Maryland and Massachusetts have new leaders for their respective state departments of transportation.
Governor Wes Moore (D) named Paul Wiedefeld (above at right) secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation on January 24 during a press event. Meanwhile, Governor Maura Healey (D) appointed Gina Fiandaca (above at left) secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in late December 2022.
Wiedefeld previously served as the general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
He also served as executive director of Baltimore/Washington International Airport and administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration – which are two of the six transportation agencies under the purview of the Maryland DOT. His appointment must be confirmed by the Maryland legislature.
“Maryland deserves transportation that will make us more competitive and more equitable,” noted Gov. Moore in a post on Facebook. “With Paul’s help, we will create a transportation system that does just that.”
[Editor’s note: Gov. Moore’s preliminary fiscal year 2024 budget plan, released on January 20, includes “historic” additional funding requests for what he considers the state’s two highest priorities for economic growth: Education and transportation. The governor’s budget request includes a $500 million request to fund the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” and $500 million dedicated to support “strategic priority transportation projects” across the state that align with the governor’s economic competitiveness goals.]
Meanwhile, the appointment of Gina Fiandaca appointed as MassDOT secretary marks the return of a Massachusetts native to her home state.
A native of East Boston, Fiandaca worked as a transportation clerk for the city while in college.
She eventually became director of the city’s Office of the Parking Clerk for nearly eight years before serving as transportation commissioner for four years during the administration of former Mayor Martin Walsh, during which the city’s transportation department released a 15-year, $4.74 billion “Go Boston 2030” mobility plan.
Since 2019, Fiandaca served as assistant city manager for Austin, TX, overseeing mobility initiatives.
“Moving Massachusetts forward is going to take a transportation system that works for everyone, and she brings decades of experience in delivering critical public services,” noted Gov. Healey in a Facebook post regarding Fiandaca’s appointment.