Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Greg Thomas today announced the appointment of Dr. Noelle Hunter as Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS).
“Dr. Hunter brings a vast wealth of knowledge and life experience to the KOHS,” said Sec. Thomas. “Combined with her passion and dedication to helping others, we believe she is a true asset to the Cabinet.”
The KOHS is responsible for providing traffic safety grant funding to law enforcement agencies and educational programs to schools and communities in an effort to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on Kentucky roadways.
Prior to joining the KYTC, Hunter was the Director of College Readiness and an instructor of Developmental Reading at Morehead State University. During her decade in higher education, Hunter served as a professor of state and local government, American political institutions and international relations at Morehead State, West Virginia University and West Virginia Wesleyan University.
In 2014, Hunter testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on the problem of international parental child abduction. Hunter successfully recovered her daughter from abduction to Mali that same year with support and resources from her home community of Morehead, her native state of Alabama, and from Congress, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Justice. Hunter co-founded iStand Parent Network Inc. to empower parents to return their children from abduction and currently serves as president of the board of directors.
In 2003, Hunter served as the James E. Webb Fellow for the Smithsonian Institution Office of Policy and Analysis and worked in constituent services for the former Sen. Jay Rockefeller, of West Virginia. Prior to federal service, Hunter was the Walter Rollins Scholar for the West Virginia Legislature Committee on Health and Human Services and committee staff for the subcommittees on Homeland Security and Bioterrorism; and Workforce, Innovation and the New Economy—responsible for identifying threats and contingency plans to protect West Virginia’s critical infrastructure.
Hunter worked as a media relations executive for Public Communications, Inc. in Chicago and coordinated learning opportunities for underserved, urban youth from 1995-2000.
“The essence of the KOHS mission is to help people live as they travel our beautiful Commonwealth,” said Hunter. “It’s a great privilege to work in a Cabinet where this is our focus.”
Hunter earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism in 1994 and a Masters of Public Administration in 2009 from Ohio University. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from West Virginia University in 2007.
Hunter has lived in Kentucky for 11 years and has three daughters, Rachel, Rysa and Muna.