Jonathan L. Gifford


Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University Director, Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy


Web: Schar Page   CV  LinkedIn

Phone:  703-993-2275
Address:  3351 Fairfax Dr., MS 3B1
Arlington, Virginia 22201   


Professor Gifford’s book Flexible Urban Transportation (Pergamon 2003) examines policies to improve the flexibility of urban transportation systems. He has also studied the role of standards in the development and adoption of technology, particularly technological cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries through coalitions and consortia. A case in point is the E-ZPass highway toll tag, now adopted by millions of households in the U.S. Mandatory standards setting processes, which are more common in Europe and Asia, have met with less successful adoption and serious implementation problems.

He has twice chaired committees of the National Academy of Sciences that reviewed the U.S. Department of Transportation standards program for intelligent transportation systems (2002-2003 and 2006-2007).

Professor Gifford teaches in the Schar School of Policy and Government’s Master’s in Transportation Policy, Operations and Logistics program, established in 2000. This unique program accepts students from a wide variety of educational disciplines and professional backgrounds, and provides them with a solid knowledge of the theory, policy, law, research and practices required for effectively and efficiently supplying and managing modern transportation facilities and services. He has also taught a course on the Interstate highway system as a socio-technical system as part of the university’s Honors in General Education, which examines the history and development of the Interstate highway system, and the role it has played in the development of modern America.

He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. (1983) in Civil Engineering (Transportation) at the University of California, Berkeley, with doctoral minors in economics, and urban and regional planning. His dissertation examined the history and development of the Interstate highway system from its origins in the 1930s through its design and deployment in the 1960s and beyond.


Director, Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy
George Mason University
Jun 2013 – Present
Arlington, VA 22201

George Mason University
Aug 1988 – Present

Visiting Scholar
International Transport Forum / OECD – OCDE
Feb 2014
Employment Duration1 mo
Paris Area, France
Visiting scholar studying public-private partnership policy in the International Transport Forum of the OECD.

Visiting scholar
UC Berkeley / Institute for Urban & Regional Development (IURD)
Nov 2013

Associate Dean for Research, School of Public Policy
George Mason University
2008 – Jun 2013


UC Berkeley
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Civil Engineering (Transportation)
1979 – 1983

UC Berkeley
M.S. Civil Engineering
1977 – 1979

Carnegie Mellon University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Civil Engineering
1973 – 1976


1999. Who’s Who in American Science and Engineering


Renegotiation of Transportation PPP: The US Experience
Published on Aug 4, 2016 | IntTransportForum

A presentation on “Renegotiation of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships: The US Experience”by Jonathan Gifford, Center for Transportation Public-Private Partnership Policy, George Mason University, USA, during the ITF Roundtable on Public Private Partnerships for Transport Infrastructure: Renegotiations, how to approach them and economic outcomes held in Washington, D.C., USA on 27-28 October 2014.


One If By Land, Two If By Air: Americas Aging Infrastructure
Published on Oct 6, 2011 | Mercatus Center

On the Road Again: America’s Aging Roadways
America’s current infrastructure is beginning to show its age and new policies need to be implemented to fix the growing problems. Both the President and Congress have acknowledged that there are problems with our current aviation infrastructure and are looking for ways to lessen the costs associated with flight delays while maintaining the industry’s impeccable safety record. In addition, the Minnesota bridge collapse brought America’s poorly kept up roadway system to the nation’s attention. The Mercatus Center, at George Mason University, hosts Dr. Jonathan Gifford to speak on these transportation infrastructure issues.

Dr. Gifford, a professor at George Mason University, looks at our aging highway system and make predictions and recommendations for what might happen in the coming decades. Already problems exist as congestion worsens and road maintenance lags behind schedule; however, there are solutions which can make driving safer and more efficient while keeping the costs of maintaining our roadway system down. He shows why a reassessment of highway system funding is needed, describes how new technologies will make road travel safer and more efficient, and explains potential alternatives to roadway travel.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar