EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso has announced the appointment of longtime City of El Paso engineer Sam Rodriguez as the new Chief Operations and Transportation Officer and El Paso International Airport (EPIA) Director.

City officials said Rodriguez will begin his new role as Monica Lombrana, the City’s Chief Operations and Transportation Officer and EPIA Director announced her retirement.

In addition to overseeing the Airport, Lombrana provided oversight over International Bridges, Sun Metro and the Performance Office.

Rodriguez will be transitioning into the position over the next several weeks and will work closely with Lombrana to ensure that City operations continue efficiently, officials said.

“We are grateful to Monica Lombrana for her more than 26 years of exceptional leadership and dedication to the City of El Paso, and sincerely believe she deserves time to enjoy her retirement,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “She is to be commended and should be justifiably proud of all her accomplishments. Even though we are sad to see her leave, her leadership will continue to be felt as her previous actions will carry us through this transition and into the future.”

Rodriguez is a professional engineer who has more than 20 years of diverse public and private experience, city officials said.

He will have oversight over the Capital Improvements Department, Airport, Streets and Maintenance, the International Bridges Department, and the Performance Office.

“We are excited to capitalize on our own internal talent and professionals using the City’s strategic plan, which has set the foundation we needed to retain and promote a skilled workforce,” said Senior Deputy City Manager Cary Westin. “Sam Rodriguez brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to his new role. He joined our organization over a decade ago and has been a critical member of our management team.”

Rodriguez came to El Paso from the City of Big Bear Lake in California, where he served as the City Engineer. He began his professional career working in the private sector working for AECOM (formerly URS) and Atkins (formerly PBS&J) focusing on highway design and land development.

Rodriguez holds Professional Engineer licenses in the states of Texas and California. He is a Certified Floodplain Manager, Accredited in the Congress of New Urbanism, and a member of the American Association of Airport Executives organization. He served in the U. S. Marine Corps and is a graduate of California State Polytechnic University where he earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering.