District 5 Deputy Director
Sonja Simpson was appointed District 5 Deputy Director in May 2016. She previously served five years as the Deputy Director of Operations, which includes the Offices of Aviation, Maintenance Operations, Traffic Operations, and the Emergency Management section.
Sonja has more than 16 years of public sector experience, and has held leadership positions in governmental agencies both inside and outside of Ohio. Just prior to ODOT she managed street and traffic maintenance operations for the City of Columbus. She was on Columbus Business First’s “Forty Under 40” list for 2012, and was named the American Public Works Association (APWA) Manager of the Year for Administrative Management in 2013.
Sonja is originally from the Pittsburgh area, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from California University of Pennsylvania. She is currently all-but-dissertation (ABD), pursuing a Doctorate in Business Administration with a specialization in Public Administration at Northcentral University. Sonja resides just outside of Columbus with her husband and three children.
All Department of Transportation activities within the seven-county region of District 5 fall under the guidance of the District Deputy Director. The Deputy Director assists in strategic planning, short and long term goal setting, performance measurement and policy development and deployment on both the statewide and districtwide level. The Deputy Director also represents and communicates the activities, views and policies of the department with representatives of local, state and federal agencies, elected officials of local, state and federal governments, consultants, contractors, vendors, the news media and the general public.