Gregoire selects new WSDOT leader

Governor Chris Gregoire yesterday announced, after an extensive national search, the appointment of Paula J. Hammond as Secretary for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Hammond has served as the Interim Secretary since August.

With the appointment, Hammond becomes responsible for managing WSDOT and its nearly 7,000 employees. WSDOT, which became a cabinet agency in July 2005, maintains 7,000 miles of highways and 3,300 bridges and tunnels, including the longest and widest of the world’s first floating bridges. WSDOT also operates the state’s most popular tourist attraction — the Washington State Ferries — with 29 boats that carry over 27 million passengers.

Hammond graduated from Oregon State Universitywith a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and is a professional engineer. In her 28 years with WSDOT, she has worked in all areas of the department’s capital delivery, operations and policy programs.

Prior to taking this position, Hammond served as WSDOT’s Chief of Staff since April 2001. Paula’s husband Alan is a professional land surveyor. They have three children, Greg, Rachel and Kerry. Hammond is a native of Klamath Falls, Ore.