Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Out of the box manager, now Deputy of Administration, Duncan McIntosh moves his boxes from Graphic Services to Executive Row.

Duncan McIntosh is the District’s New Deputy Director of Administration
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 02/2009

January 2009 saw a new administration come into office and Caltrans District 7 can claim the same; we welcome Duncan McIntosh as our new Deputy Director of Administration.

Many of you know McIntosh as the district’s previous Graphic Services Manager and some have known him since the 1980’s when he began in Traffic Operations during a time of typewriters and carbon paper. On January 1, McIntosh said “good-bye” to his staff of seven for a much larger staff with diverse technical expertise.

“I feel like I’ve been pulled out from our time capsule,” he said referring to his longevity and to the container buried beneath the District 7 Office building and preserved for a future age.

And maybe he’s right in saying that he was preserved for the age of technology; he is one who, he says, adapts to technology and change with great ease. Inside Seven interviewed McIntosh in April 2008, when he said, “One of the things I’m really proud of over my 28 years (at Caltrans) is being able to stay technically relevant.”

Known as “a creative type” and for “outside the box” thinking and management-style, McIntosh says he sees new ways of implementing technology into many tasks and responsibilities within the Administration division. “I’d like to apply some project-management principles to Administration that will improve a tracking system, response time to accomplish tasks and to enhance customer service,” says McIntosh.

Only three weeks into the job and already he sees that Business Management, Health and Safety, Budgets, and Skills Development units are not just textbook administration tasks, but, he says, they have heart. “Many of the jobs that Administration is responsible for are, in fact, personal to each employee and important to an individual.”

He was quick to offer an example.

“The condition of the restrooms, the auto pool, the air-conditioning and heating systems are not just equipment, they are important to one’s well-being. You’re hot, your neighbor is cold. It matters to you when you always fill up the gas tank of an auto pool vehicle and someone always leaves it less than half-full. That means something to you. That is very personal.”

To dispel the curiosity about how and why such a right-brained creative guy would want the number one position for number crunching budgets and left-brain kind of work, McIntosh says, “That is exactly what the interview panel wanted to know. I said I could offer a different perspective from what is usual or the “norm.” It’s like a photographer trying to catch a different angle for the same shot. I can try to open up the box and look at what’s in it from all sides and maybe a different perspective.”

Caltrans District 7 new administrator of the Administration Division, Duncan McIntosh will now oversee Business Management, Health and Safety, Budgets, and Skills Development units.