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February 15 , 2001

Doug MacDonald Accepts Appointment as Secretary of Transportation in Washington State

MWRA announced that Doug MacDonald, its Executive Directive since March 1992, has accepted an appointment as Secretary of Transportation in Washington State. The appointment will take effect in mid-Spring 2001. The timing of Mr. MacDonald’s resignation from MWRA will be announced after discussions with the eleven-person MWRA Board of Directors.

The Executive Director of MWRA is appointed by and reports to the Board of Directors whose chairperson is the state Secretary of Environmental Affairs and includes representatives of the 60 member communities and watershed systems interested in MWRA’s programs.

Washington Governor Gary Locke and the state Transportation Commission made the announcement this afternoon that Mr. MacDonald would head the state's $2.5 billion, 6,800 employee, transportation agency. The agency is responsible for 7,037 miles of state highways, an auto and passenger ferry fleet consisting of 29 vessels serving 10 routes, and 16 state-owned emergency airports. The agency also works in partnership with Amtrak to provide rail passenger services, and supports local communities in providing freight rail and public transportation services.

Two years ago Gov. Locke and the Legislature appointed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation to find a mix of solutions to the state's transportation crisis, which resulted from a booming population and limited financial resources to keep up with demand. In addition, community opposition to new roads and environmental concerns hampered new road building. In November, that Commission came up with 18 recommendations that range from establishing performance standards to addressing the shortage of funding.

"Doug is coming from a job that has many of the same challenges that exist in Washington," said Connie Niva, chair of the Transportation Commission. "He has experience in delivering projects in a financially constrained civic and political world. Performance measurements and cost-benefit analysis are lynchpins in his management methods and that is important to us."

MacDonald grew up in Washington State, graduating from Mercer Island High School.