Speaking with One Voice: Connecting the DOTs
Session 11: At the Crossroads: Civil Rights and the DOT 30-Year Framework
Peter Rogoff, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation
Peter M. Rogoff was directed to serve as the Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy in the U.S. Department of Transportation on January 25, 2014 by President Barack Obama. After being formally nominated for the post, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2014. In this role, he serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary, while providing leadership in the development of policies for the Department, generating proposals and providing advice regarding legislative and regulatory initiatives across all modes of transportation. His office oversees the Office of Transportation Policy and the Office of Aviation and International Affairs.
Prior to his current designation, Mr. Rogoff was confirmed in 2009 as the Federal Transit Administrator (FTA) by the U.S. Senate. At FTA, Mr. Rogoff led the agency through a period of historic change, managing record-setting accomplishments,including making investments in public transit projects of regional and national significance, and engineering agency-
wide process improvements to meet the American public’s growing need for public transportation services. In addition, Mr. Rogoff’s leadership helped guide the agency through the initial response, recovery, and restoration of transit agencies affected by the worst transit disaster in U.S. history caused by Hurricane Sandy.
Mr. Rogoff also presided over the transition from SAFETEA-LU to a new, two-year surface transportation authorization, known as MAP-21. A tireless advocate for safety, Mr. Rogoff was instrumental in helping the Obama Administration develop and transmit new safety legislation to Congress which is now part of MAP-21, granting FTA new authority for the first time in over 40 years to establish and enforce minimum transit safety standards on all federally funded rail transit systems. In addition, he played an integral role in the introduction of the Obama Administration’s PublicmTransportation Safety Program Act, legislation that would create enforceable federal safety standards for rail transit systems in the nation.
The proposed legislation has the distinction of being the first bill ever transmitted to Congress by any Administration that solely addresses public transportation. Additionally, Mr. Rogoff has significantly advanced transit participation in DOT credit assistance programs, including the TIFIA program, and early in his tenure at FTA, Mr. Rogoff successfully managed the disbursement of $8.4 billion in Recovery Act funds to assist transit operators adversely affected by the economic recession. Prior to his FTA appointment, Mr. Rogoff served for 22 years on the staff of the Senate AppropriationsCommittee, including 14 years as the Democratic Staff Director of the Transportation Subcommittee.
He is an acknowledged expert in the area of federal infrastructure budgeting and finance, having had an active role in the financing of each comprehensive surface transportation reauthorization bills dating back to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991.During his time on Capitol Hill, Mr. Rogoff was instrumental in the establishment of new user fee regimes to finance expanded security measures following the tragedy of September 11, 2001. He has also played a prominent role in advising policy makers on the operating and capital needs of Amtrak, including the initiation and financing of high-speed Acela service, as well as the financing of dozens of new transit rail and bus rapid transit systems across the United States.
In his oversight capacity, he was active reforming procurements in the FAA, Coast Guard, FTA, and FHWA. A major contributor to the enactment of safety legislation, Mr. Rogoff was the principal staff strategist for both the .08 blood alcohol content law and the youth drunk driving "zero tolerance" law. Together, these laws are credited with saving tens of
thousands of lives.
Mr. Rogoff has also been centrally involved in efforts to strengthen safety inspections of substandard trucks, cargo vessels, and pipelines. Mr. Rogoff was the first recipient of
the 2010 Rosa Parks Transportation Equity Award, the U.S. Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Award, and the Lester P. Lamm Memorial Award for outstanding leadership and dedication to U.S. highway transportation programs.
He earned his M.B.A. with honors at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and his B.A. degree in American Studies at Amherst College.
Stephanie Jones, Deputy Chief of Staff and Acting Director, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Transportation
Ms. Jones was sworn in as Deputy Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Transportation in January 2014. In this role, Stephanie serves as a senior adviser to Secretary Anthony Foxx and the Chief of Staff, and helps to manage a department with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation.
Recently, Secretary Foxx designated Stephanie to serve as the Acting Director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR). Stephanie will continue to serve as the Deputy Chief of Staff, while she provides leadership to DOCR. Stephanie joined Secretary Foxx’s leadership team after several years as a small business owner. Her public affairs and strategic communications firm, Stephanie Jones Strategies, empowered non-profits and businesses to increase productivity and profitability by improving diversity, expanding communication and engaging with external strategic partners and communities.
Prior to launching SJS in 2010, Stephanie spent five years as Executive Director of the National Urban League Policy Institute, the Urban League’s research, policy and advocacy arm. She was also Editor-in-Chief of The State of Black America and Opportunity Journal magazine. From 2002 until 2005, Stephanie served as Chief Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator John Edwards, advising him on judicial nominations, civil rights and liberties, homeland security, labor, and other issues. She worked closely with the Senator in the development of his anti-poverty, civil rights and urban agendas and was a senior adviser during his 2004 presidential and vice presidential campaigns. Prior to working for Senator
Edwards, Stephanie was Chief of Staff to the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
From 1994 until 2000, Stephanie served in the Clinton Administration as Secretary’s Regional Representative in the U.S. Department of Education, where she was the Administration’s education point person for a six-state region. During this time, she also extensively traveled with the President and First Lady, coordinating scores of events and domestic and foreign trips, including the President’s state visits to Africa, Europe, Asia, and The First Lady’s Save Our Treasures Tour and trips to Haiti, The Hague, and Poland.
Before entering government service, Stephanie was an Associate Professor of Law at Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she taught Civil Rights Law, Civil and Criminal Procedure, Entertainment Law, and Trial Advocacy. Stephanie has also served on the adjunct faculty of Northwestern University School of Law and practiced law with the firm Graydon, Head & Ritchey in Cincinnati. Prior to her legal career, Stephanie was a staff reporter at the Cincinnati Post and Executive Assistant to Lionel Richie and the Commodores.
Stephanie earned her B.A. from Smith College and her J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where she was a Fellow in the Urban Morgan Institute of Human Rights. She also attended Tuskegee University. Stephanie’s work in diversity, public engagement and cross-cultural understanding has earned accolades in many sectors. Her study, Sunday Morning Apartheid: A Diversity Study of the Sunday Morning Talk Shows, which she conceived, conducted, and wrote, triggered a significant and measurable increase in the on-air racial diversity of network and cable news programming. Stephanie’s essays and commentary on public policy, civil rights, and social justice have been featured in The Washington Post, Salon, and other publications.