Caltrans Honors its Women on International Women’s Day



By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)— On International Women’s Day, Caltrans honored its women at all levels who work hard every day to keep California moving.

“A long line of distinguished women in Caltrans have helped advance California’s transportation system, many of whom have been recognized by other organizations for their leadership and contributions,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty.

A third of Caltrans’ executive management are women, including three district directors, six deputy directors, three assistant deputy directors, 8 division chiefs, 15 deputy district directors and the chief of staff. Caltrans women leaders include the Department’s first female Chief Legal Counsel and first female Chief Engineer.

Other women who have served as former Caltrans executives have continued to advance their careers in private industry or at other departments, such as the California Transportation Commission, where former Caltrans Deputy Director of Audits and Investigations Susan Bransen is currently serving as Executive Director.

Current female Caltrans executive leaders include:

Chief Financial Officer Norma Ortega

Administration Deputy Director Cristiana Rojas

Planning and Modal Programs Deputy Director Coco Briseno

Sustainability Deputy Director Ellen Greenberg

Chief of Staff Dara Wheeler

Acting Chief of Staff Velessata Kelley

Chief Engineer Karla Sutliff

Chief Legal Counsel Jeanne Scherer

Public Affairs Assistant Deputy Director Tamie McGowen

Legislative Affairs Assistant Deputy Director Melanie Perron

Business and Economic Opportunity Assistant Director Janice Salais

Fresno and Central Region District Director Sharri Bender Ehlert

Los Angeles area District Director Carrie Bowen

San Diego area District Director Laurie Berman

These women are helping Caltrans improve safety, mobility and the economy by meeting project delivery commitments, protecting the Department’s legal interests, and advancing technology, innovation and sustainable business practices.

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