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Trustee chosen to lead national transportation commission

Aug. 22, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University Trustee Dennis Archer has been named co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Transportation Policy Project.

The former mayor of Detroit, who is also a WMU alumnus, joins project co-chairs Sherwood Boehlert, New York, former U.S. congressman; Slade Gorton, Washington, former U.S. senator; and Martin Olav Sabo, Minnesota, former U.S. congressman.

"Dennis is a highly respected and highly skilled public servant who brings a wealth of expertise to our project," Sabo says. "His work in Detroit and with the National League of Cities will be a great asset."

"We look forward to having Dennis join us in our efforts to reform U.S. transportation policy in this country," adds Gorton. "He will offer us a critical local and state perspective."

Archer is known as a strong advocate of public transportation, and is a longtime supporter of utilizing improved mass-transit systems as a solution to national environmental, traffic and land-use concerns.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to serve on the BPC's National Transportation Policy Project," Archer says. "Bipartisan cooperation is critical to achieving meaningful reform of transportation policy. I look forward to sharing my experiences with elected officials who are concerned about transportation and dedicating my time to this important project."

"Dennis Archer brings solid experience to the table," says National Transportation Policy Project founder and former Virginia Governor Mark Warner. "I know that, as he has done great things for Detroit, he will do great things for the BPC."

The current chair of Michigan's Dickinson Wright law firm, Archer served as Detroit's mayor from 1994 to 2001. From 2003 to 2004, he was the first African American to be elected president of the American Bar Association. He also spent time as president of the National League of Cities, chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber, and associate justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Archer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from WMU and went on to receive a Juris Doctor from Detroit College of Law in 1970.

The Bipartisan Policy Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bipartisan dialogue and progress on some of the nation's most important policy challenges. It was formed by former U.S. Senate majority leaders Baker, Daschle, Dole and Mitchell as an incubator for policy efforts capable of attracting widespread public support and political momentum. Its National Transportation Policy Project prioritizes national infrastructure funding and develops transportation policies that address national economic, environmental and energy security goals. For more information, visit the Bipartisan Policy Center online.

Media contact: Tonya R. Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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