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 20,000 employees; a $15 billion budget; the massive SB 1 infrastructure program; major efficiency efforts; and leadership development.
A Caltrans veteran of 31 years, Davis was previously 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 innovative new project estimating and delivery efficiencies. His teams managed 3,200 capital projects worth more than $40 billion and took 70 Caltrans buildings solar through the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program.
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). Passed in 2017, SB 1 invests an additional $5 billion annually to fix state roads, highways and bridges and puts more dollars toward mass transit and safety. By 2027, the program is expected to repair or replace more than 17,000 lane miles of pavement, 500 bridges, 55,000 culverts, and 7,700 traffic operating systems. In its first fiscal year, the program achieved $133 million in new cost and efficiency savings and is on track to exceed that this year.
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 championed and advanced internal leadership training curriculum and mentored many current Caltrans leaders. His own professional development included exchanges with top 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 of AASHTO’s Project Management Technical Committee from 2016 to 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 and the International Association of Foundation Drilling.
He has also served multiple years as president, board member, coach and volunteer for youth sports in Davis, California. He and his wife Lori have two children.