Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to notify you of a temporary change in the leadership of the ITS Joint Program Office.  Shelley Row, Director of the ITS Joint Program Office, will begin a one-year leave of absence on March 29, 2010.  Last year, Shelley's husband had a serious illness for which he was successfully treated.  That experience convinced them that now is the most appropriate time to fulfill personal priorities.  We wish her and her husband Mike a very good year and we look forward to her return to RITA in April 2011.

During her absence we intend to push ahead with our work program.  To ensure that we advance and accelerate program momentum and accomplish our goals, RITA Deputy Administrator Dr. Robert Bertini will accept executive responsibility for the ITS program as acting Director, concurrent with his existing responsibilities as Deputy Administrator.  ITS Joint Program Office Deputy Director, John Augustine, will step up to accept greater responsibility as the Managing Director of the Joint Program Office.  I have complete confidence in Rob, John, and the JPO staff as they execute the ITS strategic research plan.  They are a great team, well-qualified, extremely productive, and highly professional. 

Additionally, to supplement the ITS JPO, we will engage the assistance of other staff through internal details, rotational assignments, contractor support, and external support from universities and other sources from the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) mobility program.

This is a critical year for the ITS Program, and we are committed to ensuring its success.  The recently released ITS Strategic Research Plan provides the framework for our research program.  We will specifically focus on laying the foundation for DSRC to demonstrate its transportation safety effects and to explore ways to accelerate DSRC implementation into vehicles – we are very much committed to this transformational technology to enable important steps forward in transportation safety.
We will miss Shelley, but her departure will in no way slow our progress.  We have a solid ITS Strategic Research Plan to guide our work in this coming year and an excellent staff with which to accomplish our goals.

Best regards,

Administrator Peter Appel