From ITD and news sources
Ekern is a recognized national leader in transportation operations,
management, context sensitive design, and innovative program delivery
for the 21st Century," Governor Kaine said at today's news conference.
"He has the vision and leadership to take VDOT to the next level
- with a focus on performance, accountability, innovation, and smarter
integration of transportation and land use
Ekern, 60, became ITD’s director in 2004 after a 33-year career with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and a special assignment to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) office in Washington, D.C.
Virginia State Sen. R. Edward Houck, D-Spotsylvania, who served on a legislative panel that screened four candidates for the director's job, told the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch Thursday that he welcomed the selection.
"Dave Ekern showed a great vision that he has for transportation improvements," said Houck. "That he talked about land use and transportation planning complementing each other was a salient point."
Kaine emphasized such linkage during the 2005 election, but it received comparatively little attention during the protracted fight over new, long-term funding for highways and mass transit.
VDOT has operated under an interim director since July 2005 when Philip Shucet resigned, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.