City Transportation Director Robin Hutcheson to become Public Works Director for Minneapolis
There are moments in life that must be seized for their sheer opportunity. For Robin Hutcheson that moment is now.
Robin, Salt Lake City’s Transportation Division Director since January 2012, has accepted a position as Public Works Director for the city of Minneapolis.
She will leave her position as supervisor of 21 employees in Salt Lake City and take over a department with 1,000 employees and an annual budget of $335 million. Her role will require oversight and supervision of culinary and storm water, sanitation, streets, street lighting, transportation, snow removal, recycling, and wastewater treatment for the city of 400,000 residents.
“It was a recruitment process ending with an offer I just couldn’t pass up,” Robin said. “Minneapolis was looking for someone to bring greater experience in transportation and planning to the position, which is my strength. It’s going to be hard to leave Salt Lake City. It’s been my home since 1995. But this is the perfect time in my career to make this move.”
Robin moves on with the full respect of her Transportation team, fellow Cabinet members, and Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
“Robin has provided a tremendous service as Transportation Director for the people of Salt Lake City,” Mayor Biskupski said. “I’m very proud of her and know she will be a great success. Robin’s success will matter to Minneapolis, but more importantly, it will matter to the women and little girls who look to role models like her.
“I know Robin will lead, train, and mentor others so she won’t be the last woman to lead Public Utilities in Minneapolis.”
Indeed, Robin began her career in municipal transportation and urban planning when few women led those male-dominated fields. In a recent post on this blog, she lamented the fact that even today she often walks into professional meetings where she is the only woman in the room.
Among several professional honors, the Transportation Division under her leadership was named “Employer of the Year” in May 2016 by the Women in Transportation Seminar, Northern Utah chapter.
Robin has helped Salt Lake City attain greater gender equity in hiring and is part of the more than 41 percent of city officials and administrators who are women. By contrast, only 36 percent of leadership roles along the rest of the Wasatch Front are held by women.
Prior to becoming Transportation Director, Robin worked for 15 years as a consultant on transit system planning, smart streets, and walkable communities. Her mark can be seen in the city’s continuing holistic approach to street design, traffic flow, transit, and overall safety.
“Our city thinks about our streets as opportunities to create and realize projects that promote the economy and support health- and equity-related projects. I’m so proud of that,” she said.
But most of all, she takes pride in her Transportation team.
“I’ve had such a strong and dedicated team. Each person is committed to the city and to each other. They work every day to help expand the capabilities and functions of transportation for the people of Salt Lake.”