VDOT leadership changes announced

vdot road workSecretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine announced important leadership changes within the Transportation Secretariat.

Effective Thursday, April 25, John W. Lawson has been appointed as acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Lawson has served as Chief Financial Officer for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) since 2010 and has worked for the agency since 1987. He is responsible for the leadership and execution of the agency’s financial planning, capital investment, fiscal management and tolling programs and was instrumental in establishing the Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank and Virginia’s Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) program. Lawson received an associate degree of science and arts from Rappahannock Community College and a Bachelor of Accounting from Christopher Newport University, and is a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute.

“John has been instrumental in managing several public-private partnership project procurements that are building a 21st-century transportation network and save the taxpayers money,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “His decades of financial expertise and 31 years with VDOT make him uniquely suited for this role.”

Laura Farmer, VDOT’s Financial Planning Division Administrator, will assume the role of the agency’s acting Chief Financial Officer. Farmer has served as VDOT’s Director of Financial Planning since 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Chowan University and a Master of Public Policy from the College of William and Mary.

“Laura’s steadfast leadership and experience with VDOT’s financial planning for the past 15 years will serve her well in this role,” said Rob Cary, VDOT’s Chief Deputy Commissioner. “Her collaborative approach and strong knowledge base of innovative financing, revenue estimating and accounting will ensure continued sound stewardship of VDOT’s $5.5 billion annual budget.”

Morteza Farajian, Ph.D., acting Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Office of Transportation Public-Private Partnerships, will be departing the Governor’s Office to take on a new role. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao recently appointed Farajian as the Executive Director of the Build America Bureau.

“Over the seven years Morteza has served the Commonwealth, he has negotiated deals that advance the Commonwealth’s policy to move the greatest number of people at the lowest possible cost,” said Secretary Valentine. “Virginia is now sharing his expertise with the entire country.”

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