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Caltrans Names New Strategic Management and Innovation Chief

Date: January 5, 2017
District: Headquarters
Contact: Erin von Tersch
Phone: (916) 654-5485
Contact: Tamie McGowen
Phone: (916) 657-5060

SACRAMENTO — Caltrans today announced the appointment of Blair Thompson to be its first Chief of Innovation, Risk and Strategic Management. Thompson will oversee a newly created office, tasked with developing ways to streamline and improve department performance. In addition, Thompson will manage and implement the 2015-2020 Strategic Management Plan, as well as additional innovation initiatives and risk management projects.

"Blair Thompson will be a valuable addition to the Caltrans executive team. He will help Caltrans accomplish its strategic goals by using data and innovation to improve the Department’s performance."

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans

In the last of couple years, Caltrans has developed a comprehensive Strategic Management Plan and has become a leader in the Governor’s Lean-6 Sigma Program. Lean-6 Sigma is a methodology that streamlines processes by eliminating unnecessary steps.

Blair Thompson, Chief of Innovation, Risk & Strategic Management

Caltrans is committed to using comprehensive data to measure and improve its performance, as illustrated in its quarterly Mile Marker: A Caltrans Performance Report. Caltrans is expanding its comprehensive analysis on its performance, using cutting-edge technology.

Thompson comes to Caltrans from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), where he worked since 1998. During his 18 years of state service, he worked in Project Management and helped create DMV’s Strategic Planning Program. As of 2008, he managed the teams responsible for strategic business and information technology planning, enterprise governance, performance management, strategic analysis, and organizational development, as well as DMV’s robust customer and employee survey programs. During his tenure, he also assisted in setting up DMV’s Risk Management Program, and since February 2016, he served as DMV’s Acting Enterprise Planning and Performance Branch Chief.

As Caltrans Director’s Office of Innovation, Risk and Strategic Management Chief, Thompson will also manage Caltrans efforts in the Federal Highway Administration’s State Transportation Innovation Council; ethics helpline and ethics policy development; risk management; Lean-6 Sigma process improvements and other special projects, such as Open Data and Intellectual Property.

Thompson has two grown sons and currently lives in Roseville with his 14-year-old daughter.

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General Information:

General Information Line: (916) 654-2852

Media Inquiries:
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Media Line: (916) 657-5060.

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Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

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