Shucet to exit Virginia DOT for private sector

News AASHTO Journal June 10, 2005
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Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner Philip Shucet announced that he will step down from the post at the end of the month, because he has completed what he was appointed to accomplish and wants to see more of his family, which has continued living in Virginia Beach while Shucet worked in Richmond.

Shucet was named to the post three years ago by Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, who had criticized levels of fiscal discipline and public trust at the agency.

“The business goals that the governor gave me a little over three years ago have largely been accomplished,” Shucet said. “A strong team is in place, the six-year program has been restored to fiscal integrity and VDOT’s on-time, on-budget improvements speak for themselves.”

“It’s just been a great three years,” he said. “I take away a lot of important lessons.”

When Shucet took the post at VDOT in April 2002, the Washington Post reported, four of five projects were behind schedule and half exceeded their budgets. Shucet removed about a third of the projects from table because they lacked adequate funding, and set about instituting practices to overcome the problems.

Recently, an assessment showed that three out of four of VDOT’s construction projects are completed on time and four out of the five are getting done on budget. Shucet also made activities at VDOT more publicly transparent with an outline tool called “Project Dashboard,” which displays construction performance. The industry award-winning approach is slated to be expanded to cover the areas of maintenance, engineering and other performance areas later this month, the Post reported.

“He took an agency that had lost most of the public’s trust, lost the trust of most legislators, had a six-year plan that was a wish list…and his team turned it around,” said Warner, adding he plans to name an interim commissioner from within the VDOT staff later this week.

Shucet said he plans to stay in Virginia Beach and work in the private sector.

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