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202-366-4000


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FHWA Works: Employee Spotlight - Jeremy Raw

Photo of Jeremy Raw

Full Name: Jeremy Raw
Title: Community Planner
Division/Department: Systems Planning and Analysis Team, Office of Planning
Location (City/State): Washington, DC

  1. What is your current position and how long have you been in this role?
    For the last eight years I have worked in the FHWA Office of Planning as a Community Planner. I provide support for data analysis and travel models to FHWA's planning office partners at State transportation agencies and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. I help agencies figure out how to use data effectively to support their planning process. I also help design and conduct research and deployment projects to improve modeling and data analysis for planning applications. I work on specific topics as well: supporting review of environmental analyses under National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), bicycle and pedestrian data collection and forecasting, and planning for connected and automated vehicles. I previously worked at Virginia Department of Transportation in Richmond, VA, where I still live.

  2. What is your typical workday like?
    It's all about helping people figure out how to apply planning and analysis tools to their planning problems. I conduct workshops, deliver presentations, hold onsite meetings with partner agencies and project teams. I do occasionally get to do actual modeling and data analysis!

  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
    Two things really: First, I finished coordinating the development of new instructions for FHWA reviewers looking at forecasting for environmental studies under NEPA. Those instructions will help us deliver better projects more rapidly than before. Second, I've led a pooled fund effort with seven states and three Metropolitan Planning Organizations to develop new tools for "strategic modeling" that will enable agencies to better address future planning needs.

  4. Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
    I've had a varied and checkered career so that's a hard question to answer! French teacher, perhaps? I was a software developer for almost 20 years and I got to do some very cool stuff in that work: I was the lead user interface developer for 3D graphics animation software, I worked with other engineers to develop a power grid management simulation. Way back when, I worked as a secretary for a salesperson in a large shipping company (transportation has always been on my agenda somewhere).

  5. What are your hobbies in your spare time?
    I enjoy gardening, bicycling, hiking—pretty much anything that gets me outdoors. I also like to cook. But I don't see those as "spare time"—they're just what I do, and part of organizing my life so the things I enjoy happen every day.

  6. What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
    Don't stay too stuck on your original ideas of what you're going to do—if there's a door that looks like it might lead somewhere interesting, just walk through it even if it's not where you thought you were headed. Notice interesting things and go after them (that door won't always open unless you push). It's not really "drifting", just taking that next good step that seems to open up new things (motivated by curiosity).  Remember to dip into the "bucket list" whenever you have a chance.

  7. Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
    I was born in South Africa, and I have university degrees in French, philosophy, mechanical engineering, and city planning. Few people know I fell in love with subway planning when I was thirteen, but it took me another thirty years to realize that transportation planning was my destiny. It's been a great trip.

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  U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration - Careers in Motion  
Page posted on August 15, 2018
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000