Caltrans Executive Biographies

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Laurie Berman

Director

Laurie Berman, Caltrans Director

Laurie Berman was appointed Director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in March 2018 by former Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. As Director, she manages a $15 billion budget and nearly 20,000 employees who oversee 50,000 lane miles of highways, maintain 13,000 bridges, provide permitting of more than 400 public-use airports, and fund some of Amtrak’s busiest intercity rail services.

Berman’s vision is a modern multi-modal transportation system that builds on strong local partnerships and works together with our partners to achieve our shared goal of toward zero traffic-related deaths. All local communities must be heard and share in the benefits of Caltrans projects, and she encourages a Caltrans culture of innovation and taking intelligent risks.

Her leadership has been instrumental in implementing California’s landmark Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act. Passed in 2017, the bill provides $54 billion over 10 years to fix California’s state highways, bridges and neighborhood streets, and combat congestion with modern traffic-monitoring technology. In the first year of implementation, Caltrans completed more than 90 projects with more than 400 in the works, and she identified more than $100 million in first-year cost savings.

From 2009 to 2017, Berman served as District 11 director for San Diego and Imperial counties. There, she managed several noteworthy projects. This included launching that district’s current $6 billion, 40-year master plan for Interstate 5 corridor improvements. She also oversaw construction of State Route 905 that carries billions of dollars in annual freight traffic through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry on the U.S.-Mexico border.

From 1995-2007, she worked in various roles on the nation’s first transportation public-private partnership along State Route 125, also known as the Southbay Expressway.

For the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), she currently heads its national Transportation System Security and Resilience Committee. In addition, she serves on the Board of ITS America and the Mineta Transportation Institute, and is a past board member of United Way of San Diego County. The San Diego Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar named her “Woman of the Year” in 2011 and 2018, and The Daily Transcript named her to their 2017 list of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in San Diego.

Berman began her Caltrans career in 1983 as a bridge inspector. She has served as chief deputy director, district director, chief deputy district director of project delivery, and program review project manager.

She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and Women’s Transportation Seminar, and graduated in 1983 from Michigan State University with a B.S. in civil engineering.

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