At its first meeting of 2024, the Mississippi Transportation Commission named Commissioner Willie Simmons, Central Transportation District, as chairman.
“It is such an honor to be elected chairman of the Mississippi Transportation Commission at this pivotal time in our state’s transportation history,” said Simmons. “I look forward to ensuring this commission continues to move our infrastructure system in the right direction while meeting the needs of public safety and fostering economic growth in all areas of our great state.”
Simmons is entering his second term as Central District Transportation Commissioner, which covers 22 counties and a population of approximately one million people. He is joined by Commissioner John Caldwell, Northern Transportation District, who also enters his second term, as well as first-time Commissioner Charles Busby, Southern Transportation District.
MDOT Executive Director Brad White praised Simmons’ selection, “Commissioner Willie Simmons was the right choice for Commission chairman by virtue of his proven track record of leadership along with his deep understanding of our state’s transportation needs.” White continued, “I am confident with his leadership the Commission will support MDOT staff in continuing to drive innovation, enhance our state’s infrastructure and ensure a safer and more efficient future for Mississippi communities.”
Prior to being elected commissioner in 2020, Simmons served as a Mississippi State Senator for more than 26 years. He served as Chairman of the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee during his last eight years. Under his leadership in the Senate, over $5 billion was spent throughout the state on the construction and upgrade of federal and state roads, county and municipal streets and bridges; also, millions of dollars on public transit, ports, railroads, airports and other infrastructure support systems. He played an integral role on projects such as the repair of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Jackson as well as the upgrade and repair of State Route 8 in Cleveland, among others. He also served as Chairman of the Corrections Committee and Vice Chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee.
Simmons also served as Deputy Commissioner of Corrections prior to joining the Mississippi State Senate. Before that time, he served as a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is a graduate of Alcorn State University and received an M.S. degree and an Ed.S. degree from Delta State University. He is married to Rose Sibley Simmons, and they have four children and ten grandchildren.
The commission meets every second and fourth Tuesday of each month. To learn more about the Mississippi Transportation Commission, visit GoMDOT.com.