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South Carolina DOT Commission Appoints Powell as Next Secretary of Transportation

Justin P. Powell
Justin P. Powell
Justin P. Powell
Justin P. Powell
COLUMBIA, SC — At a recent meeting of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Commission, the commission appointed Justin P. Powell to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation. Powell's appointment will be submitted to the South Carolina Senate for confirmation.

This action follows the retirement announcement from current Secretary of Transportation of Christy A. Hall, PE. Hall has served as Secretary of Transportation for approximately 10 years since she was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley.

Highlights of her career with SCDOT include restoring the agency’s finances and financial reputation, developing and leading the strategic 10-year plan, and accelerating critical interstate widening projects. Hall has been recognized for her ability to work with industry partners to deliver results on major infrastructure projects. In addition, she has led the agency through a number of disasters including the floods of 2015, Hurricane Matthew, and Hurricane Florence. Under her leadership and in partnership with law enforcement, South Carolina had its first successful coastal evacuation that included reversing traffic along major interstate routes.

"We have established tremendous momentum under Secretary Hall's leadership, and we are fully assured that Mr. Powell is the best person to move us forward and keep improving upon that success," Chairman of the Commission Pamela Christopher said. "We have seen that our best leaders come from within the agency. Mr. Powell has demonstrated that he clearly understands the complexity of this agency and is going to be ready to hit the ground running on day one."

"I have every confidence in Mr. Powell's ability to lead this agency," Hall said. "I look forward to working together with him over the coming weeks to ensure a successful transition."

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"I am honored and humbled to be appointed to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation," Powell said. "I want to thank the Commissioners for their trust and confidence in me to lead this department. Our most important asset at SCDOT is our people, and I am committed to supporting our employees as they continue to diligently serve our great state. To me, there is no higher calling to serve the people of South Carolina, and I look forward to the bright future ahead."

In his capacity as Chief Operating Officer he manages the day-to-day operations of SCDOT, including its $5 billion construction program and maintenance of the nation's fourth-largest state highway system. Powell joined SCDOT in 2019 as Deputy Secretary for Finance and Administration with responsibility for SCDOT's $2.7 billion budget and oversaw the growth of the construction program from $3 billion to $5 billion. In 2022, he was promoted to Chief of Staff, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Transportation and led numerous strategic initiatives on the Secretary's behalf.

"Mr. Powell has held management positions in government agencies for nearly two decades and has held five years of progressively more complex leadership roles here at SCDOT," Vice-Chairman of the Commission Max Metcalf said. "As an executive, he has proven himself as an expert leader with a sharp eye for finance and a keen mind for business."

Before working for SCDOT, he served as Assistant County Administrator in Horry County. In addition, Powell has also worked at other local government agencies including Dorchester County, the City of Greenville, and Fairfax County, Virginia.

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