Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam on Wednesday unveiled his transportation team, naming Shannon Valentine secretary of transportation.

Valentine, a member of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, will replace Aubrey Layne.

“A dynamic transportation system is the lynchpin to continuing the progress we’ve made on building the New Virginia Economy,” Northam (D) said in a statement that accompanied the announcement. “If we can unlock our transportation networks for every Virginian, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, the sky is the limit – and I’m committed to tackling the challenges we face and continuing our achievements as the 73rd governor. The selection of these talented public servants speaks volumes about the bar we plan to set when it comes to transportation policy across the Commonwealth.”

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Valentine served in the state House of Delegates from 2006-2010, representing Lynchburg and part of Amherst County. While in the General Assembly, she focused on transportation, housing and economic development issues and lead the effort to invest in innercity passenger rail service. She also previously served as co-director of a transition team focused on transportation issues for Northam’s predecessor, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Before being elected to the House of Delegates, Valentine worked as the neighborhood coordinator with the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation. She worked in non-profit community development and corporate marketing and public relations in the late 1980s and 1990s. Valentine is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned a bachelor’s in economics. She also holds an education for ministry certificate from Sewanee University and is a graduate of the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership. She lives in Lynchburg.

As secretary, Valentine likely will be focused on many issues affecting Northern Virginia residents, including Metro and the recent implementation of rush-hour toll lanes on Interstate 66. Northam said during his campaign that he supports dedicated funding for Metro — provided it improves its governance, safety and reliability.

Northam also named Quintin Elliott deputy secretary of transportation. Elliott, a native of Natural Bridge, served as chief deputy commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). He was appointed to that job in January 2014 by McAuliffe. Elliott has decades of experience with VDOT. He previously worked as the district administrator in Fredericksburg, where he oversaw construction and maintenance of more than 11,500 miles of state-maintained roads in a 14-county region. He was district state asset management division administrator in Culpepper from 2002-2007, and worked as special assistant to the assistant commissioner for operations and the chief engineer in 2002. From 1991 until 2001, he was the Williamsburg resident engineer. Elliott began his career as a transportation engineer trainee with VDOT. He holds Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and served with the Virginia Air National Guard, retiring in 2008 as commander of the 192nd Civil Engineering Squadron and the 203rd Red Horse Squadron Heavy Equipment Flight. He earned several decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal for his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Nicholas Donohue will continue his work as deputy secretary of transportation and director of the office of intermodal planning and investment. Donohue previously served as policy and legislative director for the Transportation for America Campaign. He also worked as  assistant secretary of transportation and special assistant to the secretary of transportation during Gov. Tim Kaine’s administration. Donohue has a bachelor of science degree in urban studies and geography from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Northam named Stephen Brich, VDOT commissioner. Brich, who is from Hampton Roads, is a vice president with Kimley-Horn and Associates where he focuses on transportation-related matters in Virginia. He has 26 years of experience in the areas of traffic engineering, safety, operations, transportation planning, and research. Brich has previously held several senior roles at VDOT. He was the assistant district urban program manager, the division administrator-operations management, and assistant division administrator – mobility management division. He has successfully led and managed a wide array of transportation-related projects and studies during his tenure with VDOT as well as in a consultant capacity. He was also instrumental in developing policy directives for VDOT related to traffic engineering and transportation system management and operations. He began as an engineering technician in Norfolk. Brich has a bachelor’s of science degree in civil engineering from Old Dominion University and a master’s in civil engineering from the University of Virginia.

Jennifer Mitchell, will continue to serve as director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, a job which she has held since being appointed to the post by McAuliffe in January 2014. Mitchell has 20 years of experience in transit management, transportation funding, policy development and major capital projects. Before joining DPRT, she was an assistant vice president at infrastructure giant Parsons Brinckerhoff, where she managed the company’s transit project development and finance practice. She also previously worked as deputy project director for finance at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and as manager of project finance for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, a position within DRPT. Mitchell  has a master’s in regional planning from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s of urban planning from the University of Virginia.

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