Richard Carlson Secretary Kansas Department of Transportation
Director of the Kansas Turnpike Authority
Richard Carlson was selected to lead the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority by Gov. Sam Brownback in July 2016. In January 2017, the State Senate confirmed his appointment as Kansas Transportation Secretary and Director of KTA.
Secretary Carlson served in the Kansas House of Representatives for 10 years beginning in 2004, representing the 61st District of Pottawatomie County and northern Wabaunsee County. He was Chairman of the House Taxation Committee for six years and also a member of the Appropriations Committee and Commerce and Labor Committee. He was a Pottawatomie County Commissioner for 12 years before being elected to the Legislature. The St. Marys native had been Legislative Liaison and Tax Policy Adviser for the Kansas Department of Revenue from December 2014 until his transportation appointment.
Secretary Carlson has worked in real estate and banking as well as franchise development and investment for Burger King restaurants. He was active in the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, serving as president, vice president and a member of the national board of directors.
An economics and business graduate of Kansas State University, Secretary Carlson served in the Kansas Army National Guard and is a graduate of the Kansas Leadership program. He also served on the board of the Flint Hills Regional Leadership Program.
Secretary Carlson and his wife, Cheryl, live on a ranch near St. Marys. They have two sons and six grandchildren.