Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack is leaving Gov. Charlie Baker's cabinet to join the Federal Highway Administration next week.
Pollack will step down on Tuesday to become the FHA's deputy administrator in the new Biden administration, Baker's office announced Thursday morning. Registrar of Motor Vehicles Jamey Tesler will take over as acting transportation secretary, while Colleen Ogilvie will rise to the role of acting registrar.
Pollack departs after six years as one of the state's most visible cabinet secretaries, and she is leaving at a time when the transportation landscape has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. "Stephanie has led MassDOT through many difficult challenges over the past six years; from the historic blizzards that exposed the problems of the MBTA, through saving the GLX project, instituting a data-driven Capital Improvement Plan, and guiding the RMV through a crisis last summer," Baker said in a statement.
"She has provided MassDOT with stability and leadership through the last six years, serving longer than her three predecessors combined. She has allowed the agency to focus on long term efforts developing the FMCB and upgrading the MBTA’s infrastructure, service and customer relations and much more."
Federal Highway Administrator Executive Director Thomas Everett told staff in an internal email Thursday morning — first reported by POLITICO and acquired by the News Service — that Pollack will start on Monday, but Baker's office said she will begin her federal position on Wednesday.
"Ms. Pollack was most recently the Secretary and CEO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and served on the boards of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Massachusetts Port Authority," Everett wrote. "We will benefit greatly from her knowledge of transportation and breadth of experience." -