DOTD appoints first female Chief Engineer
Monday, April 07, 2014 at 1:32:44 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas announced the appointment of Janice Poplin Williams as DOTD's first female Chief Engineer.

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Janice as DOTD’s Chief Engineer,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. “Her leadership, administrative abilities and communication skills will be a great asset to the department as we continue to move Louisiana forward.”

Williams began her career as an engineer in training for DOTD’s Road Design Section in June of 1985, after earning her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from LSU. During her 28 years with DOTD, she has served as project and program manager for over 1,000 projects. In June 2010, she was selected for her current position as Chief of the Project Development Division. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Chief of the Systems Engineering Division for four years.

Furthermore, in 2011, Williams received the Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award. This award is the highest honor classified state employees can receive for their service to the citizens of Louisiana and is awarded for commitment to classified service, contributions toward workplace improvement, personal initiative, and volunteer community service.

In addition, Williams served on the Federal Highway Administration’s Pavement and Bridge Preservation Expert Task Groups. These national teams were created to promote pavement and bridge preservation, acceptance and implementation through the development of technical guidelines with the identification of related training and research needs. She also has served as one of the vice chairs of the Bridge Technical Working Group for the AASHTO Subcommittee on Maintenance.

“I am proud to be able to serve in this capacity for such a great organization,” said Williams. “As Chief Engineer, I will continue to work in partnership with all of our stakeholders to ensure the continued improvement of Louisiana’s infrastructure.”

As Chief Engineer, Williams is replacing Richard Savoie, who retired last month after 34 years of service to the department. Savoie served in this position after being appointed in February 2010.

As the engineering leader of DOTD, the Chief Engineer provides guidance to a staff of more than 500 engineers, engineering technicians and support staff, while promoting innovation, continuous improvement and efficient use of resources. The Chief Engineer is responsible for establishing engineering standards, policies and procedures that guide project delivery, construction, and preservation of all transportation-related projects and systems. In addition, the Chief Engineer is accountable for the on-time and on-budget delivery of the DOTD Highway Priority Program.