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Will Kempton

Ex-Officio Member

Will Kempton has nearly 47 years of experience in transportation, public service and government affairs. Mr. Kempton is retired but has recently joined the Sacramento Transportation Authority as Executive Director focused on the development and management of a countywide transportation sales tax program. Prior to retirement, Kempton served as Executive Director of Transportation California, an industry-based advocacy group dedicated to the advancement of California’s transportation program. Transportation California worked for years to increase funding for the state’s ailing transportation infrastructure and was a leader in the effort to pass Senate Bill 1 approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in early 2017.

Before his most recent stint with Transportation California, Mr. Kempton served as Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission (CTC), responsible for advising and assisting the Legislature and the Administration in the development of transportation policies and plans for California. As Executive Director, he administered and facilitated the programming and allocation of funds for highway, passenger rail, transit and active transportation improvements throughout California.

Throughout Mr. Kempton’s career, he has moved between public and private posts, starting with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in 1973. In 1985, Mr. Kempton assumed the role of Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Traffic Authority, managing its billion-dollar highway sales tax construction program, the first of its kind in the state. In 1992, Mr. Kempton became a partner in Smith, Kempton & Watts, a Sacramento advocacy firm where he consulted in program and policies to enhance the effectiveness of public and private transportation resources.

In 2004, Kempton was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as the Director of Caltrans, overseeing an annual operating budget of more than $13.8 billion and 22,000 employees. He served in this capacity for five years before taking over as the Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority, a county-wide transportation agency responsible for county transit services and management of the local half-cent sales tax program. Mr. Kempton retired from public service in 2013 before returning to the private sector and ended his career at Transportation California in December of 2016.

Prior to joining the STA, Mr. Kempton worked for the Greater Folsom Partnership as a consultant, dealing with a variety of issues and projects related to economic development. He continues to serve on the board of the Mineta Transportation Institute, a University Transportation Center located at California State University, San Jose where he also teaches a graduate course in transportation funding and finance. He is a board member of the California Transportation Foundation, an organization that supports the advancement of state and local transportation programs, and currently serves as a member of the Folsom Parks and recreation Commission.
Will has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of San Francisco and completed graduate studies in Government and Public Administration at the California State University, Sacramento. He resides in Folsom, California with his wife Beverley. They have four adult children and four grandchildren.