Sorel named new NDDOT director

Jul 9, 2017

Gov. Doug Burgum has named former Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Thomas Sorel as the head of North Dakota’s Department of Transportation.

He replaces Grant Levi, who retired in May.

Sorel is currently the chief operating officer of the Minnesota Trucking Association. In an interview, Sorel said he’s excited about the new job. He said he realizes there are challenges, especially in funding for road projects.

"It provides some unique opportunities to try some innovative approaches to everything DOT might do," Sorel said. "We need to maximize the money we do have."

Sorel said it means managing the investments you have, to support the quality of life for North Dakota citizens.

"I view that as a nice challenge," Sorel said. "I think there are solutions to minimize the impact of those funding shortages."

Sorel said he believes Burgum has what he called a “compelling vision” of state services and state government.

"The thing that really excited me is the willingness of the cabinet to work across all agencies," Sorel said. "You don't always see that in a government bureaucracy."

Sorel starts as DOT Director August 7th.