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Caltrans Appoints New Strategic Chief
caltrans Blair Thompson
Blair Thompson


Caltrans recently 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,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “He will help Caltrans accomplish its strategic goals by using data and innovation to improve the Department’s performance.”

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.

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.