AASHTO Journal, 16 January 2015
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has chosen Stephanie Pollack to be transportation secretary, saying her “vast experience in infrastructure and policy development will help our administration to be forward-thinking as we look for more innovative ways to meet the transportation needs in every region.”
Baker took office Jan. 8, and immediately ordered the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to release $100 million to local governments in “Chapter 90” infrastructure funds that had been held by former Gov. Deval Patrick. That was the final amount of what was supposed to be a $300 million total of those funds for the current fiscal year, but Patrick had said the state could not afford the final portion.
Baker’s announcement of the Pollack appointment describes her as “a well-respected expert on transportation policy and transit financing,” who spent the last nine years as an associate director for research at Northeastern University’s Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.
She is also a senior strategy consultant for public policy in both the private and non-profit sectors, whose clients have included the Boston Transportation Department and the Massachusetts Port Authority. And Pollack’s work on various board and panels included MassDOT’s Transportation Advisory Committee and chairing the Transportation Advisory Committee in her hometown of Newton.
Pollack in the announcement said that under Gov. Baker, “Massachusetts has a unique opportunity to demonstrate how transportation investments can be used to help create jobs and prosperous communities, improve people’s quality of life and connect people throughout Massachusetts to opportunity. I look forward to serving in the administration and finding better ways to meet our transportation needs, serve our customers, spur our economy and reduce our carbon footprint.”