We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



North Dakota transportation director to step down

Bill Panos, the director of North Dakota Department of Transportation, cited family obligations in California as the reason he is resigning.

North Dakota Department of Transportation Director Bill Panos
North Dakota Department of Transportation Director Bill Panos.
Photo courtesy of North Dakota Governor's Office
We are part of The Trust Project.

BISMARCK — Bill Panos, the director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, will step down on Sept. 9 after three years in the position. He cited family obligations in his home state of California as the reason for his resignation.

The agency's deputy director of engineering, Ron Henke, will serve as interim director.

Gov. Doug Burgum announced Panos' resignation on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The Republican governor appointed Panos, the former director of Wyoming's transportation department, to lead North Dakota's transportation agency in August 2019.

“Under Bill’s outstanding leadership, the Department of Transportation has made significant progress in many areas including traffic safety, strategic planning and improved access for constituents, especially to online services,” Burgum said in a news release.

Panos praised the department's employees, noting that they have "redefined our culture and expanded who we have helped."


"I ask you to understand that my decision comes after months of reflection on my family needs and personal goals and at no cost to my hopefulness for North Dakota’s future or the impact I know it can have," Panos said. "The state is transforming, and Team ND will play a fundamental role in shaping it.”

The Department of Transportation has nearly 1,000 employees and a biennial budget of $2.2 billion. The agency is responsible for maintaining roads and bridges across the state.

Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
What to read next
Chad Entzel, 42, was shot twice with a shotgun and died of his wounds in a bedroom of his Bismarck home, according to Dr. William Massello, who was the state medical examiner in 2020.
The motorcycle was southbound on McKenzie County Road 16 when the rider failed to negotiate a curve in the road, according to the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Shannon Brandt faces up to life in prison for the death of 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.
An investigation released by State Auditor Josh Gallion and follow-up reporting by Forum News Service reveal the North Dakota Information Technology Department did not bring in any outside firm to help recoup former Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s deleted emails until Thursday.