James (Jim) E. Davis
Chief Deputy Director
Governor Gavin Newsom named Jim Davis Chief Deputy Director of Caltrans in September 2019. Davis oversees all operations comprising nearly 22,000 employees; a $15.5 billion budget; the massive SB 1 infrastructure program; major efficiency efforts; and leadership development.
A Caltrans veteran of 32 years, Davis is recognized as a fervent champion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and all policies supporting these fundamental standards. Davis' driving support of an equitable California consistently shapes his management approach at Caltrans. Additionally, he is committed to combating issues resulting from rapidly increasing Climate Change. Systematically incorporating these principles into Caltrans' 5 Priorities—Safety, Modality, Innovation, Efficiency, Partnerships—Davis leads by example to ensure Californians are provided a brighter future for all.
Previously, Davis was Special Advisor to the Caltrans Director, and, from 2013 to 2018, he served as Division Chief of Project Management & Capital Outlay Support managing half of Caltrans operations. This immersed him in the policy and budget aspects of project delivery, and he oversaw teams managing 3,200 capital projects worth more than $40 billion.
His project delivery expertise made him a natural to oversee and coordinate all aspects of California's landmark Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act (SB 1). In its second fiscal year, the program achieved $233 million in new cost and efficiency savings.
Davis possesses a passion for developing organizational leaders and expert problem-solvers, especially as the transportation industry enters one of its most transformative eras. He has advanced and promoted internal leadership training programs and mentored many current Caltrans leaders. His own professional development included exchanges with corporations such as Cisco, Disney and Intel and foreign delegations from Japan, South Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.
In addition, Davis has served as District 4 Director for the Bay Area and sat on many regional, state and national transportation boards and committees. This included serving as Vice Chair for AASHTO's Project Management Technical Committee from 2016-2018.
He graduated in 1988 from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in civil engineering. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Project Management Institute, Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) and the International Association of Foundation Drilling.
Over the years, Davis has enjoyed significant involvement with youth sports in the city of Davis; he has served as president, board member, coach and volunteer. He and his wife Lori have two children.