Mayor Brandon Johnson recently announced the appointment of Tom Carney as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, Sandra Blakemore as commissioner of the Department of Human Resources and Alfonzo “Randy” Conner Jr. as commissioner of the Department of Water Management.
Tom Carney has served as the acting commissioner of CDOT since August 2023,directing the department’s implementation of more than $2 billion in combined City, state and federally funded capital projects, which include critical traffic safety and infrastructure improvements citywide.
“Tom Carney has served admirably as the acting commissioner of CDOT, working to make the entire city accessible to all Chicagoans,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “My administration is committed to investing in people and disinvested communities, and having a person at the helm of CDOT who understands how to deliver effective and efficient services to residents and oversee the large-scale capital improvements our city needs. Tom is the man for the job.”
Prior to being named acting commissioner, Carney worked in a variety of leadership roles within CDOT, including First Deputy Commissioner, Managing Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Deputy Commissioner within the division of In- House Construction. He most recently served as the City’s NASCAR Infrastructure Committee Chairman and led the efforts of City agencies and utilities to ensure the successful execution of the Street Race Event.
Alfonzo “Randy” Conner Jr. has been appointed to serve as the Commissioner of the Department of Water Management. This marks a return for Conner, who had previously served as the Commissioner of Water Management for the City of Chicago from July 2017 through December 2020.
“We are excited to be welcoming Randy back as a proven leader and someone who knows the ins and outs of infrastructure and water management,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “There is nothing more foundational to our collective health than clean drinking water, and Randy brings the type of compassionate, collaborative and competent leadership that this city needs to manage our systems for safety and good health.”
As the Commissioner of Water Management, Conner served as the leader of the world’s largest municipally owned water filtration and distribution system. He spearheaded the conversion of a quarter of the pumping stations from oil fuel to electricity, saving the City approximately $1 million per year in operating costs and reducing the carbon footprint by 35%.
Conner has extensive experience in City leadership, previously serving as First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Streets and Sanitation and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation. His diverse background and proven track record make him a valuable asset for overseeing the critical responsibilities of Chicago’s Department of Water Management.
Sandra Blakemore has been appointed commissioner of the City of Chicago Department of Human Resources. Blakemore currently serves as the commissioner for the Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS).
As AIS commissioner, Blakemore oversaw a budget of $500 million and more than 1,000 employees. During her tenure, she led the procurement of an energy contract to meet the City’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, and optimized the Department budget, leading a pilot program for decreasing payment time for construction vendors.
“With an extensive career ranging from Fortune 500 companies to public service, I am confident that Sandra has the experience and expertise that we need in the Department of Human Resources,” Mayor Johnson said. “We welcome her leadership in this new role, and I know that she will continue the Department’s mission of fair, equitable and transparent employment practices for the City of Chicago.”
Prior to her time in public service, Blakemore worked in leadership positions in the private sector, including as a director at ConAgra Foods, with responsibilities for a $500 million portfolio of businesses.
Blakemore holds a B.A. in Government from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland.
The mayor’s selections are now subject to City Council approval.