By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Transportation Sec. Stephanie Pollack is headed to Washington, D.C. after six years of leading MassDOT. Pollack was announced Thursday as the deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration for President Joe Biden’s administration.

Registrar of Motor Vehicles Jamey Tesler will become acting MassDOT secretary when Pollack steps down on Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced.

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Baker highlighted the challenges Pollack faced since entering office, including the record-setting winter that tested the transit system in 2015. The governor stood by Pollack in 2019 as RMV lapses were exposed when a driver who shouldn’t have been on the road allegedly killed seven motorcyclists.

“Stephanie has led MassDOT through many difficult challenges over the past six years; from the historic blizzards that exposed the problems of the MBTA, through saving the GLX project, instituting a data-driven Capital Improvement Plan, and guiding the RMV through a crisis last summer,” Baker said in a statement. “She has provided MassDOT with stability and leadership through the last six years, serving longer than her three predecessors combined.”

Baker said at a news conference later Thursday that Pollack’s departure is “incredibly bittersweet.”

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“I think she’s done a terrific job under enormously difficult circumstances,” he said. “I am just proud as I can be that the Biden administration saw what I see in her every single day.”

Before joining the Baker cabinet, Pollack studied transportation policy at Northeastern University. She previously worked at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston.

“Massachusetts has become a leader in delivering a transportation system that puts people first and provides them with safer and better choices for walking, biking, using transit, or driving and I am confident that Jamey will be able to continue that good work,” Pollack said in a statement.

Jamey Tesler has previously served as chief operating officer, chief of staff and assistant secretary for procurement at MassDOT.

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“Working with Secretary Pollack for most of the last five years has been a master class in transportation policy, and I am happy to be able to use that knowledge to continuing advancing the programs and policies we have been working on together for so long,” Tesler said in a statement. Staff