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FHWA Works: Careers in Motion

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Road sign: CAREERS AHEAD

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 - Neil Gaffney

Photo of Neil Gaffney

Full Name: Neil Gaffney
Title: Public Affairs Specialist
Division/Department: Office of Public Affairs
Location: Washington, DC

  1. What is your typical workday like?
    I handle media inquiries on specific issues, such as bicyclist-pedestrian issues; innovations that can save lives, time, or money when it comes to project delivery; safety concerns; work zones and guidelines outlined in the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) that ensure drivers and other travelers have simple signs that are easy to identify and comprehend and other visual aids that make for safer journeys. I also write blogs and press releases, and accompany the FHWA Administrator and DOT Officials in order to provide public affairs support when there are groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings for projects in 16 states that I’m responsible for.

  2. What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
    Working with FHWA staff at Headquarters and in its New York Division office to bring the NY State Department of Transportation into compliance with the MUTCD.

  3. Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
    I worked as Director of Communications for the Electronic Industries Alliance, an organization representing high-tech trade associations who were facing political pressure in response to the offshore outsourcing of high-tech jobs. It was a politically sensitive issue, but one we were able to effectively communicate on, in part by engaging with the media in order to emphasize the need to foster and encourage innovation in the high-tech sector here in the United States.

  4. What are your hobbies in your spare time?
    I’m a huge fan of all Philadelphia sports teams (someday the Eagles are going to win a Super Bowl. You heard it here first.). I also am a dog lover and owner of a four-year-old beagle/foxhound mix named Betsy (as in, Heavens to…), who gets into all sorts of shenanigans when she does not get enough attention (hence her nickname: The Little Monster).

  5. What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
    What one can do well, a group of individuals working together as a team can do even better. I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazingly talented, selfless professionals prior to coming to FHWA and during my tenure here.

  6. Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
    that I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Other Employee Spotlights

Photo of Susie Tingler Full Name: Susie Tingler
Title: Management Assistant
Division/Department: Director of Field Services
Location: Baltimore, MD
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
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 June 28, 2017.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000