Steve Palmer serves as Vice President at Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc. (VSA). Palmer came to VSA in 1998 after having served nearly 20 years on Capitol Hill and as Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). At VSA, Palmer has developed a practice that focuses on transportation, aviation, technology, telecommunications, homeland security, and economic development. He represents public sector and corporate clients on policy initiatives, appropriations, and administrative actions before the Congress and executive branch agencies.
Palmer was nominated in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to serve as DOTís Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs. For more than five years he served as the key legislative strategist for the entire Department of Transportation. Working on a bipartisan basis with the Congress, Palmer helped secure passage of critical legislation such as the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Federal Aviation Administration reform bills, the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 and the annual Transportation appropriations bill.
Palmer left DOT in 1998 as the longest serving Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs in history. In addition to his legislative accomplishments, he expanded outreach to state and local officials and organized constituency and grassroots support. Palmer also coordinated grant activities for airports, highways, mass transit, and other development and safety programs.
Before his appointment to DOT, Mr. Palmer served 10 years in senior positions on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. From 1983 to 1990, Palmer was the senior professional staff member on the Aviation Subcommittee; in 1990, he assumed the senior staff position on the Science, Technology, and Space Subcommittee. Palmer began his congressional career with the Senate Budget Committee, after having completed a two-year appointment as a Presidential Management Intern.
Palmer received his bachelor of arts in political science from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan and his masters of public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.