This year’s recipient of the Kathy Swanson Outstanding Service Award is Sue Porter, Transportation System Management and Operations Manager at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and former TZD program co-chair.
Sue has spent much of her career in traffic engineering, serving as the State Traffic Engineer for MnDOT from 2008–2015 and leading the MnDOT Office of Traffic, Safety and Technology (OTST).
As the director of the OTST, she was the champion for safety within MnDOT, keeping it at the forefront of budget and policy discussions with other leaders and managers. Sue encouraged her staff to look for and develop new technologies and highway designs that would help motorists travel safely. She also demonstrated her commitment to safety by participating and encouraging her staff to participate in state, local, and national committees.
Due in part to Sue’s leadership, the OTST was selected as a Champion of Change for its work to reduce fatal and life-changing crashes on Minnesota roadways while enhancing mobility for all users. OTST was honored for designing, testing, and helping to deploy dozens of life-saving rural intersection conflict warning systems throughout Minnesota, while leading a national effort to do the same throughout rural America.
Likewise, Sue has been a champion of TZD, promoting its efforts within MnDOT and with local, state, and national partners. In her role as TZD program co-chair from 2008–2015, she provided leadership and support to the TZD regional coordinators in their efforts to work with local safety partners, MnDOT district engineers, and State Patrol captains. Sue was responsible for the working group and task force for the 2014–2019 Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Sue also worked with the legislature through individual meetings and through testimony at legislative hearings to help them understand the safety implications of proposed laws.