NDOT Senior Staff

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Kristina L. Swallow, P.E. - Director

A portrait photo of NDOT Director Kristina SwallowKristina L. Swallow is a dedicated professional with nearly 25 years of diverse experience in engineering, public policy, and community advocacy and voluntarism. She is passionate about having a positive impact on the places she lives, organizations she serves, and people she works with. As a practicing civil engineer, Kristina has worked in a number of technical areas including flood control, traffic impact analysis and mitigation, land development, public works and transportation policy. Her roles have included being a small business owner, working as a consultant, serving as a program manager in city government, working as a lobbyist in the Nevada State Legislature, and working as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate where she was able to negotiate language in the final passage of MAP-21.

Kristina is a licensed civil engineer in the state of Nevada, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona, a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and has completed additional studies within the UNLV College of Urban Affairs. She has appeared on CNN, NBC Nightly News, and the BBC, been interviewed by Bloomberg Radio, NBC, and NPR, and has testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works committee.

As a teenager, Kristina spent a year in Germany as an AF5 foreign exchange student broadening her perspective of the world. She continues to enjoy traveling where she can learn from others, experience cultures different from her own, and meet people with different backgrounds and perspectives. She is a runner and has recently taken up aerial acrobatics. She is married to David, a civil engineer, and has two dogs.


Cole Mortensen, P.E. - Deputy Director

Cole Mortensen

As Deputy Director, Mr. Mortensen serves the NDOT director as second-in-command. He also directly oversees five NDOT groups focused on planning and performance, including administration, planning, human resources, communications and audit and provides directory oversight of other NDOT operations, maintenance and project delivery groups.
Mr. Mortensen began his NDOT career in 2002 as an associate engineer in the Design Division, before spending six years in the Structures Division and advancing into project management roles in 2009. As NDOT project manager, Mortensen oversaw development of the state’s largest public works project, Project Neon, and has been a leader in the department’s alternative project delivery aimed at most efficiently and quickly constructing road improvements. Mr. Mortensen then advanced to Chief of Project Management, followed by Assistant Director of Engineering, where he was in charge of NDOT’s pre-construction engineering sections, including Project Management, Design, Bridge, Environmental, Location, and Right-of-Way. In that role, Mr. Mortensen supervised six groups within NDOT headquarters, representing more than 300 engineering and right-of-way professionals responsible for developing all engineering work necessary in delivering design plans and specifications used in the construction of NDOT projects.
Mr. Mortensen holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno and is a registered civil engineer in Nevada and California. He enjoys the outdoors, including hunting and camping with his family.


Tracy Larkin-Thomason, P.E. - Deputy Director, Southern Nevada

Larkin Thomason, Tracy Photo Aug 2013Tracy Larkin-Thomason is NDOT deputy director for southern Nevada, with statewide responsibilities for NDOT's three engineering districts and the civil rights program with a focus on coordination of NDOT southern Nevada activities.

Ms. Larkin-Thomason has more than 25 years of transportation experience, beginning her NDOT career in 1987 in the right-of-way division. She worked seven years in Roadway Design, three years in the Structural division, five years as District II traffic engineer and engineering service manager, six years as District II maintenance engineer and most recently, four years as assistant director of planning.

In this position, Ms. Larkin-Thomason seeks to improve communication, coordination, and customer service with local agency partners, elected officials and the general public. She has served on several National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) panels and scans on a variety of subjects including asset management, cost of maintenance and fiscal constraint compliance and currently serves on four AASHTO and TRB committees including Strategic Management and the MAP 21 Implementation and Reauthorization Committee.

Ms. Larkin-Thomason has Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master in business Administration, both from the University of Nevada, Reno.  She is a licensed Civil Engineer in the state of Nevada. Ms. Larkin-Thomason is also certified as an ITE Professional Traffic Operations Engineer, a Nevada Certified Public Manager and is a past president of the Nevada Certified Public Managers Society.

 


Cliff Lawson, P.E. - Deputy Director, Project Delivery

Larkin Thomason, Tracy Photo Aug 2013As Deputy Director of Project Delivery, Mr. Lawson directly oversees multiple NDOT groups responsible for designing, engineering and constructing NDOT projects, including project management, design, structures, location, hydraulics, right-of-way, construction, environmental services and stormwater management.

Mr. Lawson served in the Marine Corps, as well as the aerospace and construction industries. Following an engineering internship, he joined the State of Nevada Bureau of Health Protection Services in 1998 and was responsible for creating regulations to support the Public Water System Capacity Development and Fluoridation programs. After transferring to the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), Bureau of Water Pollution Control, Mr. Lawson supervised both the Technical Services and Permits branches. His work included oversight of Wastewater Treatment Facility inspections, engineering plan and specification reviews, subdivision reviews, grant management, budgeting, regulation development, permit compliance, enforcement, and the implementation of NDEP's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, Groundwater, Underground Injection Control, and the Stormwater inspection and permitting programs.

