In 2011, Toks was appointed Assistant Commissioner and Chief of the Bureau of Environment and Planning at the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). In this position, he guides TDOT’s continued success in establishing transportation planning, policy,and performance and the necessary communication that is required with other governmental agencies, organizations, and the general public and legislative bodies. He is responsible for the bureau’s administrative and project budget that exceeds $250 million annually. He leads the activities of the divisions of Environment, Long-Range Planning, Project Planning and Multimodal Transportation Resources.
Prior to joining TDOT, he served as the Director of Healthy Living Initiatives in the Office of Mayor – Karl Dean in Nashville, Tennessee. There he led efforts to develop a Complete Streets policy for Nashville and helped established a more balanced approach to transportation planning and design for the city. He was the Mayor’s liaison to several council’s and boards appointed to improve the built environment and livability of the city. Mr. Omishakin has been a speaker and presenter at several national and international conferences.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) with concentrations in transportation planning and urban design from Jackson State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from Mississippi Valley State University. His work has been published in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine and profiled in The Wall Street Journal, HBO Documentaries and Newsweek magazine. Mr. Omishakin is an active member of the American Planning Association, Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
Toks looks forward to working with America Walks to push walkability beyond a health and recreations issue, but to push it to a national issue that is seen as readily impacting transportation and economic development.