Idaho Gov. Jim Risch last week appointed former Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Dwight Bower as the department's interim chief to fill the vacancy left by Dave Ekern, who reecently announced his retirement from the post.
While serving as the Idaho DOT director, Ekern held a variety of AASHTO volunteer posts, including the chairman of the Special Committee on Transportation Security and the chairman of the Information Systems Subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Finance and Administration. Ekern was also the founder and a member of the Highway Subcommittee on Systems Operation and Management and the Context Sensitive Solutions Task Force.
Bower headed the transportation department, state's second-largest agency, from 1993 to 2003. The Idaho Board of Transportation will conduct a search for the new director.
"Dave [Ekern] knows the transportation landscape and the state transportation community will miss his character, vision and wisdom," said AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley. "Someone of Dave's [Ekern's] caliber won't be retired long."