Governor Gavin Newsom (D) appointed Toks Omishakin (seen above) as secretary of the California State Transportation Agency or CalSTA on February 7; a position that requires confirmation by the state legislature.
[Above photo by Caltrans]
Omishakin has served as director of the California Department of Transportation or Caltrans since 2019.
“Director Omishakin has implemented innovative strategies to create a more equitable, world-class transportation network for all users while improving the safety and livability of neighborhoods across the state,” the governor said in a statement.
“Under his leadership, Caltrans has worked to accelerate more than 100 roadway projects during the pandemic, adjusted operations to help keep goods moving amid supply chain challenges and spearheaded the transformative Clean California program that is revitalizing public spaces across California,” Gov. Newsom noted.
“As head of the largest and most complex transportation system in the nation, I’m confident that he’ll continue to bring his forward-thinking leadership and dedication to serving the people of California to advance our ongoing work to build safer, healthier and more sustainable communities that serve all Californians,” he added.
Omishakin previously served as deputy commissioner for environment and planning at the Tennessee Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2019 and as director of healthy living initiatives in the Nashville Mayor’s Office from 2008 to 2011.
He also serves in key roles for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – particularly as chair of the Council on Active Transportation since December 2019.
That council deals with issues related to bicycles and pedestrians, improving access to transit, and other active transport modes. In his capacity as council chair, Omishakin helped develop a “research roadmap” to “prioritize and categorize” state department of transportation pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure investments in the near future.