Year Honored: 2022
Over a 44-year career in transportation, Anne P. Canby has broken barriers and set a path for transformative investment across the transportation spectrum. She was the first woman to lead both the Delaware and New Jersey Departments of Transportation. In addition, she served as the Treasurer of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Transportation.
During her tenure at DELDOT, Canby worked to broaden the traditional emphasis on highways to incorporate a multimodal approach to transportation planning and investment. She led the initiation of automatic toll collection (EZPASS), expanded regional rail services, strengthened the capital planning process and pushed for the introduction of new design concepts for Delaware’s roads and street to support biking, walking, and transit. She stressed the need for land-use policies supportive of alternates to driving.
After leaving DELDOT, Canby led the Surface Transportation Policy Project, a national transportation reform group that assisted citizen groups in advocacy work to advance transit, walking and biking with their state DOTs. In 2008 she founded and led the OneRail Coalition, bringing the passenger and freight rail industry together for the first time, to expand awareness of the important role they play in the nation’s transportation system.
Throughout her career, Canby has sought common ground across disparate interests to push for better outcomes for safety, the environment and the economy. She made it a priority to diversify the transportation workforce and to engage the public in the transportation decision making process.
She currently chairs the Advisory Board for the University of Delaware’s Railroad Engineering program. She has served on the executive committee/board of the Transportation Research Board, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials and the Mineta Transportation Institute and was a member of the U. S. DOT’s National Freight Advisory Committee.
As Chair of the Delaware Historical Society, she helped lead the establishment of the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage.
Her leadership has been recognized by the American Public Transportation Association, the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, the DE Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Council of Monitory Transportation Officials, and the Women’s Transportation Seminar. Canby received the Carey Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership and service to transportation research and to the Transportation Research Board.