A top transportation policy advisor to Gov. Phil Murphy will leave Trenton to join the Biden administration as a top official on the leadership team of U.S. Secretary of Transportation-designate Pete Buttigieg, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
White’s departure gives Murphy a key ally at the highest levels of the federal transportation agency as he seeks support for the Gateway Tunnel project, funding for New Jersey Transit, and assistance on New Jersey aviation priorities.
“I’m thrilled by President Biden’s appointment of Vinn White to serve as Senior Advisor for Implementation at the U.S. Department of Transportation,” Murphy said in a statement. “Vinn understands the importance of investing in smart infrastructure projects that create the underpinnings for increased mobility, long-term economic success, and a more sustainable future.”
Murphy praised White for his accomplishments in New Jersey.
“From the Gateway Program to electric vehicle incentives, Vinn’s expertise and strategic approach have been an integral part of our efforts to strengthen New Jersey’s transportation network,” the governor said. “In particular, Vinn’s efforts to support NJ TRANSIT — assisting with the development of a 10-year strategic plan and a comprehensive capital plan, working to make the Portal North Bridge project a reality, and helping Director Corbett meet Positive Train Control deadlines — have set the Agency on the right path.”
Vinn White joined the Murphy administration in early 2018 after spent nearly eight years at the Department of Transportation under President Barack Obama.
As acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation, White was the chief architect of the department’s 30-year transportation plan.
He started out in politics as a regional field director for Obama for America in 2008, working in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and South Dakota. He is a graduate of American University.
A hint of White’s possible departure came a week after the election when he was named to the U.S. Department of Transportation Review Team for the Biden-Harris Transition.
“I have no doubt that Vinn will be a tremendous asset to President Biden and Secretary-designate Buttigieg as they launch a national effort to build new infrastructure and a clean energy economy,” he said.
This story was updated at 11:09 AM with comment from Murphy.