On Feb. 20, 2018, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. had appointed Laurie Berman as the new director of Caltrans. The announcement comes as Director Malcolm Dougherty announced his departure from public service to pursue other opportunities in the private sector. Berman will lead the $8.5 billion agency with nearly 20,000 employees effective March 3, 2018.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an agency that has a major impact to those who live, visit and do business in the state of California,” said Berman. “Transportation plays a vital role in the state’s economy and livability for every Californian, and I look forward to building on the great progress this department has made over the last several years.”
Caltrans said Berman has been serving as acting chief deputy director of the department since October 2017. Berman has a 34-year history with Caltrans, serving in multiple roles in the department including district director in the San Diego region, where she oversaw the groundbreaking on the I-5 North Coast Corridor project; successfully delivered the State Route 125 public/private partnership project; and improved mobility efforts along the California/Mexico border.
Caltrans said Berman’s appointment to director ensures that the department will move forward seamlessly with its transportation priorities, particularly with the commitments and plans that lie ahead for SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act. Signed into state law in 2017, SB 1 invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California, and puts more dollars toward transit and safety.
“I am very confident that Laurie is the right person to lead Caltrans,” said Dougherty. “She’s been instrumental in delivering on the promise of SB 1 and will ensure a smooth transition for our hardworking staff and the public. I appreciate the leadership that she has exemplified in the San Diego region during her eight years as district director and know we are on the right path to continue serving Californians.”