Shirley J. Ybarra passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 10th in Washington, D.C. She was a former senior transportation policy analyst at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets.
Ms. Ybarra served as Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1998 to 2002, overseeing a budget of $3.2 billion and a staff of 13,000 people. Between 1994 and 1998, Ybarra was Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Transportation.
She also served as senior policy advisor and special assistant for policy for U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole from 1983 and 1987. In that role, Ybarra managed the transfer and privatization of Dulles and National Airports to the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority.
She authored Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act of 1995, considered the model public-private partnership legislation in the United States.
In 2001, Ybarra received the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s “Public-Private Ventures Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for her leadership in designing innovative infrastructure financing. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Ms. Ybarra was preceded by her parents, Verguet and Myrtle Wentink, and her brother Russell Wentink. She is survived by her sister Lynette Eversole and her significant other, George Anderson of Neenah, Wisconsin; her niece Kristah Kohan and her husband Lawrence of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey; and her great nephews Ryan and Sean.
A visitation will be held Thursday, November 21 from 1pm to 3pm, with the memorial service to follow at 3pm. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that a donation be made in Shirley’s name to the American Heart Association, The Reason Foundation, or a charity of your choice.