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MBTA head receives humanitarian leadership award from Transportation Research Board

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 10, 2014 04:45 PM

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The transportation division of the National Research Council has named MBTA General Manager Beverly A. Scott the recipient of a biennial award recognizing humanitarian leadership.

The Sharon D. Banks Award for Humanitarian Leadership in Transportation has been given by the Transportation Research Board every two years since 2002 to an individual who exemplifies the ideals of the honor’s namesake, officials said.

Banks, who chaired the research board’s executive committee in 1998 and worked as general manager of Oakland, Calif.-based public transit agency AC Transit from 1991 until she died in 1999 of complications from a series of strokes, was “known for her personal integrity, for nurturing and mentoring young transportation professionals, and for bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and commitments in the pursuit of organizational excellence,” according to the board.

She was the first African American and first woman to lead AC Transit, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Scott, the MBTA’s first African-American woman leader, was picked for the award “for her attention to diversity, fairness, and equity and for her tireless efforts to improve the lives of others as well as to the attention she pays to the personal aspects of the decisions she makes and the impact of those decisions on the lives of those who depend on public transit for their livelihood is core to her recognition as a people-oriented transit manager,” said a statement from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

“I am beyond honored to receive the TRB’s 2014 Banks Award,” said a statement from Scott, who led Atlanta’s public transit agency before taking over as head of the MBTA 13 months ago.

“I truly believe in the power of transportation as a force for positive change in people’s lives,” she added. “Transportation is not just getting from point A to point B, it is how people are able to work, play and live their lives.”

Transportation department officials in Massachusetts praised Scott.

“Dr. Scott is renowned throughout the North American transit industry for her visionary leadership, results-driven management style; and progressive approach to labor-management relations,” the department said in a statement. “Among her most notable industry contributions is her pivotal leadership role in the critical areas of strategic human resources planning, workforce development and employee training.”

Officials said Scott will formally receive the Banks Award on Jan. 15 during the Transportation Research Board’s 93rd Annual Meeting, a five-day conference in Washington D.C.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com.
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