Shelby Scales

Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
U.S. Department of Transportation

Shelby M. Scales serves as the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). Ms. Scales has 21 years in small business development and diversity inclusion. Scales, an entrepreneurial advocate, is the former Director of the Office of Civil Rights with North Carolina Department of Transportation where she administered civil rights programming for all modes of transportation.  She also served as President & CEO of the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC), an organization established nearly 30 years ago to promote the full participation of minorities and women in the aviation and airport contracting environment. She leveraged her leadership skills among the AMAC board of directors, its staff and members, and airports executives, affiliated organizations, and legislative leaders. Scales worked to improve program policy, legislation and business practices to increase the participation of women and minorities seeking employment and contractual opportunities throughout aviation and all modes of transportation.


Previously, Scales served as the Small Business Program Officer for Raleigh Durham International (RDU) Airport, the nation’s 38th largest airport. She began the airport’s Historically Underutilized Business Program serving minority- and women-owned businesses, and the Small Emerging Business Assistant Loan Program for airport concessionaires. She is the recipient of numerous honors including recognition from the Federal Aviation Administration for her leadership in promoting improvements for the DBE Programs. She cherishes being honored by COMTO for “Women Who Move the Nation”. 

Scales is part of a diverse family of business professionals, holding active memberships with the American Association of Airport Executives, Airports Council International, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, American Contract Compliance Association, National Minority Supplier Development Council, North Carolina Minority and Women Business Coordinators’ Network.  Among her greatest points of pride, she’s mom to Danielle, and married to Danny Scales, of Burlington, North Carolina. 


Scales earned a BA in Communications at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. She has completed the Women’s Executive Education Leadership Program sponsored by the National Institute of Minority Economic Development at the Center for Creative Leadership along with many other continuing educational industry courses. Scales community activities include Girls Scouts of Peaks to Piedmont and Be the Bridge. 


Scales favorite mode of transportation is aviation.  The airport industry is one of the most impactful economic ecosystems in any city in the world supporting travel, serving as gateways to communities and providing services, safety, jobs and to millions of people across the globe.  The energy of moving people via an airbus excites me each time I see a plane take flight. There is no other mode of transportation that connects shopping, dining, personal services all while traveling safely to one’s destination.