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Laura J. Mester is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Michigan Department of Transportation, overseeing the Bureaus of Finance and Administration, Transportation Planning, and Aeronautics and Freight Services, as well as the operations of the International Bridge. She also is responsible for development and oversight of MDOT's annual budget. Prior to her appointment in February 2011, Mester directed the Accounting and Financial Operations Division of the Office of Financial Management in the State Budget Office, a position she held for 13 years. She directed a staff of 18 who were responsible for publishing the state's comprehensive annual financial report and other financial reports required by statute, and for providing financial mangement services to all state departments and component units.
A licensed C.P.A., Mester's distinguished career in governmental accounting and financial management spans 23 years, mainly with the Office of the State Budget, as well as with the Office of the Auditor General. She earned a master's degree in business administration from Central Michigan University in 1994, a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University in 1987.
Mester has been honored by the National Association of State Auditors, Controllers, and Leaders for directing the early implementation of the GASB Statement 34, the most significant governmental accounting and financial reporting requirements issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board in 20 years. She is the recipient of the Government Financial Manager of the Year Award from the Greater Lansing Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants, and the William R. Snodgrass Leadership Award from the National Association of Government Accountants. Mester is the past president of the Greater Lansing Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants.
A Michigan native, she lives in DeWitt with her husband, John.