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2023 TRB Annual Meeting: Lillian Borrone Recipient of the 2023 Frank Turner Medal for Lifetime Achievement

Lillian Borrone is the 2023 recipient of the Frank Turner Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Transportation. Mrs. Borrone is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a former assistant Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), and past chair of the TRB Executive Committee.

The Frank Turner Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Transportation is a biennial award established in 1998 by a group of friends, colleagues, and admirers of Frances C. (Frank) Turner to honor him and to commemorate his extraordinary accomplishments in the development and construction of the U.S. transportation system. Turner was the initial recipient of the award in January 1999. The award recognizes lifetime achievement in transportation, demonstrated by a distinguished career in the field, professional prominence, and a distinctive, widely recognized contribution to transportation policy, administration, or research.

Lillian Borrone was selected to receive the 2023 Frank Turner Medal as a trailblazer for women in transportation and for her substantial professional and volunteer contributions to transportation policy, administration, and research that aided in the advancement of safer and more reliable mobility for people and goods during her lifetime. Borrone has been a pathbreaker, based on her distinctive and highly effective blend of keen intellect, hard work and attention to detail, and gracious leadership.

Borrone began her career at the Washington, DC Council of Governments as a transportation technician before moving to the USDOT where she served as a representative in the Urban Mass Transportation Administration. She joined the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Rail Department in 1970 and served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Terminals Department before being named Associate Administrator for Policy, Budget and Program Development at the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA, the predecessor of the Federal Transit administration in 1978). She was UMTA’s Deputy Administrator from 1980-81. She rejoined the PANYNJ staff in 1982 as Assistant Director, Aviation Department, rising through the ranks to become Director, Management and Budget Department, and Director, Port Commerce. She retired as Assistant Executive Director of the Port Authority in December 2000.

In 2001, Borrone was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the United States Commission on Ocean Policy. The Commission’s report, “An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century”, was submitted to the Congress and accepted by the President in September 2004. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, she served as Recovery Coordinator, New Jersey Office of Recovery and Victim Assistance.

Borrone has been actively involved with TRB at every stage of her multi-modal career, and she has provided consistently strong leadership in reaching out to constituencies and groups that historically have been under-represented in TRB’s activities. In the mid-1980s, she chaired the Task Force on Women’s Involvement in TRB and Transportation. A member of the TRB Executive Committee from 1992-98, she was the first woman to chair the Executive Committee in 1995. In subsequent years, she worked to strengthen TRB’s role with the freight and maritime transportation community. She served as a member of the Marine Board and co-chaired the National Freight Forum.

In other TRB activities, Borrone chaired the Committee for a Study of Strategic Transportation Data Needs—the committee whose recommendations paved the way for establishment of a Bureau of Transportation Statistics within the U.S. Department of Transportation. She was a member of the Committee for the Study of Freight Capacity for the Next Century, and also has served on the Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Processes, the Steering Committee for the Conference on Long-range Trends and Requirements for the Nation’s Highway and Public Transit Systems, and the National Symposium on Strategies for Cleaning Up Contaminated Sediments in the Nation’s Harbors and Waterways.

Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1996, Borrone is also former Chair of the Eno Center for Transportation Board of Directors and a member of both the National Academy of Public Administration and the National Academy of Construction. She has served as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board of Advisors, a member of the boards of Maher Terminals, Inc, STV Group, and Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield of NJ Holding Company and Foundation.

Borrone received an M.S. degree from Manhattan College and a B.A. degree from American University.

This Summary Last Modified On: 9/15/2022

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