Jim Santilli has more than fifteen years of transportation safety experience and began his career with the Transportation Improvement Association (TIA) on May 15, 2006. He was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors on June 24, 2011. He is the fourth leader in the 47-year history of the agency. Previously, he worked various jobs in the public safety field and taught as an Adjunct Criminal Justice Instructor.
Under Jim’s leadership, TIA has reinvigorated a culture known for high employee engagement, fiscal responsibility, and award-winning safety initiatives. Since 2011, TIA significantly improved its financial position, and enhanced and expanded transportation engineering services. Furthermore, Jim led the development of the “Remembering Ally: Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign.” The campaign involves numerous corporate and public safety partners, was one of five traffic safety programs to receive a national award at the 2013 Governor’s Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, received a 2012 Outstanding Traffic Safety Achievement Award from the Michigan Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission, and includes a powerful award-winning video depicting a dramatization of a distracted driving crash. The video has been viewed in more than 90 countries.
Jim is the Chairman of the Michigan Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commissions’ Distracted Driving Action Team, and is a member of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, Oakland County Transportation Committee, and as a co-founder, a representative on the Ferris State University and Oakland University Traffic Safety Team’s. He also serves as the President of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of Michigan’s Board of Directors, and is a member and/or a supporter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers – Michigan Chapter, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Southeast Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, Michigan Sheriff’s Association, and Oakland County Association of Chiefs of Police. As a supporter of air transportation, Jim previously served as an Ambassador at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, and was a candidate for State Representative in the Michigan Legislature.
Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and an associate’s degree in pre-criminal justice from Ferris State University. A portion of the curriculum was a concentration on human resource management. He was a recipient of the Ferris State University Torchbearer Leadership Award. In addition, Jim has training in aviation safety, child passenger safety, emergency medical services, homeland security, Michigan’s Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN), non-profit corporation federal and state procedures, non-violent/violent crisis intervention, and pedestrian and bicycle safety. Furthermore, Jim is a traffic incident management instructor.
In 2012, Jim was the recipient of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson’s prestigious ‘Elite 40 Under 40’ leadership award. Furthermore, he’s also been acknowledged by a Chief Executive Officer from the airline industry for his commitment to safety.