WisPolitics.com is profiling some of the newly announced state agency heads.

Our latest installment features Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson.

Before being tapped to join Gov. Tony Evers’ administration, Thompson spent more than 10 years working at the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin.

He wasn’t available for an in-person, on-camera interview, so he submitted the following responses to WisPolitics.com via email.

Birthplace, age?
49 years old, born in Racine.

Job history?
Most recently served as the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin executive director. Before joining TDA in 2007, he worked as the Wisconsin Counties Association’s legislative director.

Bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison.

Wife, Michelle, and two teenage children.

Favorite non-work interests?
“Golf, travel and running.”

Why the interest in being in the Evers administration?
“Because I believe that there is a genuine commitment from the Governor to improve our transportation network. That is something I have been a passionate advocate for and would love to be a part of making a reality.”

What are your priorities for the agency under your leadership? What should the agency be doing differently?
“My priorities are to ensure that WisDOT is viewed as a premiere department of transportation in this country. I plan to leverage the tremendous talent and skill of the professionals currently at the department and augment them to deliver the most cost-effective, well-planned transportation system that meets the needs of our businesses and citizens in an open and transparent manner. Our agencies need to work cooperatively with our partners in local government and the private sector to ensure we are streamlining delivery costs, using the latest and most innovative processes, designs and materials. And then we need to communicate to the public in a way that they can understand what our plans entail and how we are moving forward to accomplish those plans.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received since getting the job? Worst advice?
“Since I accepted the appointment I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many individuals, who care about moving the department and the state forward. All of my conversations have been valuable and have helped me acclimate to the position. I look forward to having more collaborative discussions with leaders throughout Wisconsin so we can develop a strategy that will improve and sustain Wisconsin’s transportation system now and well into the future.”

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