Calif. governor appoints new director, chief deputy for Caltrans

Updated Feb 27, 2018

California Govenor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has appointed the next director and chief deputy director of the state’s department of transportation, Caltrans.

Laurie Berman has been tapped as the new Caltrans director, while Ryan Chamberlain is the new chief deputy director.

Berman replaces Malcolm Dougherty, who announced his departure from public service to pursue other opportunities in the private sector.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead an agency that has a major impact to those who live, visit and do business in the state of California,” Berman says in a statement.

“Transportation plays a vital role in the state’s economy and livability for every Californian, and I look forward to building on the great progress this department has made over the last several years.”

She’s been Caltrans’ acting chief deputy director since October 2017.

Over the past 34 years, Berman served in multiple roles in Caltrans, including district director in the San Diego region, where she oversaw the groundbreaking on the I-5 north coast corridor project.

She also led the successful delivery of the State Route 125 public-private partnership project and improved mobility efforts along the California-Mexico Border.

The governor’s office says her appointment ensures that Caltrans a’will move forward seamlessly with its transportation priorities, and particularly with the commitments and plans that lie ahead for SB 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act.”

Berman will lead the $8.5 billion organization with nearly 20,000 employees, effective March 3, 2018.

“I’d like to thank Director Dougherty for his 25 years of dedicated public service,” says Brian Annis, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency.

“Under his leadership, Caltrans has remained committed to efficient project delivery and safety, and remains a valued member of the transportation community with his years of service in various state and national organizations.

“Laurie has been actively engaged in the implementation of SB 1, as we look to the future her leadership will guide the department as it continues its work to rebuild California.”

“I am looking forward to working closely with Ryan in his new capacity and know that he is the right person for the job,” Berman says.


“Rolling out one of the first SB 1 projects in the state, Ryan has shown impressive leadership in Orange County and has a commitment to improving infrastructure for all Californians.”

Chamberlain has been Caltrans district director in the Orange County region since 2012. He worked in partnership with local and regional agencies to move innovative projects to construction like the recently celebrated Interstate 405 Improvement Project, a press release says.

Chamberlain oversaw Caltrans Orange County’s Managed Lanes Network Study, which identified ways to increase the movement of people within the existing state highway system.

Before that, he served as chief of the division of transportation planning, branch chief of local development and intergovernmental review, and he was a transportation planner in the private sector, as well.

Chamberlain’s appointment is effective March 3, 2018.