Ronald F. Kirby served as director of transportation planning for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and staff director for the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) from 1987-2013. For 26 years, he led staff in supporting transportation decision-making in the region, whether by collecting, analyzing, and sharing data, convening meetings where officials and the public could share and discuss their ideas about transportation, or any number of other planning and outreach activities. Through his work, Kirby helped solidify the role of the TPB, and that of COG more broadly, as a forum for regional dialogue, discussion, and consensus-building.
COG dedicated one of its most important meeting spaces to his life and work, the Ronald F. Kirby Training Center. On hundreds of occasions, Kirby brought people together in this space to meet and identify opportunities to address regional challenges. COG also created the Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership, which recognizes non-elected government executives, who work collaboratively with elected officials, stakeholders, and their communities to shape a better region.