Office of the Secretary

 Secretary Jim Gray

Jim Gray is the former mayor of Lexington, and non-executive chairman of the board of Gray Construction. During his eight years as mayor, Gray was known for getting things done.


Facing immediate deficits, Mayor Gray righted Lexington’s financial ship through a series of major reforms which included reducing the city’s employee health insurance costs while at the same time improving employee satisfaction. His reform of the police and fire pension system preserved the retirements of more than 1,000 retirees while saving millions of dollars for the city. Those savings resulted in investments in public safety. Today, Lexington is ranked the 3rd safest city in the US.

As mayor, Gray continued to focus on three core themes: creating jobs, running government efficiently and building a great American City. In 2018, Lexington was named the 4th best run city in the country.

At the start of his career, Jim Gray earned a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and then came home to help grow his family’s construction firm, accepting a Loeb Fellow appointment at Harvard along the way. Gray Construction is ranked among the top 5 US builders within major industry sectors including manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, and distribution.

 Deputy Secretary Mike Hancock

Mike Hancock.jpgMike Hancock, a native of Princeton, enjoyed a 40-year career at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, where his responsibilities included preparation of the cabinet’s biennial road plan from 1990 to 2016. His background is in rural and urban transportation planning and transportation program management, and he held multiple executive and leadership roles during his previous tenure with the Transportation Cabinet. Hancock graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in civil engineering.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ State Highway Engineer Andy Barber

Andy Barber PortraitPrior to being named state highway engineer, Barber served as the Department of Highway’s deputy state highway engineer for project delivery and preservation. In that role, he oversaw the six divisions that procure, construct and maintain the Commonwealth’s roads and bridges. Prior to that, he served as the KYTC’s project manager on the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, leading a team that delivered the Downtown Crossing portion ahead of schedule and under budget. He also served as KYTC’s project manager for the Milton Madison Bridge Replacement Project, which was delivered via the largest truss slide in North America. Barber got his start in construction in the Fayette County resident engineer’s office in District 7.

A recipient of the KYTC Civil Engineering Scholarship, Barber earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at the University of Kentucky. Barber resides in Louisville with his wife Jennifer and daughters, Molly and Lucy.

 Chief of Staff Jamie Emmons

Emmons.jpgJamie grew up in London and Richmond, Kentucky. He joins the Secretary’s team having spent the past 10 years in leadership roles including six years as Chief of Staff for former Mayor Gray, a management role in Gray Construction and Secretary Gray’s campaign manager.

During his time at City Hall, he drove an aggressive plan to tackle problems and get things done. The team secured local, state and federal support and delivered dozens of successful initiatives and projects – including structural financial and management reforms, value-added initiatives and bricks and mortar projects like the multi-modal Town Branch Commons project, the Lexington Center and Rupp Arena redevelopment, the Historic Courthouse renovation and the 21c Hotel and Museum.

Emmons is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Agricultural Economics, a Business minor and a specialization in Public Policy and Leadership.

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