Secretary of the


...will talk about why we need to stop planning for yesterday’s transportation needs and start looking to the present and the future. He'll take questions about public-private partnerships in highways and airports, managed traffic lanes, self-driving cars, texting-while-driving, rail-freight congestion, drones, aging infrastructure, and whatever our audience is curious about in terms of transportation planning.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The Lounge at Iwan Ries

19 South Wabash Ave.

Cocktails at 5:30, with the presentation at 6:00 for about thirty minutes, followed by Q&A and general cocktail conversation. 

Randall S. Blankenhorn has served as Illinois Transportation Secretary under Gov. Bruce Rauner since 2015. As head of the Illinois Department of Transportation, he leads an agency of 10 offices that serve the transportation needs of Illinois across multiple modes, in rural, suburban, and urban environments. At IDOT, Blankenhorn oversees a $3 billion operating budget that supports a workforce of 4,800 employees, with annual oversight of more than $3.4 billion in capital projects.

Prior to his appointment, Blankenhorn was the executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. At CMAP, Blankenhorn oversaw transportation, land use, housing, economic development, environmental and other quality-of-life issues in the seven-county region of Northeastern Illinois. CMAP implemented GO TO 2040, the first truly comprehensive regional plan for the Chicago metropolitan area in more than a century.

His appointment as Transportation Secretary represented a return to IDOT, after having worked at the agency for 22 years. He served in a number of key positions in both the policy and planning divisions, eventually rising to the Bureau Chief of Urban Program Planning.

A lifelong Illinois resident, Blankenhorn is president of the Mid-American Association of State Transportation Officials, an organization striving to create a balanced transportation system that serves the transportation needs of the 10 member states, which also includes Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.

About the Cigar Society of Chicago

ONE OF THE OLDEST AND greatest traditions of the city clubs of Chicago is the discussion of intellectual, social, legal, artistic, historical, scientific, musical, theatrical, and philosophical issues in the company of educated, bright, and appropriately provocative individuals, all under the beneficent influence of substantial amounts of tobacco and spirits.  The Cigar Society of Chicago embraces this tradition and extends it with its Informal Smokers, University Series lectures, and Cigar Society Dinners, in which cigars, and from time to time pipes and cigarettes, appear as an important component of our version of the classical symposium.  To be included in the Cigar Society's mailing list, write to the secretary at