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Office of Policy Development, Strategic Planning and Performance


The Office of Policy Development, Strategic Planning and Performance oversees USDOT policies for the Secretary of Transportation, coordinates strategic planning across the Department, and oversees performance-based policy, decision-making, and investment. We initiate and coordinate Secretarial policies on safety, energy and environment issues affecting all aspects of transportation. Our office provides technical expertise on policy matters for the Department’s legislative, regulatory and research programs. We serve as the Departmental focal point for initiatives related to achieving Departmental strategic goals regarding safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life in communities, and environmental sustainability. We conduct analyses and recommend policies for reducing transportation fatality and injury rates, increasing stewardship of the human and natural environment including air quality, water quality, and historic resources, and protecting environmental health while improving the transportation system.


Our Mission:

  • To develop, coordinate and evaluate public policy on transportation safety, environment, and energy issues affecting all aspects of transportation.
  • To maintain policy oversight of legislative and regulatory proposals affecting these areas across the Department.
  • To conduct or oversee studies and analyses, as appropriate, and provide advice on research and development requirements and concerns.
  • To monitor compliance procedures for handling National Transportation Safety Board recommendations.
  • To coordinate the creation of the Department's Strategic Plan.
  • To engage with stakeholders on issues impacting a wide range of safety, health, and environmental issues.
  • To manage the Department's Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center.

What We Do

Safety and Health

The safety and health team provides the Secretary and senior Department officials with a source of informed, rigorous, independent policy advice and leadership to assure that the Department is responding to its safety and health responsibilities, meeting key national and organizational safety goals efficiently, consistently, and effectively. As part of this role, the team develops and reviews transportation legislation and regulations, and coordinates national transportation policy initiatives relating to safety and health matters. The team works with all modes, providing leadership and supporting individual modal administrations in high profile air, rail, highway, pipeline, hazardous materials transportation and maritime safety issues of special importance to the Secretary. 

Energy and Environment

The energy and environment team is primarily responsible for developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations, and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives, relating to environmental and energy matters affecting all aspects of transportation. The team reviews and analyzes the environmental implications of domestic transportation policy to provide a basis for advising management actions and decisions.

Planning and Performance

The planning and performance team helps coordinate Departmental efforts to ensure that transportation investments support a high quality of life in communities and ensure access to opportunity. This team works on a wide range of issues related to: ensuring that planned transportation projects meet community needs, including by ensuring effective public involvement; developing and reviewing transportation legislation and regulations related to transportation planning and investment; and coordinating national transportation policy initiatives, including by working with other federal, State and local agencies.

Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center

The Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure Permitting Improvement Center (IPIC) serves as the central resource for accelerating project delivery for all Departmental projects, as well as for removing barriers to efficient and effective project permitting and environmental review through the Center’s environmental specialists, data analysts, and conflict-resolution experts.  

Cross-cutting Policy Initiatives