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Biden names Massachusetts official Steph Pollack to senior roads post

State’s transportation secretary, an Orthodox Jew, to be appointed as deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration

Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, right, faces reporters as Governor Charlie Baker, left, looks on during a news conference in Boston, July 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, right, faces reporters as Governor Charlie Baker, left, looks on during a news conference in Boston, July 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — US President Joe Biden named Stephanie Pollack, the Massachusetts transportation secretary known for her ability as a Democrat to cross party lines, to help helm the Federal Highway Administration.

Boston media reported on Thursday her appointment as deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, which will take place next week.

Pollack, a progressive Democrat, has worked closely with Republican Governor Charlie Baker to turn around the state’s notoriously plagued roads system.

He praised her on her way out, telling the Boston Herald, “She has provided MassDOT with stability and leadership through the last six years, serving longer than her three predecessors combined.”

Pollack and Baker appeared in 2016 in a video as the Blues Brothers, on a mission to save the T, Boston’s mass transit system.

In an interview a year later about her closeness to Baker, she discussed being an Orthodox Jew in public life.

“Except in the case of emergency situations, I do not make phone calls or send emails on the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays,” she told Commonwealth Magazine at the time. “For me, Sabbath is an electronic timeout that gives me time to think about something other than transportation.”

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