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ODOT names McCalpine assistant director for social equity; agency also names new assistant director

Erika McCalpine
Erika McCalpine

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Erika McCalpine, an experienced diversity, equity and inclusion professional who most recently led diversity efforts at Oregon State University - Cascades, will serve as the new Assistant Director for the Office of Social Equity at the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Carolyn Sullivan, who has spent the last decade managing operations at the international transportation consulting firm Alta Planning + Design, Inc. headquartered in Portland, will join the agency as the Chief Administrative Officer.

“We’re thrilled to have these two accomplished women joining ODOT at a moment of great transition and opportunity,” ODOT Director Kris Strickler said. “Their energy, enthusiasm and experience will be hugely beneficial to ODOT and to the state. We’re committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and know Erika will help us as we build a more diverse workforce, promote economic opportunity for all Oregonians and ensure we hear the viewpoints of communities affected by our decisions and our investments. We know Carolyn will play a pivotal role in guiding the agency as we grow and adapt to a quickly changing transportation environment”

Equity is a key priority in ODOT’s Strategic Action Plan, a roadmap for how the agency will evolve. The goal is to improve the state’s transportation system while being mindful of the benefits and burdens our work creates. ODOT is building a more diverse workforce and strong partnerships with businesses owned by those who have been historically underrepresented including women and people of color.

“ODOT can and should be a leader in diversity, equity and inclusion,” McCalpine said. “Making sure that all voices are heard matters. Doing so expands opportunities and creates a better transportation system. We want everyone to have a seat at the table and for our transportation system to benefit all Oregonians.”

McCalpine has served as an instructor at Oregon State University - Cascades, as program director and most recently as the director of the university’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Laboratory and executive director of strategic diversity initiatives.

Sullivan said she is also excited to be joining the agency at such a pivotal time. She received her degree from the University of San Francisco in 1990, and has worked in Portland since 1995. Sullivan has more than 20 years’ experience at the executive level in finance, accounting, human resources and operations.

“Transportation agencies face unique challenges such as mitigating the effects of aging infrastructure, providing for sustainable transportation needs, and enhancing access for underserved populations,” Sullivan said. “I’m looking forward to helping the agency meet those needs and to strengthen ODOT’s reputation as a reliable, trustworthy and innovative public agency.”

Sullivan will join ODOT on June 13, and McCalpine will join ODOT on June 15.

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