Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration
Melissa J. Batula, P.E.
Melissa J. Batula, P.E., was appointed Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration in January 2020. As the first female to hold this position, Batula manages 9,000 dedicated staff members who share her commitment to serving the transportation needs of citizens across the Commonwealth. Her role includes overseeing investments in PennDOT assets, ensuring quality and safety across the department, and advancing innovative strategies to solve Pennsylvania's 21st-century transportation challenges. She is adept at building strong relationships with industry and government partners and is committed to guiding the department's 11 district offices in successfully carrying out PennDOT's mission.
Batula began her career in the private sector, where from 1987 to 2006, her role grew and developed from a draftsperson to a senior design engineer. With a natural interest and aptitude for technical problem solving, Batula assumed responsibility over the years for a variety of residential projects that included solving complex planning related to lot design, street design, sanitary and sewer design, and water systems.
She joined PennDOT in 2006 as a senior civil engineer, where she has progressed through the department in various management positions, including chief of the Accelerated Bridge Program, Assistant Chief Bridge Engineer, and Asset Management Division Chief in the Bureau of Maintenance and Operations.
From her success in running the Accelerated Bridge Program in 2010, which put 1,603 structurally deficient bridges out for bid, to ensuring enforcement of important state and federal safety standards, like guardrail replacement on our interstate highways, Batula has impressively taken on some of PennDOT's biggest challenges and delivered results on-schedule and on-budget.
In 2014, she became the Highway Delivery Division Chief, where she led the department's design efforts and managed PennDOT's roughly $3 billion construction and consulting contracts. She has served as Acting Director for the Bureau of Project Delivery since 2018.
A native of Linglestown, Pennsylvania, Batula earned a Professional Engineers (PE) license in 2002. She continues to advance her career as an engineering professional through college-level educational opportunities in organizational leadership.