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Burgum thanks Panos for service after NDDOT director submits resignation; Henke to serve as interim director

BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today thanked North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Director Bill Panos for his impactful service to the state after Panos submitted his resignation effective Sept. 9, citing family obligations in his home state of California. Burgum announced NDDOT Deputy Director of Engineering Ron Henke will serve as interim director.

Burgum appointed Panos as NDDOT director in August 2019, noting his extensive leadership experience and long history of managing major infrastructure projects and large organizations. Panos had most recently served as Wyoming’s DOT director.

“Under Bill’s outstanding leadership, the Department of Transportation has made significant progress in many areas including traffic safety, strategic planning and improved access for constituents, especially to online services,” Burgum said. “We are deeply grateful for his service, which has positioned the NDDOT for success in an environment of rapid technological change and significant infrastructure investment in North Dakota and across the nation. We wish him all the best in the future and respect his commitment to his family.”

“It has been an amazing journey serving NDDOT for the last 3 years. I am enormously proud of the accomplishments of our NDDOT team. This family of engineers, planners, mechanics, accountants, administrators, technicians, creators, and innovators have redefined our culture and expanded who we have helped,” Panos stated in his resignation letter, adding, “I ask you to understand that my decision comes after months of reflection on my family needs and personal goals and at no cost to my hopefulness for North Dakota’s future or the impact I know it can have. The state is transforming, and Team ND will play a fundamental role in shaping it.”

The NDDOT has 982 team members and a biennial budget of $2.2 billion to build and maintain a safe, efficient transportation system consisting of approximately 8,518 miles of roadway and 4,858 bridges. It oversees the development of surface transportation including highways, bridges, transit, pedestrian and bicycle paths across the state. Annually, the department processes more than 1 million vehicle registrations and serves over 500,000 licensed drivers at branch offices located throughout North Dakota. The NDDOT is an innovative and progressive organization that has a team of employees working hard across the state to carry out the department’s mission to safely move people and goods.