinette D. Ballard Full Name: Trinette D. Ballard
Title: Marketing and Communications Specialist
Division/Department: FHWA Florida Division
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Jaun C. Garcia Full Name: Juan C. Garcia
Title: Multimedia Specialist
Division/Department: Management Services/Office of Administration (HAD)
Location: Washington, DC
Melissa Yu Full Name: Melissa Yu
Title: Marketing and Communications Specialist
Division/Department: Center for Accelerating Innovation
Location: Washington, DC
  U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration - Careers in Motion  
Page last modified on May 16, 2017.
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