Shannon L. Watson '89

A native of Alexandria, VA, Shannon L. Watson is the Senior Advisor to the Associate Administrator for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency at DOT responsible for reducing truck and motorcoach fatalities on our nation’s highways. Ms. Watson came to FMCSA in 2002 as Chief of the Policy and Legislation Division. In 2008, she was appointed by Secretary Peters, and reappointed by Secretary LaHood, to be the DOT representative to the Office of Gulf Coast Rebuilding, the Executive branch office responsible for coordinating the U.S. government’s recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Ms. Watson manages the Agency’s advisory committees, plans and oversees listening sessions on a variety of topics of interest to the Agency and its stakeholders, and manages the office’s communications with Congress, Executive branch offices, and external groups. In 2017, she earned the Secretary’s Partnering for Excellence Award for her leadership on the DOT Presidential Transition Team. In 2016, she earned the Administrator’s Award for Superior Achievement and the Secretary’s Transportation Safety Award for the Entry-Level Driver Training Negotiated Rulemaking Team.

Ms. Watson began her career in government with Senator John Glenn (D-OH) as Legislative Assistant for energy, environment, interior, and transportation. Upon Senator Glenn’s retirement in 1999, President William J. Clinton appointed her as Senior Liaison in the DOT Office of Governmental Affairs. Additionally, she served on the staff of former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-SD) and as Legislative Assistant to Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senate Majority Whip.

Ms. Watson is a graduate of William & Mary with a B.A. in Government and French minor and earned her M.A. in Social and Public Policy from Georgetown University. Shannon is a former president of the W&M Metropolitan DC Alumni Chapter, which earned best chapter under her tenure, and has served on her 20th, 25th, and 30th reunion gift committees.

In addition to the Libraries Board, Shannon is Trustee of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA), which has awarded more than $16 million in need-based college scholarships for students at T.C. Williams High School, Ms. Watson’s alma mater. She is an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church where she chairs its Dinner Fellowship program.