In A Flash

Governor names new transportation secretary as Wilson retires

By: - March 2, 2023 1:02 pm
Aerial view of I-10 Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge

Mississippi River Bridge in Baton Rouge, La. (Photo credit: Wes Muller/Louisiana Illuminator)

Gov. John Bel Edwards named Eric Kalivoda as the new head of the state Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Thursday. 

Kalivoda, who served as second-in-command for the past 13 years, will officially take over as secretary on Saturday, which is when current DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson’s retirement takes effect. Wilson is expected to announce a run for governor.

Eric Kalivoda
New Louisiana Transportation Secretary Eric Kalivoda. (La. DOTD photo)

“Having worked alongside Eric for more than a decade, I can say with the utmost confidence that there is no one better prepared to fill this role,” Wilson said in a press release. “Eric has the experience and dedication needed to continue our work making crucial, major improvements to our state’s network of roads, bridges, ports, rail and more.”

Wilson is retiring after seven years of service. If he enters the field, Wilson would become the first prominent Black Democrat in a governor’s race that is so far crowded with white Republicans. Louisiana has never elected a Black person as governor, though the state did have two Black lieutenant governors and more than 120 Black legislators during Reconstruction. 

Kalivoda is a Baton Rouge native who holds a doctorate in civil engineering and professional engineer licenses in Louisiana, Arizona and North Carolina.


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Wesley Muller
Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi.