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Willis Named Director of the Restructured Office of Intermodal Planning and Highway Operations

Jim Willis
Jim Willis
JACKSON, MS — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announces the promotion of Assistant Chief Engineer - Operations Jim Willis to the position of Director of the newly formed Office of Intermodal Planning and Highway Operations. The restructuring of the Intermodal Planning and Highway Safety divisions comes as Charles Carr, longtime Multimodal Director, announces his retirement.

“Jim has served MDOT well for many years, and we are proud to announce his promotion to Director of the newly formed Office of Intermodal Planning and Highway Operations,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White. “Building on the strong foundation Charles Carr has provided through his many years of service, I am confident Jim will propel Mississippi’s intermodal infrastructure into a new age of efficiency and sustainability.”

Willis received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Mississippi State University in 1998 and began working for MDOT in the Planning Division. In 2000, he was promoted to State Safety Engineer in the Traffic Engineering Division, where he started MDOT’s Highway Safety program.

In 2011, Willis was promoted to Assistant State Traffic Engineer, which included management of Highway Safety, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and the Rails Programs. He was named the Highway Safety Division Director in 2019 before being named Assistant Chief Engineer - Operations in 2022.

Carr’s career path includes over 25 years of transportation experience, community development, health planning, disaster recovery and program development. He holds a master’s degree from Jackson State University and is a graduate of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, National Transportation Management Program, and the National Transportation Leadership Institute. His international experience includes participation in the Eno Foundation’s study mission to France, England, and Ireland to review transportation infrastructure safety and security issues, presentations on mobility options for persons with disabilities at the World Social Forum in Senegal, and research on transportation access options in Zambia.

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Guided by a steadfast commitment to public service, Carr credits remarkable staff support and solid relationships with modal stakeholders for helping to raise the visibility and impact of multimodal transportation in Mississippi.

“After 42 years of state service including focusing on Mississippi’s public transit, rails, ports and waterways, and aeronautics networks, it’s time for me take advantage of my state retirement benefits,” Carr said. “But, I am far from retiring from the transportation world. I look forward to pursuing other opportunities that will allow me to continue working towards improving our state’s transportation network.”

The newly restructured Office of Intermodal Planning and Highway Operations aims to further ensure quality of life and economic development by providing support for a well-planned, comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable intermodal transportation network guaranteeing safety, access, and mobility across Mississippi.

MDOT is responsible for providing a safe intermodal transportation network that is planned, designed, constructed, and maintained in an effective, cost-efficient, and environmentally sensitive manner. MDOT’s objective is to maximize taxpayers' dollars by providing a safe, efficient multimodal network that enhances economic stability and growth.

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