Secretary Christy A. Hall has named Justin Powell, previously the chief of staff for the South Carolina Department of Transportation, as the new chief operating officer for the agency, effective immediately.
As the COO, Powell will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization in addition to leading the agency’s strategic initiatives, an SCDOT news release stated. Some of those initiatives include overseeing enhanced recruitment efforts, ensuring South Carolina’s participation in a competitive electric vehicle economy and developing the agency’s strategic transportation plan looking ahead to 2050.
“Mr. Powell has a track record of success in this organization and I’m pleased to announce his appointment to chief operating officer today,” Hall said in the release. “I know he will continue to advance the mission of this agency, support the incredible employees at SCDOT and deliver on the promises we made to the people of South Carolina.”
Powell was appointed by Hall in 2019 to be the deputy secretary for finance and administration at the South Carolina Department of Transportation. As deputy secretary, he managed a $5 billion construction program for the fourth largest state owned highway system in the United States.
“I’m honored and humbled to be chosen to serve in this role for the Department of Transportation. SCDOT touches the life of every South Carolinian, connecting them with their families and their livelihood,” Powell said in the release. “As someone who loves South Carolina as much as I do, there is no higher calling than working for the Department of Transportation in helping bring people together.”
Previously, he served as assistant county administrator in Horry County where he provided financial leadership to the County's $500 million roads sales tax program, doubled local funding for transit, and managed a project to restore freight rail service to a three-county region, the release stated. In addition, Powell has also worked at other local government agencies including the City of Greenville, Dorchester County, and Fairfax County, Va.
He has a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor's degree from Wofford College.o