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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Paul Nissenbaum, Associate Administrator for Railroad Policy & Development

Paul NissenbaumAs Associate Administrator for Railroad Policy and Development (RPD) since January 2012, Mr. Nissenbaum is responsible for federal rail investment programs, research and development, and planning and policy analysis. RPD’s 90-plus professionals develop and implement FRA’s funding programs—including the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program and the Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products by Rail Program—long with the Research, Development & Technology Program, providing innovations in safety, security, efficiency, and capacity. RPD provides the policy and planning tools, environmental reviews, railroad engineering services, business and economics analysis, network modeling, program oversight, and technical assistance essential to develop and sustain thriving passenger and freight rail services across the country.

From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Nissenbaum served as Director of RPD’s Office of Passenger and Freight Programs (now known as the Office of Program Delivery). In that role, he oversaw FRA’s implementation of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) and development of the HSIPR Program—including building new partnerships with state DOTs, railroads, and other stakeholders, and expanding FRA’s capacity to carry out its new responsibilities.

Prior to FRA, Mr. Nissenbaum worked at Amtrak for nine years and was lead author of Amtrak's 2005 blueprint for change, the Strategic Reform Initiatives. He also served four years in congressional offices on Capitol Hill, and nine years directing a surface transportation and environmental consulting practice. Mr. Nissenbaum holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University.

Last updated: Monday, October 7, 2019