Kern COG Board Appoints CalTrans Manager Ahron Hakimi As New Executive Director

April 24, 2012

Kern Council of Governments’ Board of Directors on Thursday appointed Ahron R. Hakimi as the agency’s seventh executive director, replacing Ronald Brummett who retired in December. Hakimi will assume his new position on Monday, June 18.

Kern COG is a joint powers authority whose Board comprises a mayor or councilmember from each of the 11 incorporated cities in Kern County and two county supervisors. The agency is responsible for continuous, coordinated and comprehensive transportation planning among local governments; Golden Empire Transit District; the Federal Highway Administration; Federal Transit Administration; California Department of Transportation (Caltrans); and other stakeholders.

A colonel in the Army Reserve’s Logistics Corps and a supervising transportation engineer with Caltrans, Hakimi is the lead state official for the Thomas Road Improvement Program (TRIP), a unique multi-agency coalition comprising the City of Bakersfield, County of Kern, Caltrans and Kern COG.

He came to Bakersfield in 1991, working in the local Caltrans office and reporting to District 6 officials in Fresno. In 2003, he began working on joint projects with the city of Bakersfield. He has been personally accountable for delivering several high-profile, politically sensitive federal highway projects valued at more than $1.5 billon, including auxiliary lanes installed at the State Route 58/99 interchange in 2007, which eased traffic flow for thousands of drivers. Hakimi has served as a TRIP liaison among Bakersfield City Council members, Kern County supervisors, and state and federal legislators to ensure projects are completed on schedule and within budget, including the Westside Parkway now under construction.

Hakimi was also the subject of an Oct. 6, 2006 Bakersfield Californian profile detailing his service building roads in Iraq for a year. With more than 26 years of military service, including combat tours in Somalia, Iraq, and Afganistan, he was awarded the Bronze Star in 2005 and has received the Meritorious Service Medal four times.

“Kern COG is fortunate to appoint a candidate of Ahron’s caliber,” said Ridgecrest City Councilmember and Kern COG Board Chairman Steven Morgan. “His strong engineering background and experience will keep our vast transportation network humming for years to come.”

Hakimi received his Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College; a Master of Science degree in Transportation Management from San Jose State University; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is a registered civil engineer in the state of California.

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