Secretary Thomas J. Smith
West Virginia’s Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT), Tom Smith, is a professional engineer who has devoted his lengthy and distinguished career to the betterment of transportation infrastructure around the country, and especially here in the Mountain State. A 1980 graduate of North Carolina State University, with a (B.S.) in civil engineering, Tom completed additional graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley. He has demonstrated an understanding of the importance of building highways, bridges, and infrastructure, as well as developing relationships that work toward improving our communities and the work of government entities.
Tom began his career with the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA), and held various field engineering positions in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, and California. While at his assignment in Massachusetts, he was the Project Administrator, for the FHWA, of the Central Artery Tunnel Project in Boston.
Most recently, Tom served as FHWA’s Division Administrator for the West Virginia Division for over 16 years. In this position, Tom oversaw the administration of many needed roadways such as US Route 35 and Appalachian Corridors D and H, which brought four-lane highways to previously underserved areas of the state. Before returning to West Virginia to become Cabinet Secretary, Tom served briefly as Senior Transportation Advisor for the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C.
Throughout his career with FHWA, Tom was the recipient of numerous honors, including the Heartland Award, the Richard D. Morgan Leadership Award, and two separate Administrator’s Superior Achievement Awards. In addition to his work in transportation, Tom was named Acting FHWA Associate Administrator for the FHWA Office of Civil Rights in our nation’s capital.
Tom’s wife is Mary, a graduate of the University of North Carolina. Despite their scholastic differences, Tom and Mary have had a happy marriage of 35 years and counting, and have three children: two sons, Trent and Clint, both of whom are West Virginia University graduates and mechanical/aeronautical engineers, and one daughter, Caroline, who is majoring in statistical economics at the University of Kentucky.
In addition to West Virginia, Tom is licensed in Pennsylvania and Ohio.