Will Kempton, chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation, has announced he is retiring from the agency and plans to continue his work in the field by leading a statewide non-profit dedicated to transportation advocacy and education.
Kempton, who has led OCTA since August 2009, has accepted the position of executive director for Transportation California and plans to leave the agency on Feb. 28.
“I’m incredibly proud of our accomplishments over the past three years and grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the people of Orange County,” Kempton said. “During my tenure, OCTA has responded to many challenges, while always keeping in mind the best interests of our residents, businesses and all those who depend upon OCTA’s services.”
OCTA Chairman Paul Glaab thanked Kempton for his time at the agency and said the board will begin the process of planning for a successor.
“Will’s extraordinary leadership and vision have had an enormous impact not only on Orange County but statewide and throughout the nation,” said Glaab, also the mayor of Laguna Niguel. “We will miss him a great deal and wish him the very best in his new endeavor, where I know he will continue fighting for the transportation needs of all Californians.”
Kempton successfully led OCTA during the worst economic period in the agency’s history. He guided OCTA through difficult service reductions and despite a substantial drop in revenues, Kempton ensured the promises of the Measure M half-cent sales tax program were delivered to voters and will continue on that path through the Measure M2 timeframe.
During the past three years, nearly $2 billion in transportation projects have been completed or started, resulting in thousands of private-sector jobs in construction, engineering and related fields at a time when they are desperately needed.
In addition, Kempton spearheaded OCTA’s first five-year strategic plan, which redefined OCTA’s vision, mission and goals and created performance metrics to ensure the highest levels of accountability and transparency to the public.
OCTA Director Bill Campbell, chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee, praised Kempton for his service to the agency.
“Will’s unrivaled experience, innovative spirit and consensus-building leadership style helped us manage through a critical financial time,” said Campbell, also the 3rd District Supervisor. “He leaves this agency as a stronger, more efficient organization that is well prepared to fulfill our mission of enhancing quality of life and keeping Orange County moving.”