New STB Chairman Sworn Into Office

WASHINGTON — Daniel R. Elliott III was sworn in Aug. 13 as the Board’s chairman, pledging to bring an open mind and sense of fairness to the Board’s economic regulation of railroads.

Elliott, 46, served for 16 years as associate general counsel to the United Transportation Union. Earlier, he practiced at law firms in Washington and Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in political science in 1985 and earned a law degree from Ohio State College of Law in 1989.

He was nominated to the Board by President Barack Obama on June 20, 2009 for a four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2013. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 7, 2009.

Elliott became the fifth chairman of the Surface Transportation Board, which was formed in 1996 as the successor agency to the Interstate Commerce Commission. The STB is an economic regulatory agency charged with resolving freight railroad rate and service disputes, reviewing proposed rail mergers, rail line purchases, constructions and abandonments. The Board also oversees Amtrak’s on-time performance and has jurisdiction over other matters.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transporation Committee, he said he would use his chairmanship to bring more harmony to the often contentious relationship between shippers and railroads and bring more openness and speed to the Board’s processes.

“I would like to thank President Obama for honoring me with this appointment,” Elliott said. “It is an honor to serve and I look forward to briskly moving forward and working closely with my fellow Board members.”