The Kathryn J.R. Swanson Public Service Award honors an individual who has made notable improvements in the management or implementation of a highway safety program or policy, or provided outstanding service to GHSA, federal safety agencies or other national highway safety organizations.
The 2022 Swanson Award nomination process will open in Spring 2022.
About Kathryn J.R. Swanson (1954–2008)
Kathryn J. R. Swanson was a dedicated public servant whose passionate commitment to highway safety guided her throughout her career. From 1998 to 2007, she served as Director of Minnesota's Office of Traffic Safety in the state's Department of Public Safety. In her role as director, Swanson administered the state and community highway safety grant programs in Minnesota.
During Swanson's tenure, Minnesota achieved record-high seat belt use and record lows in fatalities. Swanson helped launch Minnesota's Toward Zero Deaths program by collaborating with the "four E" agencies to encourage Minnesota to achieve this ambitious goal. Prior to being appointed Director, she spent nearly 25 years in the Office of Traffic Safety, serving a variety of roles. As one of the longest tenured members of the state highway safety community, Swanson was frequently sought after for counsel by other states and organizations around the country.
Swanson's success in Minnesota, her strong commitment to highway safety and the respect and support of her state peers led to her being elected to numerous positions within GHSA, including Chair of the association. Under Swanson's leadership, GHSA developed its positions on the reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA- 21) and actively advocated for them before Congress. Swanson also urged Congress to appropriate funds for highway safety programs in a more timely manner.
Lee Axdahl has worked tirelessly on behalf of GHSA, our state members and many partners for nearly 15 years.
Jim Graham is among GHSA’s most committed and longstanding supporters. As Global Program Manager for Ford Driving Skills for Life, Jim has spearheaded the program since its creation in 2003, bringing free, hands-on, advanced driver training to newly licensed drivers in every state.
As the State Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program Manager at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Traffic Safety Office, Trenda McPherson is responsible for protecting some of the state’s most vulnerable road users.
Throughout Commissioner Joseph A. Farrow’s 35-year career with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), he has dedicated his life to the improvement of highway safety.
Serving as Chief of Parish Courts for the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Norma Broussard has been a critical ally to the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) and highway safety advocates across the state.