James H. Trogdon III was appointed secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation in January 2017.
A registered professional engineer with more than 30 years of experience in transportation, Trogdon began his career with the department in 1985 as a highway engineer. In 2000, he was named NCDOT's Division 4 engineer, overseeing highway maintenance, construction and operations within Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Nash, Wayne and Wilson counties.
Trogdon later worked with the N.C. General Assembly as director of Strategic Transportation Planning. In this role, he made recommendations and provided analysis on transportation issues, as well as drafting transportation legislation for General Assembly members and reviewing transportation programs and projects for effectiveness.
In 2009, Trogdon was named NCDOT's chief operating officer, a position he held until his retirement in 2013. As COO, he was a key leader in the department's effort to professionalize its decision-making process and become a performance-based organization with an emphasis on accountability and transparency.
Trogdon currently serves as chairman of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Council on Rail Transportation.
He has also held several private sector positions after retiring from NCDOT, including national transportation director for SAS Institute.
In addition, Trogdon has more than three decades of military service.
His duties included serving as the plans officer for road and school construction in Honduras and Ecuador, as well as infrastructure improvements in Italy. After being selected to command the 105th Engineer Group, his unit was mobilized during the Global War on Terror to provide command and control for security forces at U.S. Army installations throughout North Carolina and Virginia. His unit was mobilized again in 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Multi-National Division North Engineer Brigade to command and control two engineer battalions and provide assured mobility and general engineering support within northern Iraq.
Maj. Gen. Trogdon retired in 2016 as the Deputy Adjutant General for the North Carolina National Guard.
Trogdon earned a Master of Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College. He also earned a master’s degree in civil engineering with a minor in statistics and computer science as well as a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from North Carolina State University.