Deputy Secretary Roy Kienitz Calls It Quits At USDOT

First Ray LaHood tells us he’s not sticking around as Transportation Secretary much longer. Now his number two, Roy Kienitz, has announced he’s gonna bounce too — and he’s not even going to wait around as long as LaHood. Kienitz will be out by next month.

USDOT Undersecretary for Policy Roy Kienitz, left, and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff, right, at Bike to Work Day this year. Photo: Washingtonian

Politico’s Morning Transportation reporters got the dish in Kienitz’s own words from an email he sent. Kienitz said he’ll be joining a consulting firm: “Specifically, I will be taking a position with the highly respected firm of Roy Kienitz LLC, which doesn’t technically exist yet but will soon! As you may have guessed, I will be this firm’s first employee, but I think the odds are strong I will win Employee of the Month as soon as December. I plan to do consulting (but not lobbying!) on any and all topics transportation.”

Kienitz has been a down-to-earth presence at USDOT, explaining policy decisions clearly and without pretense. He’s been a big proponent of the administration’s livability initiatives, and he has championed multimodalism by encouraging government agencies to leave silos behind and work together on big visions for sustainable communities that can’t be compartmentalized into just transit or just housing or just roads. And he’s always shown up for Bike to Work Day.

He came to USDOT after advising Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell on transportation and doing planning for the state of Maryland. He filled out his résumé serving as director of the Surface Transportation Policy Project, working for infrastructure champion Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and for the Senate EPW Committee.