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AASHTO Journal

New DOT CEOs Named in Alaska & North Carolina, <br>Dominquez Retires from New Mexico

Two new state transportation department CEOs have been tapped to take over in the new year.

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell announced late last month his appointment of Pat Kemp as the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities commissioner. Kemp, who had been DOT&PF's acting commissioner since October, is the first DOT&PF commissioner born and raised in the state and also the first to be promoted through the department's ranks.

"Pat's decades of experience are a true asset for the state," Parnell said in a statement. "His leadership and critical thinking are well respected. The Department of Transportation will be well served with Pat at the helm."

Kemp began working at DOT&PF in 1971, where he served as a rear chainman on a survey crew, but truly began his career after college in 1977. He retired in 2006 after more than 30 years in the department and kept a private engineering office at that time. He returned to DOT&PF five years later to serve as deputy commissioner for Highways and Public Facilities.

A professional engineer for more than 30 years, Kemp has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Washington.

Incoming North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (to be sworn in Jan. 12) announced Thursday that Tony Tata, former Wake County Schools superintendent, will lead the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Tata is a 28-year U.S. Army veteran. He attended West Point and Harvard and retired from the Army as a Brigadier General.

In other state CEO news, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced last month that New Mexico Department of Transportation Secretary Alvin Dominguez was retiring effective Dec. 31, 2012. Dominguez, who had been with NMDOT for 18 years, had served as NMDOT Secretary since January 2011.

"For the past 18 years I have been privileged to work alongside the talented and hardworking employees of the Department of Transportation," Dominguez said in a statement. "There are very few organizations made up of individuals who are as dedicated to their mission as NMDOT. I appreciate the opportunity that Governor Martinez gave me to lead the agency as cabinet secretary for the past two years. I leave with great memories of an organization that continually evolves, taking on new challenges and technologies as an opportunity to continually improve itself."

Gov. Martinez announced Deputy Secretary Tom Church will serve as acting secretary until a permanent replacement is chosen. ​​

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