The Arkansas Highway Commission has named Lorie Harris Tudor as Director of the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT). The Commission made the announcement following a special meeting held Thursday, February 20, 2020. Tudor will succeed Scott Bennett, who announced his retirement effective March 20, 2020.
“One of the primary functions of the Commission is to make sure we have the right leadership in place at ARDOT,” said Commission Chairman Tom Schueck. “Scott Bennett has been that person for the past nine years, and Lorie Tudor has been at his side the majority of that time. We know we’ve got the right person in Lorie to keep the agency moving forward without skipping a beat.”
Tudor began her 36-year career with what was then the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (Department) in 1981 as a Clerk Typist. She resigned in 1995 to return to school and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree from the University of Memphis. She returned to the Department in 1998 as a Civil Engineer I in the Planning Branch. She held various titles in Planning, Research, and Program Management, becoming Assistant Chief Engineer for Planning in 2011. In December 2014, she was named Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer. She is a Registered Professional Engineer.
Tudor is the Vice-Chairman of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Committee on Funding and Finance and was recently appointed by AASHTO to represent the United States on the World Road Association’s Technical Committee for Finance and Procurement. Tudor was inducted into the University of Arkansas’ Academy of Civil Engineering in 2018, and was the recipient of the AASHTO’s Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Award in 2019.
“I am both honored and humbled by the trust that the Commission has placed in me to lead the Department,” Tudor stated. “I have had many great mentors over the years, but Scott Bennett has taught me the most. His strong and effective leadership has resulted in many positive changes at the Department. He will be greatly missed and we wish him the best as he begins this new chapter. With the Department’s competent staff and support, I am confident that we can continue that progress as we head into the future.”
Tudor will become the Department’s first female Director, and the fifth person to serve in that role in the Department’s last 47 years; she follows Henry Gray (15 years), Maurice Smith (6 years), Dan Flowers (17 years), and Scott Bennett (9 years).