Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the resignation of Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz Tuesday.
According to a news release from the governor’s office in Topeka, Lorenz has served as Transportation Secretary since her confirmation in March 2019 and as Chair of the Kansas Infrastructure Hub, which coordinates federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, since June 2022.
Her final day in both positions is Friday, Dec. 23. She will be returning to the private sector.
“Julie has been a visionary transportation secretary, seeing infrastructure not simply as roads and bridges but as a powerful way to bring people together for the betterment of future generations,” Kelly said. “Her ability to envision what could be and her determination to build strong coalitions have been essential to our success in closing the Bank of KDOT, passing a bipartisan 10-year infrastructure program, and coordinating billions of dollars in infrastructure funding. I am thankful for her service to my administration and to all Kansans, and I wish her the very best.”
In addition to leading the launch of the Kansas Infrastructure Hub, Secretary Lorenz oversaw the creation of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program; modernized the highway system’s infrastructure for electrification; and created a Division of Safety, resulting in a decrease of workplace accidents by 46%.
Today, KDOT has over 1,000 infrastructure projects in the works across Kansas, the governor’s office says.
In October, Secretary Lorenz received the national 2022 George S. Bartlett Award for her outstanding leadership and extensive service in transportation.
“I want to thank Governor Kelly for the opportunity to serve Kansas,” Secretary Lorenz said. “I’m most proud that during my tenure, we were able to craft and implement our new state transportation program, IKE. Thanks to the bipartisan support for IKE, we have rebuilt our infrastructure and modernized how we deliver transportation allowing Kansas to better seize opportunities and meet challenges now and in the future.”
Calvin Reed, Director of the Division of Engineering and Design, will serve as Interim Secretary of Transportation until a Secretary of Transportation is nominated and confirmed.
“Kansas transportation has benefited greatly from the leadership of Secretary Lorenz,” Reed said. “Kansans can rest assured that our team is well prepared to keep construction projects moving and will continue to make transportation improvements across the state. I’m honored to be entrusted with leading the agency during this transition.”
Burt Morey, KDOT Deputy Secretary and State Transportation Engineer, also submitted his resignation. He is retiring after a 30-year career in the field.
“It’s been my honor to serve KDOT in multiple capacities throughout my career,” Deputy Secretary Morey said. “Thanks to our team, we’ve been able to increase highway construction and improve worker safety at the same time, and Kansas is better off because of it.”
Greg Schieber, the current Director of Project Delivery, will fill the role of Interim Deputy Secretary until a permanent replacement is selected.