ITS America appoints Colorado DOT’s Shailen Bhatt as its new president and CEO


ITS America has named the executive director of Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Shailen Bhatt, as its new president and chief executive officer.

Bhatt was selected after an intensive nationwide search, succeeding David St Amant, who has served as interim president and CEO since August, following the departure of Regina Hopper who became SVP of global public policy for Gridsmart Technologies.

Bhatt brings a rich portfolio of management and public policy expertise to ITS America through his prior service as cabinet secretary of Delaware DOT and as an associate administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Bhatt has also played a leadership role on the national stage for transportation policy through his board service on the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and as chair of the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE) and of the Vehicle to Infrastructure Deployment Coalition (V2IDC).

Bhatt joins ITS America with an extensive background in promoting the development and deployment of intelligent transportation technologies, and is seen as a keen advocate of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). During his 20-month tenure at CDOT, Bhatt focused on deploying ITS infrastructure, creating the RoadX program and making Colorado a national innovation leader in the use of smart technologies. By teaming with the private sector, he launched such efforts as:

• Being selected as one of 10 global finalists and moving forward with a first-of-its-kind feasibility study to build Hyperloop, a new rapid speed travel infrastructure;

• Partnering with OTTO/Uber Trucking to complete the world’s first commercial delivery by a self-driving truck;

• Deploying the world’s first Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle to protect work zones from distracted drivers;

• Partnering with Panasonic to build the world’s first commercial grade, licensable, Connected Vehicle Ecosystem (CV Ecosystem) and also with Here to enable vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications.

Announcing the appointment, ITS America’s chairman Chris Murray, CEO of Kapsch TraffiCom North America, said, “Shailen Bhatt is uniquely positioned to drive the mission of ITS America forward as intelligent transportation and connected and autonomous vehicles are poised to dramatically alter the transportation landscape by increasing safety, equity, sustainability and economic opportunity in states and cities across the nation.”

Bhatt commented, “Technology is transforming transportation at a breathtaking pace. Our vision for ITS America is to be the foremost thought leading organization for the 21st century around intelligent transportation.”

CDOT’s deputy executive director and COO, Mike Lewis, will serve as interim director in the wake of Bhatt’s departure.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).