Administrator of the Maryland State Highway Administration since January 2003, Neil J. Pedersen is responsible for an agency that maintains and operates nearly 17,000 lane miles of roadway and 2,500 bridges; employs more than 3,200 professionals in a variety of disciplines; and is responsible for an annual budget of $1.7 billion. In that position, he also serves as the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative and Chair of the Maryland State Roads Commission. A registered professional engineer, he previously served for two and a half years as SHA’s Deputy Administrator/Chief Engineer for Planning and Engineering – a position that oversees all of the agency’s planning, design, environmental, and real estate functions. Prior to that, he was SHA’s Director of Planning and Preliminary Engineering for 16 years. Mr. Pedersen led SHA in the delivery of two mega projects: the $2.4 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which is nearing completion, and the $2.6 billion InterCounty Connector, which has begun construction.
Mr. Pedersen believes in working with other transportation professionals to advance the practice of both engineering and public administration. His involvement with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials includes being Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Highways, being a member of the Standing Committees on Research; and being on its Board of Advisors for the Center on Environmental Excellence. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board and chairs the Executive Committee of the I-95 Corridor Coalition, a consortium of transportation organizations from sixteen states along the eastern seaboard. He also serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Maryland’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Mr. Pedersen has received numerous awards for his service, including most recently the 2007 Thomas H. MacDonald Memorial award from AASHTO and the 2006 George S. Bartlett award, which is given by the Transportation Research Board, AASHTO and ARTBA.
A native of Massachusetts, Mr. Pedersen holds two undergraduate degrees from Bucknell University and a Master's degree in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Barbara.