Caltrans’ interim chief deputy director is now the interim director. 

Not having officially heard that Caltrans Director Cindy McKim announced April 18 (apparently privately, in-house) that she would be retiring effective May 17, I was, of course, surprised to see the latest newsletter from the Southern California Contractors Association announcing the appointment of Malcolm Dougherty to the interim director slot.

“He is the third leader for Caltrans in the past two years and the industry is waiting to see what Gov. Jerry Brown does about this critical leadership role for the nation’s largest transportation agency,” wrote SCCA’s William Davis, executive vice president. 

I called Caltrans spokesman Matt Rocco, who confirmed the change.

The former directors, Will Kempton and Randell Iwasaki, both left for more “lucrative” director positions, Kempton to the Orange County Transportation Authority and Iwasaki to the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. McKim, according to news reports, earned $130,000 last year.

I would think those contractors, engineers and subcontractors who work on the state’s transportation projects would like to see some stability at the top at Caltrans. Let’s hope Gov. Brown appoints the right person. We need to get past the word of the day -- interim.

Anyway, for the time being, Dougherty is the guy. Before being named interim chief deputy, he was district director of District 6/Central Region as well as supervising the Capital Project Delivery Program for the four districts in the Central Region; Districts 5, 6, 9, and 10. He has worked for Caltrans for approximately 18 years. His career includes management positions in design, project management, maintenance and traffic operations. In addition, he also worked for a consultant prior to coming to Caltrans doing land development and municipal engineering work. 

Dougherty is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He is married and has three children.