MAASTO leadership transitions, Kansas DOT secretary takes the wheel

​Release date: September 7, 2021

​​​​Wisconsin Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson last week concluded a successful term as president of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO). Kansas Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz takes over as incoming president. The transition was announced Wednesday at MAASTO's annual meeting in Chicago.

Thompson served as MAASTO president since January 2020.

“The recent unprecedented challenges really demonstrated the value of MAASTO to its member states and the region," Thompson said. “The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges for our transportation system, such as volatile fluctuations in traffic volume, the impact on transit, rail and air travel, and the dramatically increased demand on our freight systems. MAASTO provided an important forum for transportation leaders throughout the Midwest to compare notes in real time and share strategies for how to respond."

Developments during Thompson's tenure included bringing MAASTO states together annually for a Connected and Automated Vehicle Summit, the creation of an Equity and Inclusion Committee on the board of directors, regular meetings to address pandemic response, and renewed activities to communicate with the general public on regional transportation issues.

“During the challenges of the past two years, the value of regional transportation efforts like MAASTO really shined," Thompson said. “I've been proud to serve as MAASTO president, and I'm confident we will see continued success under Secretary Lorenz's leadership."

Julie Lorenz was appointed in January 2019 to lead the Kansas Department of Transportation. With more than 25 years of experience, she is recognized as a national leader in the areas of policy development, collaboration, and the use of economic analysis to communicate the value of transportation investment. As MAASTO vice president, Lorenz has advocated for initiatives to help rural states collaborate to leverage investments in infrastructure and technology to build stronger communities in middle America. She will serve as MAASTO president until August 31, 2022.

MAASTO's mission is to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated and balanced transportation system that adequately serves the transportation needs of its member states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. It is affiliated with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). To learn more about MAASTO, visit

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,