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Mr Saunders left the DCC in August last year and, since then, his role has been filled by another staff member. The council yesterday named Jeanine Benson as the permanent replacement to fill the role.
Ms Benson, who was born in Central Otago, is a University of Otago graduate who has worked in the transport sector in Europe and New Zealand, including, since 2012, senior positions at KiwiRail.
She will take up her new role at the DCC on February 3.
DCC infrastructure services general manager Simon Drew said he was "delighted" to have secured Ms Benson.
"Ms Benson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this very important role. She has a sound understanding of transport issues, and has excellent leadership and stakeholder engagement experience.
"We are looking forward to welcoming Ms Benson as she commences a pivotal role in the Dunedin transport area."