Michael Patterson, a 33-year veteran of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, will take over as director April 1.

Thirty-three year Oklahoma Department of Transportation employee J. Michael “Mike” Patterson has been named director by members of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission.

Patterson, who has served as the agency’s Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer since 2010, will officially begin in his new capacity as ODOT director on April 1.

He will succeed Gary Ridley, who is retiring as ODOT Director at the end of March. Ridley will remain on Gov. Mary Fallin’s Cabinet as Transportation Secretary.

"I am delighted with the selection of Mike Patterson as director and thank the commission for their hard work,” Fallin said.” The department has great leadership and this will be a smooth transition."

Commission Chairman Greg Love said of the commission’s decision, “After much deliberation, the commissioners decided based on where the agency is at today that Mike Patterson was the right person for the job given his experience with the department and vision for the future.”

Love continued, “The commission had a tough decision to make on replacing Director Ridley, largely because of a number of highly-qualified candidates. We felt that, by all appearances, ODOT is an extremely well-run agency and that promoting from within the ranks of ODOT would be the best way to go.”

Ridley praised Patterson’s ability to work with state leaders and his commitment to moving the department forward.

“In his three decades with ODOT, Mike has been instrumental in working with the state legislature and governor to ensure that transportation is a top priority in Oklahoma,” Ridley said. “I am confident that under Mike’s leadership, ODOT will continue to make great strides in improving our state’s transportation system.”

Patterson first worked for ODOT as a summer employee in 1970. He returned in 1980 as Deputy Comptroller and was promoted to Comptroller in 1984. In 1999, he was named Assistant Director of Finance and Administration and served in that capacity for 10 years.