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Portland hires new transportation director

by: CITY OF PORTLAND - Leah TreatPortland is hiring a transportation administrator from Chicago to head the city's Bureau of Transportation.

The hiring of Leah Treat was announced by Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick on Tuesday. She is currently serving as the chief of staff to Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein.

Treat, who was chosen after a nation search, will replace interim PBOT Director John Widmer, who replaced former PBOT Director Tom Miller, who was dismissed by Mayor Charlie Hales.

“Transportation is something that affects us every day,” Novick said in a prepared statement. “Portland needs a transportation leader who has the budget management background to help us address our deficit in basic street maintenance and who understands the value of sustainable modes such as biking and walking. We know we have found the right person for PBOT in Leah Treat and we are excited to have her join us in Portland.”

Treat will soon move to Portland with her husband, Charles, and their four children.

“I have always loved Portland,” Treat said in a prepared statement. “It is one of the most progressive cities in the country and it syncs with my personality and lifestyle. I believe Portland to be a national leader in sustainable transportation modes and know we can continue to push an aggressive agenda by developing smart, fiscally responsible budgets, focusing on efficient operations and incorporating smart planning and economic development strategies into future city goals.”

Treat has previously worked for governments in New Mexico and Washington DC.