Idaho Transportation

Public Affairs Office
P.O. Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707
Fax: 208.334.8563

District 3 Engineer Pam Lowe selected
new administrator of DMV

Pam Lowe will convert organizational and management skills acquired through nearly 25 years of engineering experience to manage the Division of Motor Vehicles, effective July 26.

Lowe, who has served as District 3 engineer since December 2000, succeeds Moe Detmar. He officially retires Aug. 20.

The promotion demonstrates ITD’s commitment to career growth within the department and acknowledges Lowe’s many distinguished accomplishments as district engineer, said Director Dave Ekern.

“She brings to the Division of Motor Vehicles the leadership skills and experience that are critically important to implementing a new technology system and continuing the division’s strong history of customer service.

“We were looking for an individual who possesses Moe’s energy, enthusiasm and sense of humor. Those qualities are important to maintain the customer-focused reputation the division has built over the past 10 years.

“As a member of the department’s executive team, Pam also will be very instrumental in guiding future development of the state's transportation system,” Ekern added.

Lowe is accustomed to the challenges of rapid change and progress. District 3 encompasses the state’s largest population centers and areas of fastest growth. That growth places greater demand on the transportation system and the professionals who manage it. And it has proven to be a good training in customer service for the new DMV administrator.

One of the most visible achievements in her tenure as District 3 Engineer was reconstruction of the WYE, which carries commuter traffic between the west Treasure Valley and downtown Boise. A ceremony in June celebrated the conclusion of the $86 million WYE reconstruction project.

But Lowe prefers to speak of success not in terms of construction, but in partnerships.

“It’s not just the nuts and bolts, but the relationships and partnerships with local communities, organizations and citizens. They reinforce the concept that we represent the public. We have a very high emphasis on customer service.

“District 3 has been on the leading edge in the use of technology and innovation,” Lowe adds, referring in part to a model plan that will transform a section of the Idaho 55 corridor – known as Eagle Road – through Boise, Meridian and Eagle. “We work hard to minimize the impact of construction projects on the public and adjust work schedules to fit the needs of the communities, jurisdictions and public. That goes back to customer service.”

Considering that emphasis, Lowe was a logical choice to assume the reins of an ITD division that touches more Idahoans than almost any other state agency. The Division of Motor Vehicles, under Detmar’s leadership, was driven by and dedicated to customer service.

Lowe looks forward to perpetuating that tradition.

“I have known Moe for a long time, and he’s a tough act to follow,” Lowe admits. “I think the skills that I have honed here in District 3 in forging relationships and partnerships will carry over to DMV and continue what Moe started.

“I enjoy people… and that will make it [the new position] fun. Motor vehicles has an excellent reputation, and my goal is to help maintain the reputation they already have established.”

Lowe enters the picture at a critical time – as the DMV makes a major step in the use of technology. It is “focused on re-automating existing systems and automating new ones,” she explains. “It’s under a tight time frame, but it’s doable.”

She has no doubts DMV employees will forge ahead without missing a step, largely because of the quality of workers in the division. They are focused and detail-oriented. At the same time, they have established internal camaraderie. They enjoy the process – and each other.

Before her selection as ITD’s first female district engineer, Lowe ascended through the ranks of engineering positions within ITD. She began in October 1993 as a construction associate providing construction assistance and oversight to Districts 5 and 6. Two years later (April 1995) she advanced to Planning Services Manager and then to regional engineer (July 1997) for District 3.

She served as assistant district engineer from March 1999 to December 2000, with oversight and management responsibilities for the engineering program that included more than 200 design projects and construction value of more than $400 million. She also supervised a staff of about 70 engineers and technicians.

When Lowe was promoted to district engineer in December 2000, she assumed responsibilities for all district functions, including planning, project development, construction and operations.

“This is a great position and a great district so, yes, there are mixed emotions in leaving. I have loved working with the people here, but change is good. It will be good for me and will be good for the district to have a new and different perspective.”

Ekern discussed Lowe’s appointment with transportation board members and the department’s executive team early this week and announced the decision to DMV employees Wednesday.

ITD Chief Engineer Jimmy Ross will lead the effort to find a successor for Lowe in District 3.