The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is delighted to announce that Professor Daniel Rodríguez has been selected to serve as the next director of Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), effective July 1, 2022, following a campuswide search chaired by Professor Elizabeth Deakin. Rodríguez succeeds Professor Alexandre Bayen, who now serves as the Associate Provost for Moffett Field Program Development, and will lead ITS Berkeley through its 75th anniversary and beyond.
Daniel A. Rodríguez is Chancellor’s Professor of City and Regional Planning with specializations in Transportation Policy and Planning, and Environmental Planning and Healthy Cities. Rodríguez also currently serves as the City and Regional Planning Department Co-Chair and as the Associate Director of ITS Berkeley. His research focuses on the relationship between transportation, land development, and the health and environmental consequences that follow. Working with researchers in health, economics, engineering, geography and public policy, he has examined how physical attributes of the urban environment, such as bus routes, rail lines, green spaces, supermarkets and trails, are related to individual behaviors, individual and community health, and air quality. His work also examines how land management tools can be used to encourage denser development and recapture property value increases caused by public action. Professor Rodríguez is well positioned to address today’s complex transportation landscape and lead ITS Berkeley research and researchers to develop innovative and strategic solutions.
Originally known as the Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering at the University of California, ITS was established in 1947 by the California state legislature in response to the lack of transportation investment during the war years. With a starting budget of $710,000, UC Berkeley President Robert Sproul asked Harmer E. Davis, a Berkeley professor of civil engineering and well-known transportation policy expert, to establish the new organization, the first of its kind to address the interdisciplinary nature of transportation. This then-novel approach still frames the ITS philosophy of recognizing the complex interplay of disciplines — including engineering, the physical sciences, social sciences, environmental design, and humanities — in addressing transportation problems and solutions. Today, the Institute of Transportation Studies is one of the world's leading centers for transportation research, with $20 million in funds each year and 200 faculty, researchers and graduate students.