Idaho Transportation chief Ness wins Route Fifty Navigator Award

Updated Nov 30, 2016

Route Fifty has presented Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) Director Brian Ness with the 2016 Navigator Award in the Agency and Department Chiefs category. He was recognized for his “citizen-focused approach to government and a transformative style.”


“The main thing that stood out was Ness’ emphasis on empowering employees to find savings and efficiencies,” Route Fifty Executive Editor Michael Grass says. “We were intrigued by the origins of that approach and why it has worked so well for ITD.”

Ness arrived at ITD in 2010 and has shifted the focus of the department to a “results-focused vision” aimed at serving the citizens of the state. The department has focused on its employees by providing more training and motivating them to develop ideas to improve efficiency, an effort that has been directly attributed to savings that have been put toward road and bridge projects.

“Having employees create solutions is central to this change,” Ness says. “The decisions are being made on the frontline, where the work is being done, which leads to better decisions and more innovative solutions. Ultimately, this award represents ITD’s commitment to all of the state’s 1.1 million drivers.”

“Brian’s inclusive management style and commitment to constant innovation and improvement have made the Idaho Transportation Department not only one of our most successful state agencies, but also one of the best places to work and build a career,” says Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. “I’m proud of Brian’s leadership at ITD, which has done wonders to build public trust in its operations, the confidence of Idaho motorists, and ensure that all citizens are getting their money’s worth.”