Yassmin Gramian, PennDOT

“My greatest hero is my mother.”

Yassmin Gramian

Yassmin Gramian, Secretary of Transportation for PennDOT, shared the story behind her title with us on Sunday, February 27, 2022.

As secretary, Yassmin oversees programs and policies affecting highways, urban and rural public transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways. She manages PennDOT’s annual budget of $9.5 billion, which is invested in all of Pennsylvania’s approximately 120,000 miles of state and local highways and 32,000 state and local bridges. Under her leadership, PennDOT is directly responsible for nearly 40,000 miles of highway and roughly 25,400 bridges. She also has oversight of the state’s 11.8 million vehicle registrations and 10.3 million driver’s licenses/IDs.

Gramian assumed the role of secretary amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. This challenging time necessitated quick, decisive action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to best protect citizens, employees, and business partners. Under Gramian’s leadership, PennDOT moved swiftly during the early stages of the pandemic to transfer essential functions to remote operations, while continuing to ensure roads were kept safe and passable, and crews remained available for responding to weather events. Gramian also serves as chair of the Transportation Revenue Options Commission (TROC), which was established by Executive Order of Governor Tom Wolf to develop comprehensive funding recommendations for Pennsylvania’s large and aging infrastructure.


Yassmin came from Iran to America at the age of 17 without her parents or family. She came for an education and studied Civil Engineering. She would go on to become the very first female bridge inspector for a U.S. engineering firm and later step into a top spot with PennDOT. She attributes her success to her ability to adapt to new people, places and situations that began as a child.  

Listen to our interview with Yassmin below!

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