CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today appointed Erica Borggren as Acting Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). An Illinois native and Army veteran, Borggren has served as Director of the Illinois Department of Illinois Veterans Affairs (IDVA) since 2011.
“Erica Borggren is a proven leader who has served our state and nation with excellence and integrity,” Governor Quinn said. “From graduating first in her class at West Point, to serving as an outstanding military officer and successfully leading large organizations, I am confident she will be an exceptional Transportation Secretary. I also thank Ann Schneider for her years of hard work and dedication and wish her well.”
As Director of IDVA, Borggren managed a 1,300-person staff dedicated to serving veterans. During her tenure, IDVA has partnered with public and private partners to launch a veteran entrepreneurship program, a women veterans’ program and an interagency effort to make military training count toward state licenses.
Borggren designed and now spearheads Illinois Joining Forces, a public-private network of more than 150 organizations committed to collaborate towards making the “sea of goodwill” more navigable for Illinois veterans, servicemembers and their families. For this work, she was honored as a White House “Champion of Change” earlier this year. In 2013, Borggren was selected as a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow and was also appointed to serve as the Secretary of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs.
Prior to leading IDVA, Borggren served as a senior staff member for Army Gen. David H. Petraeus during his time as Commanding General of Multi-National Force – Iraq and as head of United States Central Command throughout the Middle East. For her service in these missions, Borggren was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star as well as the Joint Service Achievement and Iraq Campaign Medals. She returned home to Illinois from the Middle East in 2009.
“I am deeply honored to have been asked by Governor Quinn to lead the state’s transportation mission,” Borggren said. “I look forward to serving with the IDOT team to maintain and build Illinois’ world-class infrastructure, which will create more jobs and drive economic growth for years to come."
Prior to her time in the Middle East, Borggren served in the United States Army Medical Service Corps in Yongsan, South Korea, rising as an officer in the 18th Medical Command to a Company Commander at the 121 Combat Support Hospital, for which she was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
A Rhodes Scholar, Truman Scholar and the valedictorian of her West Point class, Borggren holds postgraduate degrees in comparative social policy and theology from Oxford University. Borggren was raised in Crystal Lake and she now resides in Chicago with her husband, Erik, and their children.
Borggren’s appointment is effective July 11.
Governor Quinn also today announced IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia will become Acting Director of the department. A Chicago native and Marine Corps veteran, Garcia served overseas on three separate tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning multiple decorations. He holds an undergraduate degree in finance from Northeastern Illinois University and two post-graduate degrees, one in finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the other in public policy from Northwestern University. Recently, Garcia completed a senior executives program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.