Over the past twenty years, Washington has become increasingly gripped by political polarization. Heightened partisanship in Congress has brought with it gridlock that regularly threatens to stall progress—particularly that in the realm of transportation policy.

The Century Foundation invites you to join us on January 28 as we bring together two leading figures in transportation policy: former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and New York City DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. In an interview-style discussion with Trottenberg, LaHood will reflect on his time in office and the challenges that inevitably arise when reaching across the aisle in the hyper-polarized climate of modern-day American politics.

This event is supported by the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative. Refreshments will be served prior to and immediately following the program.


Ray LaHood is the former US Department of Transportation Secretary. With a 36-year career in public service, Secretary LaHood has extensive experience on major national policy issues, among them transportation and infrastructure. He served as the 16th Department of Transportation Secretary from 2009 to 2013 and quickly became known as a bipartisan leader and skilled conciliator in a highly partisan environment. He is the author of the recently published book, Seeking Bipartisanship: My Life in Politics.

Polly Trottenberg has served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation since January 2014. Trottenberg’s 22 years of government experience include over four years at USDOT, most recently as the Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, where she developed key initiatives for the Obama Administration. During her 12 years on Capitol Hill, Trottenberg served with U.S. Senators Charles Schumer, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Barbara Boxer.