Photo of Omer Osman - Acting Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation

Jim Gray

Secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Jim Gray is the former mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, and currently secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

At the start of his career, Gray earned a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, then came back home to Kentucky to help grow his family's construction business, serving as the company's CEO and chairman. Today, Gray Construction is routinely ranked among the top 5 builders in the U.S. within major industry sectors including manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, and distribution. In 1996, Gray was appointed a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University.

As Lexington's mayor, Gray drew upon his CEO experience to bring a management approach to government. He righted Lexington's financial ship through a series of major reforms and significantly reduced the city's annual employee health insurance costs while improving employee satisfaction through an on-site medical clinic and pharmacy. His reform of the police and fire pension system preserved the retirements of more than 1,000 retirees while saving the city millions. He revitalized the city's downtown and facilitated making Lexington the largest gigabit city in the nation. Under his leadership, Lexington was named the 4th best run city in the country.

In December 2019, Governor Andy Beshear appointed Gray Transportation Secretary, managing more than 4400 employees across Kentucky, and an annual operating and construction budget of almost $2.5 billion.