headshot of Roger Millar

Roger M. Millar Jr., P.E., F.AICP, Dist.M.ASCE, currently Secretary of Transportation for the state of Washington, has been honored with inclusion by ASCE in its 2024 class of distinguished members for his leadership and international eminence in transportation engineering, seeking to make transportation not an end unto itself, but rather the means toward economic vitality, environmental stewardship, social equity, public health, and aesthetic quality.

Millar’s dedication to intertwining planning and civil engineering is unparalleled in the transportation field as he possesses a unique ability to integrate topics across the field. His innovative approach to Smart Growth and Complete Streets is groundbreaking. At a time when young professionals crave high-quality mentorship, Millar has consistently taught them how to recenter transport around community rather than any single mode of travel.

From 1988 to 2005, he was at the forefront of introducing modern streetcars to the urban American landscape leading the team that created the Portland Streetcar. He also led the team that, from 1996 to 2003, developed what became the first rural bus rapid transportation system in the U.S., the “VelociRFTA” in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. It carries over 5 million passengers annually and limits single-occupancy miles traveled in a scenic, environmentally sensitive mountain valley.

Millar was director of the National Complete Streets Coalition from 2012 to 2015, and from 201o to present has engaged state Departments of Transportation culture, the single largest influencer of transportation policy in the United States. As vice president of Smart Growth America, he successfully inspired that culture as leader of the Innovative DOT program, including the development of a handbook of policy and practice and successful projects with DOTs in Michigan, Minnesota, Hawaii, Tennessee, Vermont, Oregon and Florida.

Where once we built for cars, we now aspire to build for access to communities by all transportation modes. Millar is at the forefront of this venture, envisioning and also actively steering it. His work across various levels of governance and community development has established him as an unparalleled leader in transportation.

In 2016, Governor Jay Inslee appointed Millar secretary of transportation for Washington state, where his significant contributions continue as he oversees a multimodal transportation agency with over 7,500 employees and an annual budget of $5 billion. Under his leadership, WSDOT has integrated land use and transportation planning, becoming a beacon of innovative practices and embodying ASCE’s commitment to public welfare.

Millar is also a change agent on the national stage through leadership at ASCE, including service on the Board of Direction from 2017 to 2020 and as 2022-23 Transportation & Development Institute president. He served as the 2022-23 AASHTO president as well, and was elected board chair of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) for 2021-22. He is currently a member of the Surface Transportation Board Passenger Rail Advisory Committee, the USDOT Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity, and the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Committee Subcommittee on Advancing Workforce Development.