Friday, April 07, 2017

Kan nominated for DOT post

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Derek Kan Derek Kan

President Trump on April 7 nominated Derek Kan as Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy at the U.S. DOT.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Kan would be responsible for providing policy guidance as it relates to motor vehicle, air, rail, marine and other forms of transportation. A White House spokesperson said Kan is “a highly qualified nominee, and if appointed, would work with Secretary Chao on Trump’s agenda to modernize and rebuild the country’s transportation system.”

Kan is the General Manager for Lyft (a service similar to Uber) in Southern California. He has served on the Board of Amtrak since 2015, for which he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Previously, he was Director of Strategy at a startup in Silicon Valley, and also worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company.

Earlier in his career, Kan was a policy advisor to Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who is married to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao) and as an economist for the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Before becoming a Hill staffer, Kan served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Kan received a B.S. from the University of Southern California, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He and his wife and three children live in San Gabriel, Calif.

Editor's note: Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner points out that “a post-PRIIA Amtrak Board statute eliminated the former prohibition on federal employees (other than the DOT Secretary) serving on the Board , and allows an existing Board member to remain on the Board for as long as five years beyond expiration of their term until a successor is confirmed by the Senate. This means Kan may remain on the Amtrak Board indefinitely—so long as Trump does not nominate a successor to him—effectively giving the Transportation Secretary (as Kan would report to Chao) two votes on the 10-member Amtrak Board.”

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