Hedlund Joins STB

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Karen Hedlund at a June 24 preliminary Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on her nomination to the STB, along with three other Biden nominees to other government posts.

Karen Hedlund at a June 24 preliminary Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on her nomination to the STB, along with three other Biden nominees to other government posts.

Democrat Karen J. Hedlund on Jan. 3 was sworn in as the newest member of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), succeeding Republican Ann D. Begeman.

Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner was among the first to report Hedlund’s Dec. 16, 2021, confirmation by unanimous Senate consent.

Hedlund’s first term will expire Dec. 31, 2025. Begeman, whose second term expired in 2020, had been serving out a statutory maximum one-year holdover period. Each of the five STB members are limited to two five-year maximum terms, with a one-year holdover if a successor has not been Senate-confirmed.

Other STB members are STB Chairman and Democrat Martin J. Oberman, whose first term will expire Dec. 31, 2023; Democrat Robert M. Primus, whose first term expires Dec. 31, 2022; Republican Patrick J. Fuchs, whose first term expires Jan. 17, 2024; and Republican Michelle A. Schultz, whose first term expires Nov. 11, 2026.

Hedlund served most recently as Vice President and National Strategy Adviser at WSP USA, and has worked with federal, state and local transportation agencies as well as private companies to facilitate financing and development of transportation projects through P3s. She was a strategic advisor on a number of WSP rail projects, including Amtrak’s Gateway Program, O’Hare Express Rail and the California High-Speed Rail Program, and is a leader of peer-to-peer exchanges with state and local municipal officials through the Build America Transportation Investment Center Institute.

Additionally, Hedlund served in the Obama Administration as Chief Counsel of the Federal Highway Administration (2009-10), and as Chief Counsel and Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (2010-14). She had also been a partner at law firms Nossaman LLP, Skadden Arps and Mayer Brown, focusing on transportation issues. She earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. 

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