In honor of Black History Month, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is highlighting the first African American Commissioner in MDOT’s history, Commissioner Willie Simmons.
“Being the first Deltian, the first democrat in many years, and then the first black that was very significant to me,” Simmons said.
On January 6, 2020, Simmons was sworn in as the Central District Transportation Commissioner. Simmons says he never set out to make history, his goal was always to serve the people of Mississippi.
He started his new position after serving 26 years in the Senate, eight of those years were spent as chairperson of the transportation committee. His experience set the stage as he made the decision to run for commissioner. His first two years in office have given him a new perspective on transportation, a perspective he knows will help guide him through his next two years in office as he continues to serve the people of Mississippi and MDOT.
“You will meet individuals who may try and throw blocks and stones, barriers in front of you, but just because you are a female, just because you are Black, Hispanic or any other nationality, it does not mean that you can’t accomplish what it is that you want to accomplish,” Simmons said.