The wait for OCTA's new CEO is over. OCTA is welcoming the arrival of former Caltrans Director Will Kempton, who arrived in Orange County on Sunday after departing Sacramento. He started working Monday morning at OCTA headquarters and shared some remarks with OCTA employees Monday afternoon.
He is planning to take an OCTA bus from his temporary residence in Anaheim to work every day. The new CEO is searching for a home in Orange County pending the sale of his house in the Sacramento area.
Kempton, a 35-year veteran of the transportation industry, brings to OCTA a broad understanding of transportation programs and policies that span the ranks of government from local to the federal level.
OCTA's new CEO brings a deep commitment to public service. Prior to joining Caltrans, Kempton served as assistant city manager for the city of Folsom. Before that, he served on the city's parks and recreation commission for eight years.
Kempton, 62, began his career at Caltrans in 1973. He worked in various management positions in finance and in the director's office at Caltrans prior to his appointment as assistant director of legislative and congressional affairs from 1980 to 1985.
One of Kempton's greatest accomplishments was quickly completing the high-profile reopening of a freeway overpass in Oakland after it closed in 2007 for repairs due to a disaster involving a tanker truck.
|Thanks to Will Kempton, the new East Span of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge is back on track with completion expected in 2013.|
Kempton served as executive director of the Santa Clara County Traffic Authority for seven years. From 1992 to 2002, he was a partner at Smith, Kempton & Watts, a transportation consulting and advocacy firm that focused on major infrastructure programs.
His extensive experience will ensure Orange County remains a leader in providing transportation solutions for its residents.
"This is a very challenging time for every public agency in California. Finding a new CEO for OCTA with Will Kempton's transportation knowledge and experience at a time like this is a grand-slam home run for us and for everyone in Orange County," said OCTA Chairman Peter Buffa. "Will is one of the most respected leaders in transportation in the country, with a rock-solid reputation that will serve us well."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Kempton to run Caltrans and oversee 50,000 lane miles of state highways, an annual budget of nearly $14 billion with $10 billion worth of transportation improvements under construction and approximately 22,000 employees.
"I'm exceptionally proud of what Caltrans has accomplished over the past five years and it's been an honor to serve the people of California under the leadership of Gov. Schwarzenegger," Kempton said in a news release announcing his resignation. "During my tenure at Caltrans, I have worked in partnership with OCTA many times and I am looking forward to the opportunity to join an agency that is on the leading edge of transportation innovation."