The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Advisory Council is comprised of a small group of high-level transportation professionals from across Texas and every sector of the transportation world. The council, which meets annually, offers a tremendous service to the Institute by advising on transportation issues and trends and supporting TTI‘s research programs and initiatives. TTI profiles several council members in each issue of Researcher.
Director, National Transportation Programs, Michael Baker Corporation
Mike Behrens provides advice and guidance on project-delivery methods for clients and participates in national transportation initiatives at Michael Baker Corporation. He served as executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) from 2001 to 2007, where he managed TxDOT programs, policies and operating strategies, as well as represented the agency before the Texas Legislature. Behrens began his career with TxDOT in 1971, formerly serving as district engineer in the Yoakum District and as assistant executive director for engineering operations.
Behrens has served on the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and as past president of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Former Executive Director, Port of Houston Authority (Retired)
In his position as executive director of the Port of Houston Authority (1992–2009), Thomas Kornegay oversaw a 25-mile-long complex of 150-plus diversified public and private facilities along the Houston Ship Channel. He is credited with developing two container terminals and was instrumental in the completion of the $700 million Houston Ship Channel deepening and widening project. The port is ranked first in the United States in foreign waterborne tonnage and second in U.S. total tonnage.
Kornegay joined the Port Authority staff in 1972, previously serving as the managing director. He is a past president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors, former chair of the American Association of Port Authorities, former president of the Gulf Ports Association, and former chair of the EX-IM Bank Advisory Board.
Executive Vice President, Government and Stakeholder Affairs, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Phil Ritter directs public policy and oversees industry and association leadership, media relations, community relations and other public affairs functions for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Before taking this position in 2009, he was senior vice president of public affairs at Texas Instruments, Inc., for eight years. While there, he directed the company’s public affairs initiatives, including government relations, philanthropy and community affairs. He is a former staff member for the Texas State Senate.
Ritter’s board service includes the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Board of Governors, Dallas Foundation Trustee, former chair of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, former chair of the Texas Education Reform Caucus, and former board member of Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the North Central Texas Council of Governments Regional Transportation Council.