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Peterson appointed to head WASHDOT

Former Clackamas County Chair Lynn Peterson has been appointed to head the Washington Department of Transportation.

Washington Gov. Jay Islee made the announcement on Tuesday. He noted that Peterson, a highway engineer, currently serves as the Sustainable Communities and Transportation Advisor to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.

“We need an innovative approach to fixing a transportation network that is outdated and hampering our economic growth,” Inslee said in a prepared statement. “Lynn has the experience, creativity and leadership skills to help Washington build a transportation system for the 21st century. And we’ll do that in a way that more efficiently moves people and goods and reduces carbon emissions.”

As noted in the statement, Peterson helped manage several of Oregon’s statewide transportation initiatives, including the Willamette Valley Passenger Rail Plan, Kitzhaber’s 10-year Energy Action Plan including Oregon’s portion of the Electric Highway from B.C. to Baja and acceleration of commercial fleet turnover to alternative fuels, and more.

"I am honored to have served Governor Kitzhaber and the citizens of Oregon,” Peterson said in the statement. “Together, we have made significant progress leveraging more investment for Oregon communities to meet their economic, social and environmental goals with less revenue. These values hold true for all citizens in the Northwest. I am pleased to be joining Governor Inslee's Cabinet to help meet his desire to efficiently and cost-effectively build safe and healthy communities everywhere in the State of Washington.”

Paula Hammond, the current Secretary of WSDOT, is retiring after nearly six years as head of the department.