Friday, February 26, 2021

Thanking Deputy Secretary Keith Metcalf for his dedicated service

By Roger Millar

For the past five years, I've had the privilege of working with one of our agency's finest. Now I'm taking this opportunity to publicly thank Deputy Secretary of Transportation Keith Metcalf for his dedicated public service and to congratulate him on his upcoming retirement. 

With nearly 43 years of service to the people of Washington under his belt, Keith can retire knowing he made our agency and the many communities he touched better for his leadership and contributions. Most recently, Keith's focus has been on developing and executing the agency's Strategic Plan and ensuring our goals of Inclusion, Workforce Development and Practical Solutions are part of everything we do. Never have those efforts been more important as during this time when we need to address a public health emergency, racial inequality and budget uncertainty.
Deputy Secretary of Transportation Keith Metcalf retired from our agency in late February after a 43-year career here.

Among his contributions, Keith has been a steadfast supporter of the National Highway System's purpose to provide a transportation network that moves interstate freight and regional trips efficiently. He demonstrated that support through his leadership in the delivery of the first stages of the North Spokane Corridor, and by protecting the public investments made in the US 195 corridor. Keith was also instrumental in bringing the new Keller Ferry to a reality, ensuring the communities that depend on this important Columbia River crossing would continue to have reliable transportation connections.
Keith Metcalf had a hand in almost every part of our agency over his 43-year career, culminating in his role as Deputy Secretary of Transportation.

Keith helped me to reorganize the department to better serve our multimodal mission. We created the office of Urban Mobility and Access and the office of Multimodal Development and Delivery, realigning our team to focus on these missions under the leadership of their own assistant secretaries. We created our Active Transportation Division, an organization committed to improving our active transportation infrastructure and maintaining our leadership as this country's most bicycle friendly state. 

Keith has also been a leader and strong advocate in our efforts to improve the department's results in the area of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. He led our efforts to expand the activities of our Office of Equal Opportunity and served actively on the Governor's Sub-Cabinet on Business Diversity.
Deputy Secretary of Transportation Keith Metcalf, who retired this week, snaps a picture during construction of the SR 99 tunnel in Seattle.

Equally important, Keith is a people person. He has shown his care and support for the people of his community and fellow workers time and time again. From being a strong advocate for the annual food drives, to supporting Public Service Recognition Week, to encouraging physical activity by leading agency wellness walks and participating in the Bloomsday Run, to attending staff functions, Keith's down-to-earth manner made him an approachable part of the team.

Keith started here fresh out of Washington State University and throughout his career went on to gain experience across multiple regions and functional areas like construction, design, program management, maintenance, and others. His calm demeanor, counsel, and dedication proved invaluable to me and many others both inside and outside our agency. Keith represented our work to many organizations and forums across the state and nationally.

We are grateful to Keith for his leadership and dedication to transportation for all Washingtonians in this state. Please join me in wishing him a long, healthy and enjoyable journey in the next stage of his life!