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Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Honored at Lipinski Symposium

William O. Lipinski

William O. Lipinski speaks at the symposium.

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and White House Chief of Staff Samuel K. Skinner received the David F. Schulz Award for Outstanding Public Service in Transportation and Infrastructure Policy from Northwestern University on Monday, Nov. 8.

The honor was presented as part of the fourth annual William O. Lipinski Symposium on Transportation Policy. The symposium, “Public Transit for Chicago: A Sustainable Ride to the Future,” was held at the James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, Evanston campus.

Lipinski award

Transportation leaders and policy makers from across the country addressed the public transportation challenges and opportunities facing the nation and Chicago. Technologies and financing for the future were discussed. Northwestern’s Infrastructure Technology Institute (ITI) was the event’s sponsor.

The annual event is named for former Congressman William O. Lipinski of Chicago, who hosted the conference and presented Skinner with the David F. Schulz Award. The award is named for the late Dave Schulz, founding director of the Infrastructure Technology Institute.

“Public transportation is a key contributor to the economic competitiveness and livability of the Chicago region,” said Joseph Schofer, director of ITI, associate dean and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. “We have a good transit system that needs to be sustained and enhanced in the future. This year the Lipinski Symposium focused on meeting some of those challenges.”

In addition to Schofer and Lipinski, speakers included:

- Morton Schapiro, president, Northwestern University
- U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman, Highways and Transit Subcommittee
- U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, member, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
- Richard L. Rodriguez, president, Chicago Transit Authority
- William K. Tupper, acting executive director, Metra
- Thomas J. Ross, executive director, Pace
- Kristi Lafleur, executive director, Illinois Tollway
- Hani Mahmassani, William A. Patterson Distinguished Professor of Transportation and director, Transportation Center, Northwestern University
- Robert L. Peskin, AECom
- Glenn Weisbrod, president, Economic Development Research Group
- Gerhard Menkhoff, Institute for Transport Policy and Development
- Philippe Payen, chief strategy officer, Veolia
- Michael J. Madigan, speaker, Illinois House of Representatives
- Timothy L. Schmitz, Deputy republican leader, Illinois House of Representatives
- John Cullerton, president, Illinois Senate
- Christine Radogno, Republican leader, Illinois Senate