UA Transportation Policy Research Center Names Director

  • May 10th, 2018
Steven Polunsky

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Steven Polunsky, a transportation policy expert with more than 25 years of experience, will lead the Transportation Policy Research Center at The University of Alabama.

He comes to UA from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute where he serves as a research scientist. As head of UA’s Transportation Policy Research Center, Polunsky will work closely across the University and with those outside campus, including elected officials and research partners, to support transportation related policy-making with a focus on the state of Alabama.

The Transportation Policy Research Center is part of the network of campus researchers and centers under the Alabama Transportation Institute and will help communicate and interpret research findings to the general public and policy-makers.

“We are delighted to welcome Steven Polunsky to the Alabama transportation family and to UA,” said Dr. Shashi Nambisan, executive director of the Alabama Transportation Institute. “He brings a wealth of professional and leadership experience which will help us address the challenges facing the state’s and nation’s transportation systems.”

Polunsky has experience in supporting elected officials and transportation agencies. He has handled inquiries from the legislative and executive branches of government in addition to writing and giving presentations on diverse transportation topics. He has directed state legislative committees overseeing transportation, homeland security and regulatory policy where he produced policy studies, evaluated and handled legislation as well as managed operations and staff.

He is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s resilience-focused Committee on Disaster Logistics and Business Continuity and a member of the Subcommittee on Research, Committee on Revenue and Finance.

Polunsky earned a master of public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin where he was a Strauss Merit Fellow. He also earned a Master of Arts in security studies with distinction from the United States Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California, where he received the Curtis H. “Butch” Straub Award for leadership, integrity, vision and intellectual courage.

“Alabama has an unparalleled opportunity to join the nation’s leading transportation thinkers in making mobility faster, safer, cheaper, better and more efficient through the development of forward-thinking, prudent policy innovations and options for consideration by lawmakers,” Polunsky said. “This is the most exciting development in the country today, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”


Adam Jones, UA communications, 205-348-4328,

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.