DALLAS -- Phil Wilson, executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation and former aide to Gov. Rick Perry, will become general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority Feb. 1, according to the Austin-based wholesale water and power provider.
Wilson will replace Rebecca S. Motal, who announced in September she is retiring Dec. 31, ending a 27-year career with LCRA. Deputy general manager Ross Phillips will serve as interim general manager until Wilson begins work.
Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton said that Wilson would help manage the transition to a new appointee to his TxDOT position before moving to LCRA.
"We are sorry to see him leave, but wish him success in his next challenge," Houghton said.
The LCRA board voted unanimously to hire Wilson on Dec. 18.
As executive director at TxDOT since October 2011, Wilson oversaw 12,000 employees and a $10-billion budget. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of public affairs for Luminant, Texas' largest competitive power generation company.
In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Secretary of State. He also served as chair of the Governor's Competitiveness Council and as a member of the Texas Border Security Council.
"LCRA has a rich history of being a strong contributor to Texas economic strength and I look forward to continuing in that tradition," Wilson said.
The two government agencies are among the largest bond issuers in Texas, and both have faced difficulty with growing demands at a time of restrained revenues. At TxDOT, the issue was flat or falling fuel tax revenue as Texans demanded new and better highways. LCRA has struggled with drought that reduces revenues from downstream sales of water and electricity generation.
"I see Phil Wilson as a problem solver," said LCRA board chairman Tim Timmerman. "He steps into this job at a critical time. Our region faces serious challenges as this drought continues. LCRA plays an important role in developing new water supplies as we manage current supplies for more than a million people. "
Wilson will oversee construction of a new off-channel reservoir in Wharton County, LCRA's first new water supply reservoir in decades. It is part of the Board's direction to add 100,000 acre-feet of new water supply by 2017.