Steven Polunsky is the Director of the Transportation Policy Research Center within the Alabama Transportation Institute at the University of Alabama, where he leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers providing transportation and mobility information to policymakers and the public. Polunsky is a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on the Logistics of Disaster Response, Business Continuity, and Humanitarian Relief as well as the Task Force on Transit Safety and Security. He serves on the University of Alabama’s Campus Security and Safety Committee and the Council on Community-Based Partnerships. He previously was a research scientist with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute where he provided policy implementation support for topics of legislative interest and served as agency liaison for Hurricane Harvey. As a state legislative staffer he directed committees overseeing transportation, homeland security, and commerce where he produced policy studies, evaluated and handled legislation, and managed operations and staff. An international speaker on government transparency, he led an award-winning technology initiative that saved thousands of taxpayer dollars, debuted live spatial data in a legislative hearing, and produced the first state legislative committee mobile app, leading to his designation as Open Government Superhero by the Dallas Morning News.
The former Director of Research and Planning for the Texas High-Speed Rail Authority and Legislative Policy Analyst for the Texas Department of Transportation, Polunsky enjoys motorcycling, performing on percussion and autoharp, and amateur radio. He has an MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and an MA in Security Studies with Distinction from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security where he is an HSx Founding Scholar and received the Straub Award for leadership, integrity, vision, and intellectual courage.