Tony Tata Gets NC Cabinet Post


Story by Hal Goodtree. Photo from

Cary, NC – Last autumn, the Wake County Board of Education surprised many people when they abruptly fired Superintendent Tony Tata. Today, Governor-Elect Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint General Tata as Secretary of the Department of Transportation for North Carolina.

Tony Tata’s New Job

As one might expect from a former paratrooper, General Tata has managed to land on his feet after his ouster by the BOE. From Governor-elect McCrory’s office:

Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (U.S. Army, Retired) joins Governor-Elect McCrory’s cabinet after most recently serving as Superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, leading the state’s largest school district of 18,000 employees, 150,000 students and a $1.25 billion budget.

Prior to serving as Superintendent, General Tata was in Afghanistan where he served as the Deputy Commanding General of U.S. forces from 2006-2007. Throughout his career, General Tata has planned and implemented multiple operations involving complex transportation and infrastructure challenges ranging from multi-mode operations involving ports, airfields, rail, and highways to designing and implementing extensive infrastructure plans in developing countries.

Among his many military assignments, General Tata served two tours of duty in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. He also served as a brigade commander in the 101st Airborne Division and as the Deputy Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division. General Tata graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1981.

Cabinet Filled

Today’s appoint of General Tata comes along with three others, filling all eight NC cabinet posts.

On the campaign trail and following his election, Pat McCrory has talked of a bipartisan, get-it-done approach to government, a reputation he cultivated during 7 terms as Mayor of Charlotte. From the Governor-Elect’s office:

With these appointments, Governor-Elect McCrory has filled all eight of his cabinet secretary positions with a diverse, bi-partisan group of people representing all portions of the state. Half of Governor-Elect McCrory’s cabinet secretaries are Republican and half are either Democrat or Independent.

Of course, we’ll see how reality unfolds during the first long session of the Legislature this spring.

In any event, if I were inclined to jump out of an airplane, I’d be comfortable following Tony Tata. Good to see he’s kept his talents here in North Carolina.