Mr. Lawson joined NDOT in 2016 as the Principal Bituminous Engineer in the Materials Division. In 2017, he was selected to lead NDOT into its next phase of stormwater permit compliance. Mr. Lawson is currently serving as Chair on the University of Nevada’s Water Innovation Institute and has been appointed to the National Transportation Research Board, Stormwater Committee. He is a registered Professional Civil Engineer and holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He and his wife, Chris, have been together for almost 30 years, enjoy traveling and have a son pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree at UNR.

 


 

Robert Nellis - Assistant Director, Administration

Robert Nellis for badge idRobert Nellis serves as NDOT Assistant Director of Administration.  In the role, Mr. Nellis oversees four divisions including Financial Management, Accounting, Administrative Services and Information Services.  Through sound budgeting, financial and administrative practices, the divisions under his oversight play a proactive and supportive role in ensuring the success of the Department's goals and objectives. 

Mr. Nellis has 20 years of experience in private sector real estate development, business management, public land management, and energy program management. He has been with the State of Nevada since 2004 and was head of the State Land Office in the Division of State Lands for five years. Mr. Nellis administered the Nevada Land Bank for the Nevada-Tahoe Resource Team and was responsible for all statewide transactions and permits on lands managed by the Division. In 2009, Mr. Nellis accepted a position at the Governor's Office of Energy (GOE) as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Project Director. As a result of his work on ARRA, the GOE was recognized by the federal government in 2012 as one of two states to have successfully implemented the ARRA program on time and within budget. During his tenure at the GOE, Mr. Nellis also led the development and implementation of new financing programs, the creation of an open source software portal to streamline permitting processes, and secured additional federal funding sources for the GOE.

Mr. Nellis is a Nevada Certified Public Manager with a bachelor's degree in business administration and master's degree in communication. He is also currently pursuing advanced certification and training in public-private partnership finance, transportation finance, and bond finance. Mr. Nellis earned the Eagle Scout Award in 1986 and is also the father of an Eagle Scout. He has been married for 21 years and enjoys hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities with his wife and five children.


Sondra Rosenberg, PTP - Assistant Director, Planning

Rosenberg, SondraAs Assistant Director of Planning, Sondra Rosenberg oversees eight divisions within NDOT: Program Development, Multimodal Planning, Performance Analysis, Research, Roadway Systems, Safety Engineering, Traffic Information and Southern Nevada Planning.

 Ms. Rosenberg has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physics from the University of Rochester and a Master of Science degree in Transportation Technology and Policy from the University of California, Davis. She is a certified Professional Transportation Planner and is active in the Northern Nevada Section of the American Planning Association.

Ms. Rosenberg has worked at NDOT since 2008 and prior to that she was a transportation planner for Fehr & Peers, a consulting firm. As the Federal Programs Manager in NDOT Planning, Sondra managed the I-15 Mobility Alliance and the I-11 & Intermountain West Corridor Study. She effectively built coalitions that consisted of neighboring state DOTs, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, economic development councils, chambers of commerce, businesses and various other stakeholders.


Mike Fuess, P.E., PTOE - District II Engineer

NDOT District II Engineer Michael FuessIn September 2018, Mike Fuess was named NDOT District II engineer. In this role, he will oversee maintenance and construction of approximately 1,350 miles of state road across northwestern Nevada, including roughly 120 miles of interstate, stretching from Lovelock to the Nevada-California border and between Hawthorne and the Oregon border. His duties include regional oversight of NDOT construction and maintenance projects, including winter maintenance of the highest Sierra roadway pass to be kept open year-round, traffic engineering and operations as well as permitting of special uses of state roadways for events, utility work and more. 

Mr. Fuess began his NDOT career in 2003 as a staff professional engineer before being promoted to engineering services manager and district traffic engineer. Since 2013, he has served as District II Engineer for Maintenance, overseeing maintenance of state roadways across northwestern Nevada. He is a registered professional engineer in Nevada, Idaho and Washington. 

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Boyd Ratliff, P.E. - District III Engineer

D3 Engineer Boyd Ratliff

In June 2017, Boyd Ratliff was named NDOT District III engineer. Mr. Ratliff is responsible for District III operations, including more than 325 miles of interstate and U.S. routes, and more than 15 state routes and a broad expanse of rural northeastern Nevada. The western boundary begins on I-80 at Imlay and runs for 265 miles to West Wendover on the Nevada/Utah border. The northern boundaries begin at the Nevada state lines with Oregon and Idaho and extend south approximately 300 miles.

Mr. Ratliff joined the department in 2010, serving first as District Support Engineer and then District Traffic Engineer. Most recently he served as Assistant District Engineer in Elko, directly overseeing NDOT construction and maintenance crews in Elko-area regional offices. 

Prior to his years at NDOT, Mr. Ratliff worked at various private engineering firms in geotechnical and construction management positions. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Idaho State University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Nevada. He enjoys his family and the outdoors.