Gov. Maura Healey removed the acting prefix and made Monica Tibbits-Nutt its full-fledged transportation secretary Monday, putting her fully in charge of trying to stabilize the MBTA and make inroads in the efforts to ease traffic congestion.
One year ago, many on Beacon Hill though Tibbits-Nutt would be considered for the transportation secretary role in Gov. Maura Healey’s new administration. Instead, Healey appointed Gina Fiandaca as secretary and named Tibbits-Nutt as transportation undersecretary. When Fiandaca resigned in mid-September, Tibbits-Nutt took over as acting secretary.
“Monica Tibbits-Nutt is a proven leader who has done important work at MassDOT over the past year as we’ve worked to make Massachusetts’ transportation system more reliable, safe and accessible,” Healey said in a statement Monday. “As Acting Secretary, she hit the ground running by working with the MBTA to prepare a first-of-its kind plan to fix the tracks by the end of next year, taking important steps to integrate climate planning across MassDOT, securing federal funding to support infrastructure needs, and stepping up for communities that were devastated by extreme weather.”
The announcement from Healey’s office included eight bullet points detailing her work as acting secretary, including receiving more than $108 million in federal grant funding meant to lay the groundwork for East-West rail, leading emergency construction after flooding last month, working with the MBTA to extend ferry service deeper into the fall, and submitting applications for federal help for major projects like the Cape Cod bridges replacement.
Tibbits-Nutt, the former executive director of the 128 Business Council transportation management group, previously served on the board of directors of MassDOT and as vice chair of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board, which oversaw the T from 2015 until it dissolved in 2021. After Healey won last year’s gubernatorial election, she co-chaired the transition team’s “how we get around” policy committee.
She also serves as vice president of the non-profit Youth Engagement Planning, which brings urban planning and community advocacy into K-12 environments. And Healey’s office said Tibbits-Nutt commits a significant portion of her time to mentorship through a role on the board of advisors to The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston and through less official channels.