Karla Sutliff has been appointed as California's chief engineer, the first woman to be appointed to the position, Caltrans recently announced.
As chief engineer and deputy, Sutliff is responsible for all engineering aspects of the department's construction projects statewide from their design through the completion of construction, Caltrans stated in a release. She will oversee a program of more than 9,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.8 billion.
Sutliff has been with Caltrans for 26 years, and over the past 11 years she served as the chief over several Caltrans divisions, including Design, Traffic Operations, and Project Management. She also filled the role of Acting District 8 (San Bernardino) Director in 2008.
Sutliff graduated from the University of California at Davis with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and is a licensed civil engineer.
The chief engineer position was created in 1974. Prior to that, the position was called state highway engineer.