shown: Virgin Falls, Sparta Tennessee
Commissioner Gerald Nicely
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Gerald F. Nicely has been the Commissioner of Transportation for Tennessee since January 2003. Nicely also had the distinction of serving simultaneously in two state cabinet posts. In December 2005 the Governor appointed him Interim Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and he served in that position until January 2007 while still holding the Commissioner of Transportation position.
Nicely joined TDOT after more than 30 years of local government experience and a track record of successfully forging public-private partnerships that helped transform Nashville. He served as Executive Director of Nashville's Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency from 1979-2002. Under his leadership, MDHA spearheaded a wide range of development and housing initiatives and was viewed as one of the best-run local agencies in the country. He served a two-year term as president of the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association.
He is a board member of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials. He has received numerous awards for public service including: The Tennessee Association of Public Administration's Public Administrator of the Year in 2006, the Nashville Kiwanis Club's co-Nashvillian of the Year for 2001 (his wife Donna was the co-recipient), the Nashville Engineering Center's Distinguished Builder Award in 2007, and the Apollo Award for 2006 by the Nashville Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
He holds both a B.S. and M.S. in economics from the University of Tennessee and is a U.S. Army veteran. Nicely is married to Donna Nicely, director of the Nashville Public Library system, and has two grown daughters and three grandsons.