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GENERAL SESSION 1 Welcome and Charge to the Conference William D. Ankner, Rhode Island Department of Transportation Frederick (Bud) Wright, Federal Highway Administration Kirk Brown, Illinois Department of Transportation Miguel d'Escoto, City of Chicago Herbert London, Hudson Institute Geoffrey S. Yarema, Nossaman, Guthner, Knox, & Elliott LLP Sharon Greene, Sharon Greene and Associates James T. Taylor II, Bear Stearns & Company, Inc. Joseph M. Giglio, Northeastern University T he Third National Conference on Transportation Wright stressed that what the conference participants are Finance kicked off with a general session that doing matters and that they had an opportunity to work included welcoming remarks from the confer- together to craft transportation solutions as part of reau- ence chair, sponsor, and local officials and a keynote thorization. He conceded that budgetary constraints will address by Herbert London of the Hudson Institute. make it more challenging and that innovative finance The four tracks of the conference were introduced by approaches will have to play a greater role. He pointed the authors of four resource papers provided to partic- out that approaches that were once considered innova- ipants before the conference and included in a separate tive have moved to the mainstream and gave examples section of this report. of Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEEs), and state infrastructure banks (SIBs). WELCOME AND CHARGE Finally, Wright reflected on the important setting and great opportunity provided in this conference, William D. Ankner especially given its timing before the reauthorization of federal surface and aviation transportation programs. William D. Ankner, Conference Chair, provided an overview of the structure and objectives of the confer- Kirk Brown ence. Ankner charged participants to take ownership of the conference and, through their active participation, Kirk Brown, Secretary of the Illinois Department of to contribute to the success of the sessions and of the Transportation, noted that the challenge facing the conference. nation was illustrated with the needs and funding challenges of Illinois. Frederick (Bud) Wright Miguel d'Escoto Following Ankner's remarks, Frederick (Bud) Wright, Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administra- Miguel d'Escoto, Commissioner of Transportation for tion, noted that highway safety has become a public the City of Chicago, echoed Brown's comments and health epidemic and that the solution is greater invest- provided some context from the city that hosted the ment in transportation. In focusing on highway safety, conference. 13