Gov. Doug Burgum today appointed North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Deputy Director of Engineering Ron Henke to lead the department, citing his deep knowledge of the state’s transportation infrastructure, long history of service to the state and leadership on many key NDDOT initiatives over the years.
Henke’s appointment is effective immediately. He has been serving as interim NDDOT director since Sept. 9.
“Ron Henke has proven himself to be a highly capable, forward-thinking, well-respected leader in the North Dakota Department of Transportation, and we are excited to welcome him as the department’s next director,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful for his more than three decades of service to NDDOT and look forward to him leading the department into the future with a focus on innovation and providing world-class transportation infrastructure for the benefit of all North Dakota citizens, communities, farmers and ranchers, businesses, industry and visitors.”
Henke joined NDDOT in 1990, serving as director of operations and project development, as well as in other capacities including design, construction, planning and programming. As deputy director of engineering, he oversaw operations, project development, pre-construction, construction and maintenance.
“I’m incredibly honored to lead the outstanding and hardworking team at the North Dakota Department of Transportation, and I am grateful to Governor Burgum for this opportunity,” Henke said. “Through the NDDOT team and with support from the administration and legislature, we will continue to maintain the highest standards for our infrastructure, adopt new technologies and implement innovative approaches to provide the safest transportation system and most efficient and effective service possible to North Dakota citizens.”
Henke is a North Dakota native, having grown up on a farm in central North Dakota. He earned bachelor’s degrees in construction management and construction engineering from North Dakota State University. He is a registered professional engineer in North Dakota with a background in field construction, statewide operations, planning and programming of projects, budget, environmental document preparation and plan development.
Henke serves on the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Transportation Policy Forum and Council on Streets and Highways. He is also an active member in the community though the Bismarck High Football and Basketball Booster organizations.
The NDDOT has 982 team members across North Dakota and a biennial budget of $2.2 billion to build and maintain a safe, efficient transportation system consisting of approximately 8,518 miles of roadway and 4,858 bridges. It oversees the development of surface transportation including highways, bridges, transit, pedestrian and bicycle paths across the state. Annually, the department processes more than 1 million vehicle registrations and serves over 500,000 licensed drivers at branch offices located throughout North Dakota. The NDDOT is an innovative and progressive organization with team members working hard to carry out the department’s mission to safely move people and goods.