City Club of Chicago: Illinois Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn
November 28, 2016
Randall Blankenhorn – Secretary – Illinois Department of Transportation
Randall S. Blankenhorn was appointed Illinois Transportation Secretary by Governor Bruce Rauner in January 2015. As head of the Illinois Department of Transportation, he leads an agency of 10 offices that serve the transportation needs of Illinois across multiple modes, in rural, suburban, and urban environments. At IDOT, Blankenhorn oversees a $2.8 billion operating budget that supports a work force of 5,000 employees, with annual oversight of more than $3.2 billion in capital projects.
Prior to his appointment, Blankenhorn was the Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, leading that agency since its inception in 2006. At CMAP, Blankenhorn oversaw transportation, land use, housing, economic development, environmental, and other quality-of-life issues in the seven-county region of Northeastern Illinois.
Under his leadership, CMAP implemented GO TO 2040, the first truly comprehensive regional plan for the Chicago metropolitan area in more than a century. He worked closely with 284 municipalities and scores of stakeholder groups to put into action the plan’s strategies for aligning public policies and investments, seeking to maximize the benefit of the scarce resources in a region anticipated to add 2 million new residents over the next three decades.
His appointment as Transportation Secretary represents a return to IDOT, after having worked at the agency for 22 years. While at IDOT, Blankenhorn served in a number of key positions in both the policy and planning divisions, eventually rising to the Bureau Chief of Urban Program Planning, coordinating the activities of the state’s 14 Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Blankenhorn was the point person for planning on a number of major infrastructure projects throughout Illinois, including the south extension of Interstate 355 in Will County and the new Mississippi River Bridge in Metro East.
He is a graduate of Illinois State University, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.