Get to know Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette

December 27, 2022 at 11:37 a.m.

By Colin Campbell
NC Tribune

Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette has the rare distinction of leading two Cabinet agencies during Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration.

He was secretary of information technology during Cooper’s first term, then moved over to lead the N.C. Department of Transportation in 2020. He’s something of a career DOT employee, starting there nearly three decades ago as a traffic technician before rising through the ranks to serve as inspector general, DMV commissioner and chief information officer.

What are some of the past jobs you’ve held outside of state government? Growing up, I had the privilege of working on our family farm. At the time, I didn’t think was fun but looking back was a great time in my life. My grandfather and uncle taught me that hard work and dedication were the most important parts of every job. After college, I started working with a local computer sales and repair store in Wilson – Computer Central. It was a great opportunity to learn about the business and customer service. Then I got a call about working in this little agency called the Department of Transportation…

What lessons from those roles have you applied to your current position? Always look to learn and teach others every day. We need to mentor others so that they have the opportunities we have been afforded. Work hard every day and never leave until you feel satisfied for the next challenge you will face.

What’s the most common misconception about your agency? A common misconception about NCDOT is that we are just a highway department. Our agency is responsible for all 82,000 miles of highway (the second-largest system in the U.S.), but we also have Aviation, Rail, the Integrated Mobility Division, Turnpike Authority, Global Transpark, Ports Authority, Ferry Division (second-largest system in the U.S.), Division of Motor Vehicles, Office of Inspector General and Office of Civil Rights.

Who do you most admire, and why? This is a difficult one – I have had many people help me in life, from my parents that instilled values, my grandfather teaching me about work ethic, to leaders who taught me how to lead without losing the grounding of always being myself.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about how to get things done in state government? I have been fortunate to have mostly great leadership to work for and each gave great advice on how to ensure you focus on goals, employees and partnerships. I remember conversations with many supervisors about working together with other teams and the importance of teamwork.

I can tell you no matter what role you have, or what agency you work for, you must have great partners to be successful. Working with your partners on the goals of your agency is critical. As our partners are important, our employees are the core to the success of our agency. Without our employees, nothing can get accomplished, and we all must remember that every day.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Kenly, a small town in Eastern North Carolina where I still live. I have always enjoyed our town and the area.

What is your favorite hobby outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family, going to church, and surf fishing with my father.