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Justin P. Powell confirmed as South Carolina’s secretary of transportation

News | April 11, 2024 | By:

Justin P. Powell will serve as the next secretary of transportation for the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). Powell was first appointed by the South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission to serve as secretary on Jan. 18, 2024. His appointment was reviewed by the Senate Transportation Committee and the committee voted unanimously to send a favorable report regarding Powell’s appointment to the full Senate for consideration and later approval.

Justin P. Powell

“I appreciate the trust and confidence of the South Carolina Senate in my ability to lead this organization,” Powell said. “It is an honor to serve and to me there is no higher calling than to serve the people of South Carolina. I look forward to continuing the tremendous progress of the SCDOT and to the bright future ahead for all South Carolinians.”

Recently, Powell was the chief operating officer of the state’s Department of Transportation, managing the day-to-day operations. He joined the Department of Transportation in 2019 as deputy secretary for finance and administration. In that role, he was responsible for the department’s $2.7 billion budget and oversaw the growth of the construction program from $3 billion to $5 billion. Powell was then promoted to chief of staff in 2022.

“Mr. Powell has demonstrated he is ready to lead SCDOT into the future as the secretary of transportation.,” said Pamela L. Christopher, a chair of the SCDOT Commision. “Together, we will continue our work to improve the road and bridge network across the state and to keep South Carolina moving.”

Powell has announced several new members of the leadership team at the SCDOT.

“We are at an important juncture as we work to bring the agency’s strategic 10-year plan to a successful close and continue positioning South Carolina for the future,” Powell said. “We remain committed to building a better road and bridge network and ensuring prosperity for all. Each of these leaders brings their own strengths to help us build a better South Carolina. They each have my full confidence and I know they will do great things on behalf of the people we serve.”

Rob Perry, P.E. has been named as the deputy secretary for engineering. In this role, Perry will provide oversight to the engineering division, approximately 4,000 employees across the state that are responsible for engineering, building and maintaining the road and bridge network in South Carolina. Perry began his career with SCDOT in 1999 in Charleston as a bridge inspector and most recently served as the chief engineer for bridges and interim deputy secretary for engineering. 

Karl McCottry has been named as the deputy secretary for finance and administration. In this role, McCottry will oversee the administrative functions of the agency including finance, information technology, procurement, minority and small business affairs, human resources, and local government services. McCottry has more than 30 years of service to the state of South Carolina, including 12 at the SCDOT, most recently serving as the director of human resources.

Jennifer Necker, P.E. has been named as the deputy secretary for intermodal and freight. Necker will be responsible for the strategic planning and coordination of transit and rail efforts on behalf of the department, working closely with transit providers and railroads. Necker previously served as the project manager for the lowcountry rapid transit program, the first of its kind in the state. Necker most recently served as the acting director of mass transit and freight programs.

Brent Rewis, P.E. will continue to serve SCDOT as the deputy secretary for planning, a position he has held since 2020. In this capacity, Rewis oversees the strategic transportation planning efforts on behalf of the state – including Momentum 2050, the long-range transportation plan currently being developed. Rewis has served at SCDOT for more than 24 years in a variety of roles including construction, maintenance, preconstruction and planning. Learn more about the SCDOT here.

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