Mr. Gregory D. Winfree was appointed Agency Director of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) on December 15, 2016. TTI is a state agency and the largest and most comprehensive higher education-affiliated transportation research center in the United States. The Institute was formed by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in 1950 to conduct research for the Texas Highway Department—now the Texas Department of Transportation. Today, TTI research projects total about $61 million annually for about 200 sponsors at all levels of government and the private sector. The technologies and strategies developed at the Institute have saved the state and nation thousands of lives and billions of dollars.
Winfree joined the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology in March 2010 as Chief Counsel and was later sworn in as the Assistant Secretary in January 2014. During his tenure, Winfree also served as Deputy Administrator and Administrator of a predecessor agency, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).
As Assistant Secretary, he was the senior executive responsible for a $450 million budget and oversaw more than 1,000 scientific, data analysis and administrative staff members who support USDOT's multi-modal transportation initiatives. The program offices under his purview included: the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center; the Research, Development and Technology Coordination Office; the Bureau of Transportation Statistics; the Positioning, Navigation, Timing and Spectrum Management Office; the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office; and the Transportation Safety Institute.
Prior to his USDOT appointments, Mr. Winfree served as Corporate Counsel for several Fortune 500 corporations for 17 years that operated in a number of technical industries, including:
- Natural resources and metals (Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold, Phoenix, AZ);
- Pharmaceuticals (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, PA); and
- Chemicals and polymers (Union Carbide Corporation, Danbury CT).
Prior to his corporate legal work, Mr. Winfree was a Trial Attorney in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. He started his legal career as an Associate at a prominent Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Venable, LLP.
Mr. Winfree is also an innovator with design and utility patents to his credit and thus has a special affinity for TTI's diverse transportation research portfolio and commitment to innovation. Much of his career aligns with organizations with a strong focus in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines, and Mr. Winfree has spoken extensively on the importance of STEM education to the future transportation workforce.