Laurie Berman was appointed as District Director for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) District 11 in November 2009. The district serves San Diego and Imperial counties and includes the entire California/Mexico border. She is the eighth district director for the region dating back to 1933. Laurie is responsible for the daily operation of 1,200 employees and more than 1,000 centerline miles of highway. She oversees more than $544 million worth of highway construction projects and a total operating budget of $189 million for programs throughout the two-county area. Laurie’s top priority for the motorists and her own employees is first and foremost, safety. Her vision for the future of state transportation in the region is to find opportunity in the many challenges facing the department and its stakeholders, and to infuse innovation into the daily decision-making processes to keep pace with the growing demand to efficiently move people and goods across California. Building a multimodal transportation system that provides the public with more choices and reliability is a primary component of Laurie’s mission. In 2012, Laurie took a three-month assignment in Sacramento to initiate the Department’s Program Review effort. The Program Review is a department-wide look to the future and Laurie led a team to develop a strategic approach to make sustainable changes to Caltrans’ culture. These changes will position Caltrans to be a more nimble agency, with more streamlined processes for implementing change. In 2011, Laurie was honored as WTS San Diego’s “Woman of the Year.” She has spoken at design build conferences as well as AASHTO conferences about the multiple projects the district is delivering, including border infrastructure and goods movement. Laurie also serves as an ex officio member of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority as well as the San Diego Association of Governments and the Imperial County Transportation Commission. Laurie began her career as a Junior Civil Engineer in bridge construction in Santa Barbara after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at Michigan State University in 1983 and has 30 years of experience with Caltrans.
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