Photo: GDOT

Georgia Trend Magazine has announced their 2018 ‘Georgian of the Year’ and it’s a familiar face.

Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell R. McMurry is Georgia Trend’s 2018 Georgian of the Year. McMurry was honored at Georgia Trend’s Notable Georgians of 2018 luncheon. He was recognized for his leadership in handling an emergency and addressing the transportation challenges of a growing state.

The Georgia Department of Transportation released the following statement:

A 28-year veteran of the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT), McMurry has served as Commissioner of the Department since 2015. Among other responsibilities, McMurry is charged with finding transportation solutions that are crucial to the state’s continued economic growth.

“He is a work horse, not a show horse, someone who prefers to work behind the scenes making things happen,” said Michael “Sully” Sullivan, president and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia (ACEC Georgia).  “It benefits everyone in Georgia to have Russell and his calm, steady, visionary leadership at the head of the department.”

Managing an annual department operating budget of $3.6 billion and a staff of almost 4,000, Commissioner McMurry is keenly aware of the crucial role that transportation infrastructure plays in Georgia’s economic competitiveness, and in strengthening economic growth in both the urban and rural areas of the state.

His vision for the Department has included a focus on innovation, improving the quality of life for Georgians and making the case for transportation financing that has brought about the most significant funding for the Department within the past decade. McMurry applauds the Georgia General Assembly and Governor Nathan Deal for passage of the 2015 Transportation Funding Act – a transformational piece of legislation that provides a sustainable funding source for the state’s transportation system. 

“This is really a recognition of the men and women of GDOT and their ability to get so much done,” McMurry said. “I think of myself as one of the team members trying to make Georgia better every day.  I am very proud to be a part of this GDOT team.”

State Transportation Board Member Rudy Bowen, representing Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, introduced McMurry at the event.  “The Commissioner’s leadership of one of the state’s largest and most impactful agencies is one of the key drivers for Georgia’s ongoing and future success,” Bowen said.

McMurry is a native Georgian, an honors graduate of Georgia Southern University and a professional engineer who has been with GDOT since 1990.


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Jessica Szilagyi is statewide contributor for All On Georgia and Market Manager for Southeast Georgia. Her main focus with All On Georgia is state and local politics as well as agriculture. She’s served as a policy analyst at the State Capitol and as a campaign manager in political races across the state.

She writes for and has two blogs of her own: ‘The Perspicacious Conservative’, a political blog, and ‘Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers’, a blog on moving from Atlanta to rural Georgia. Jessica is also a contributor for Fox5 Atlanta’s ‘Like it Or Not.’

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