BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the new secretary of the state Department of Transportation and Development on Thursday morning.

Edwards named Dr. Eric Kalivoda, who has served as deputy secretary for 13 years, as the new head of the agency.

“I want to thank Dr. Kalivoda for his willingness to fill this role,” said Edwards. “Under the leadership of Dr. Shawn Wilson, DOTD has had historic success, and I know that will continue under Dr. Kalivoda. There are currently more DOTD projects underway than ever before. We are tackling major projects that Louisianans could previously only dream of, taking full advantage of unprecedented opportunities to upgrade our infrastructure, grow our economy, and improve quality of life for our people.”

Wilson’s retirement was announced in February. His last day is March 4, according to the governor.

“Having worked alongside Eric for more than a decade, I can say with the utmost confidence that there is no one better prepared to fill this role,” said Wilson. “Eric has the experience and dedication needed to continue our work making crucial, major improvements to our state’s network of roads, bridges, ports, rail and more.”

Read Kalivoda’s statement below:

“I am grateful that Gov. Edwards has chosen me to lead DOTD,” said Kalivoda. “I am confident that my years of experience within the department have prepared me for this opportunity. Luckily, I take over a department filled with hardworking men and women who are excited to continue bringing world-class infrastructure improvements to the people of our state.”