Vice President of Government Relations
National Association of Manufacturers
Wes Irvin has demonstrated his commitment to transit through his work in both the public and private sectors. Between 2004 and 2008, Irvin served as the Associate Administrator for Congressional Affairs and Communications at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Irvin’s large staff dealt with the agency’s meetings and correspondence with members of Congress, governors, mayors, federal, state and local entities, transit agencies, citizen organizations and private citizens.
Irvin’s role, however, was not constrained by his official title. As a senior leader on FTA’s Executive Management Team, he was an active contributor in decision-making, such as the development of innovative Federal approaches for rebuilding the transit center at “Ground Zero” in Lower Manhattan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the national mobilization of transit vehicles to assist the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He worked with other FTA leadership and staff to advance approvals and funding decisions for major transit investments (New Starts projects), and to explore options for revisions to Federal transit laws, regulations, policies and procedures. His press work at FTA was characterized by efforts to raise national awareness not only of transit’s mobility benefits, but also transit’s contributions to community development and economic growth. Additionally, he worked to help successfully advance major transit projects, the Northstar Commuter Rail in Minnesota, Long Island Rail Road East Side Access and Second Avenue Subway in New York and other public transportation projects across American whether commuter rail, light rail, heavy rail or bus rapid transit.
For more than two years, Irvin has been the vice president and director of the Transportation and Infrastructure Practice in the Washington, D.C., office of APCO Worldwide, a public affairs and strategic communications firm. Using creative approaches and promoting collaboration with the public, he advises clients on the development and implementation of mega-projects, including many transit projects. In the instance of non-transit projects, he educates clients about the benefits of interconnectivity between their projects with public transportation. He has firsthand knowledge regarding domestic and global transportation projects that are in the planning stages, under construction or in revenue operations, specifically with regard to providing crisis management and public outreach to deal with cost overruns, unexpected hurdles or controversy. Additionally, he focuses on freight rail, aviation issues, implementation of rail legislation, maritime issues and public-private partnerships.
Just recently, Irvin was selected to join the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) as the vice president of Government Relations where amongst many other important issues and challenges facing the American manufacturing industry he will continue to focus on the important role that transportation plays as the circulatory system of America’s economy.
“Over the years whether at the U.S. Department of Transportation or in the private sector I have enjoyed working on important transportation projects that have or will in the near future reduce congestion and improve the overall quality of life for people across America. I worked very hard to help move forward some of the largest and most complex transit projects in our nation’s history including Second Avenue Subway, East Side Access and Northstar Commuter Rail each of which will serve an important role and provide an additional service for future generations. Additionally, I have enjoyed working with so many fine people in the public transportation industry over the past years – it truly is a dedicated group who are committed to ensuring transportation remains strong as the circulatory system of our economy.”