Haley taps new state DOT director - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Haley taps new state DOT director

Janet Oakley speaks to the media on Monday. Janet Oakley speaks to the media on Monday.

Gov. Nikki Haley has tapped the now former director of policy and government relations at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to take over the state Transportation Department. 

Janet Oakley was announced as the new department head at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Haley said she made her decision to tap Oakley based on the Maryland native's experience.

"One, she knows the issues that take place at the local level. She understands the challenges at the state level. But she actually knows the people at the federal level that we will be dealing with in terms of infrastructure grants and things going forward," said Haley.

Oakley has spent the past 15 years at AASHTO in the same position. She has also worked with the Federal Highway Administration.

"I do believe I can bring to South Carolina a breadth of experience and a depth of knowledge to help the entire state -- all the regions of the state," said Oakley.

"I will call upon all of my professional colleagues, my network, to help us as we move forward on the journey. I know that South Carolina has a lot of interesting challenges, as every state does."

The announcement comes just several weeks after the previous Transportation Department director, Robert St. Onge, resigned following a DUI arrest.

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