Mr. Lester Woods
Missouri Department of Transportation – External Civil Rights Director
After completing his Master’s of Public Administration degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Lester started his career working with Executive Advantage, a local small consulting business that provides human resource services and consulting to businesses and organizations. He broadened his experience in affirmative action working at the University of Missouri – Columbia as a Human Resource Specialist.
Lester went on to join the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) in 2002 as a Human Resource Specialist in the Equal Opportunity Unit, where he worked in the areas of workforce diversity. In July of 2004 he was promoted to External Civil Rights Administrator, and in July 2008 he was promoted to External Civil Rights Director. As Director, Lester is responsible for directing the department’s external affirmative action, equal opportunity & non-discrimination programs, which include the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program, On-the-Job Training Program, Equal Employment Opportunity, Title VI, ADA and all other non-discrimination or affirmative action programs related to federal-aid contracting activities.
In addition to his day-to-day activities, Lester is the lead administrator of the Missouri Unified Certification Program, which includes St. Louis Lambert Airport, METRO, the City of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.
Lester also recently navigated, along with the national president of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), a work force utilization plan with contractors, unions, and community stakeholders on two of MoDOT’s first Design Build projects, and he currently serves as a National Board of Director for COMTO, which is headquartered in Washington, DC.