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The Research and Development Executive Committee (RDEC) guides and directs the Department’s research program. This Committee has overall responsibility for the operation of the Research Unit, including fiscal accountability; reviewing and prioritizing research topics for development as research projects; monitoring progress of on-going studies and implementation of results from completed studies. The research staff serves as support for the RDEC and makes regular progress reports and presentations at Committee meetings.

Membership is composed of high-level managers from all major units in Headquarters, a representative from the Office of Materials and Research, two field representatives, and a representative from the FHWA. The makeup and organization of the Committee is shown below:

Committee Organization Chart
 Mr. Leland Colvin, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Chairman
 Mr. Jim Feda, Deputy Secretary for Intermodal Planning
 Mr. Brian Keys, Deputy Secretary for Finance & Administration
 Mr. Randall Young, Chief Engineer for Project Delivery
 Mr. Andy Leaphart, Chief Engineer for Operations
 Mr. Todd Steagall, Director of Construction
 Mr. David Cook, Director of Maintenance
 Mr. Ladd Gibson, Director of Preconstruction
 Mr. Tony Fallaw, Director of Traffic Engineering
 Mr. Mark Pleasant, Director of Planning
 Mr. Chad Long, Director of Environmental Services
 Mr. Michael Barbee, Director of Right of Way
 Mr. Kevin McLaughlin, District Engineering Administrator, District No. 2
 Mr. John McCarter, District Engineering Administrator, District No. 4
 Mr. Merrill Zwanka, Materials and Research Engineer, Secretary
 Mr. Jim Garling, FHWA Division Pavement and Materials Engineer

The Committee meets semiannually, usually in June and December.