WASHINGTON — Amtrak’s Board of Directors has selected Joseph Boardman, a nationally recognized transportation industry professional, to become president and chief executive officer of the company, effective Nov. 26.
Boardman offers nearly 34 years of experience in the surface transportation industry at city, county, state, and federal government levels; most recently as the administrator at the Federal Railroad Administration, officials said. He succeeds Alex Kummant, who resigned Nov. 14.
“In an attempt to maintain the momentum at Amtrak, while finding a permanent CEO candidate, the board has appointed Mr. Boardman for one year, but will conduct a search in the coming months for a permanent CEO,” said Board Chairman Donna McLean.
She added that “Amtrak is at a critical juncture and needs a vigorous management vision and ability to take advantage of this unique time. The board has unanimously chosen Mr. Boardman in this capacity because we have complete confidence that his depth of experience and leadership skills will allow Amtrak to maintain growth and implement the requirements of the recently enacted authorization legislation.”
Having served as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration since April 2005, Boardman was the Department of Transportation designee on the Amtrak board of directors.
Prior to his tenure at FRA, he served as commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation beginning in July 1997. There, Boardman led a transformation effort that better enabled the agency to respond to the challenges associated with an expanding global marketplace.
In this capacity, Boardman was deeply involved in the operation of the large complement of Amtrak service in the state. In addition, he was chief operating officer of Progressive Transportation Service, Inc., a transportation management company. He was chairman of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board in 2005 and chair of the American Association of the State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Standing Committee on Rail Transportation from 2000-2005.
“I am humbled that the board selected me to lead the company, on an interim basis, at this very exciting time. Over the past decade — in one capacity or another — I have been an active participant in the affairs of Amtrak. I have come to know the company, the culture, a number of employees, and I am keenly aware of the challenges facing us right now,” Boardman said. “In my view, a national intercity, interconnected passenger rail service is critically important for the mobility and energy independence of the United States.”
Boardman is a lifelong resident of New York, and is the second of eight children born and raised on a dairy farm in Oneida County, which two of his siblings currently operate. In 1966, he volunteered for service in the United States Air Force, serving in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.
Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Economics from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a Master of Science in Management Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He presently resides with his wife Joanne in Washington, D.C., and has three grown children.