BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — On Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced the retirement of Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn Wilson.

Governor Edwards received a letter from Secretary Wilson stating that his retirement from state service would be effective March 4, 2023.

Dr. Wilson served as DOTD’s secretary for over seven years and completed more than 16 years worth of executive service at DOTD. During his tenure as secretary, he managed to invest almost $5.5 billion in infrastructure across the state totaling almost 7,000 miles of improvements.

“It’s with a heavy heart and passion for public service that I step away from DOTD,” Wilson said in a statement. “It’s been my high honor to serve in this role during such a pivotal time for transportation, as major policy shifts are being made to shape the future of transportation in this country. Ensuring Louisiana’s infrastructure system is safe and reliable has been my goal for the last 16 years of my life and it was an all-consuming effort. Now, I have new adventures and goals ahead and it is time to make a life-changing move.”

Governor Edwards released a statement about Secretary Wilson’s retirement. Read his words below.

“Dr. Shawn Wilson has been the most effective DOTD secretary in state history,” said Governor Edwards. “Despite tremendous challenges with state revenue, devastating hurricanes, and the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on our workforce and supply chain, Shawn has tackled important infrastructure projects that were previously only talked and dreamed about for decades. From the biggest, most high-profile projects along major interstates to less glamorous but equally important rural infrastructure, he has worked tirelessly to unleash our economic potential and improve quality of life for everyone in our state by making major improvements to our roads, bridges, ports, rail system, flood control, and more. His yeoman’s work will continue to bear fruit for years and years to come. He set a great example for future leaders of DOTD and our state by always focusing on what was best for our people and working across partisan, ideological, and regional divides to build consensus.” 

Governor John Bel Edwards

Secretary Wilson was recognized nationally when he was elected as the first African American president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials in 2020-2021.