Nationwide Search Underway for WSDOT Director

Governor-elect Jay Inslee is conducting a nationwide search for a DOT Secretary. Image – Seattle Times.

Governor-elect Jay Inslee has initiated a formal, nationwide recruitment to identify who will lead the Washington State Department of Transportation. The Inslee transition team has hired an Olympia-based firm, Karras Consulting, to conduct a search for a number of State Agency Secretaries. Below is the WSDOT-related announcement.

[January 3 update: Rumor has it that one possible candidate of interest to the Inslee transition team, Joni Earl, has re-upped with Sound Transit. Also, the Spokane Spokesman Review editorialized in favor of Inslee’s recruiting, while noting that Eastern Washington experience was notably absent from the list of possible attributes being sought.

This doesn’t mean current WSDOT Secretary Paula Hammond is automatically out. She’s formally expressed to Inslee her interest in continuing to lead WSDOT. But Inslee has been clear that he wants to bring new leadership to Olympia.

Former state Representative Mike Armstrong is interested in the job, as detailed by Brad Shannon and Jordan Schrader of the Olympian. Another name that might surface is Carlos Braceros, Deputy Secretary of the Utah DOT. He supposedly was a top-shelf candidate when Hammond got the job. Braceros has helped UDOT become a leader in public private partnership projects and many other areas.

Inslee hires area agency to help fill Cabinet, Brad Shannon and Jordan Schrader, The Olympian

WSDOT Recruitment Announcement