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Biden names MassDOT Secretary as FHWA deputy administrator

President Joe Biden appointed Stephanie Pollack as deputy administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the departure of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Pollack and named her successor, according to a news release from the governor’s press office today.

Pollack will also serve as acting administrator for FHWA until a permanent administrator is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to the release.

Pollack has deep knowledge of both transportation and roadway safety issues. The role of deputy administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) does not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate so she can begin her new position quickly.

The governor’s office says she will step down from her MassDOT role on Jan. 26 and begin her FHWA position the next day.

The governor thanked her for her service and commended her tenure.

“Stephanie has led MassDOT through many difficult challenges over the past six years; from the historic blizzards that exposed the problems of the MBTA, through saving the GLX project, instituting a data-driven Capital Improvement Plan, and guiding the RMV through a crisis last summer,” Baker said. “She has provided MassDOT with stability and leadership through the last six years, serving longer than her three predecessors combined.”

Some deputy administrators are later named to the top post and then go through the Senate confirmation process. It was unclear if that is the plan for Pollack.

ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith welcomed the news.

“We congratulate Secretary Pollack in her new role at the Federal Highway Administration and look forward to working with her to reduce roadway fatalities and serious injuries toward zero in the years to come,” Smith said.

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